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Blocking solution halts the spam deluge

  • 16 August, 2006 14:42

<p>As a frequent email user, retired senior IBM manager Paul Hunter was becoming increasingly frustrated at receiving large quantities of spam.</p>
<p>Although he was using BigPond’s anti-spam service, unwanted emails were arriving at the rate of 20-30 a day.</p>
<p>When Paul asked his friends and former IBM colleagues if there was a better solution, they recommended TotalBlock, from New Millennium Solutions (NMS). TotalBlock uses the challenge-response, or blocking, technique to curb unwanted email, while BigPond and most multinational anti-spam solutions rely on filtering.</p>
<p>After three weeks using TotalBlock, Paul Hunter has received no spam and has not missed any unwanted emails.</p>
<p>TotalBlock deals with email from new sources by sending a challenge message that asks the sender to reply. Legitimate senders respond, but the drone machines that spew out huge volumes of spam, cannot reply.</p>
<p>Paul found that some legitimate incoming emails were held up temporarily because he and his wife were arranging a trip to France and Italy, and TotalBlock stopped messages from people in these countries who responded to their queries. But he was able to free their blocked emails by using TotalBlock’s web-based Control Panel. Once their messages were freed and authorised, the senders were able to send future emails without challenge.</p>
<p>“We have found that almost all legitimate sources that send us email respond to the TotalBlock challenge, but when a few have not done so through language difficulties it has been easy for us to authorise the release of their blocked emails,” said Paul.</p>
<p>He explained: “It’s all part of training TotalBlock. Initially we sent NMS all our email address book names, and email to these is approved automatically. Since then we have added domain names for organisations like Amazon with which we do business, and now all we have to do is check TotalBlock’s Control Panel for email whenever we expect one from a new sender, and authorise it via TotalBlock’s Control Panel.”</p>
<p>Paul said that authorising return email from Amazon.com posed difficulties at first, because the online vendor replied to customers’ emails using a different domain name to amazon.com. But he was able to solve this problem by authorising all emails from that different domain name.</p>
<p>“After three weeks’ use, we have trained TotalBlock to the point where we are enjoying our email experience once more,” said Paul. “Occasionally we check the Control Panel for messages from unexpected sources, but we find that genuine senders respond to the TotalBlock challenge anyway. TotalBlock is certainly the most effective anti-spam solution I’ve used.”</p>
<p>About TotalBlock</p>
<p>TotalBlock - www.totalblock.net - is an Australian-developed anti-spam solution that also guards against network overloads caused by storming, harvesting and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. It works by blocking ALL unwanted email, using a challenge-response technique rather than filtering. TotalBlock builds a list of acceptable incoming email senders, using a customer’s address book as well as replying automatically to any emailers who are not on the allowed list. The reply contains a simple action that, when followed, adds the sender to the allowed list. The action can be as simple as replying to the challenge. Since this authorisation process requires human intervention, it bypasses drone machines that spew out huge volumes of spam.</p>
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<p>For more information</p>
<p>Peter Stewart or Ben Corby
New Millennium Solutions
Tel. 61-2-9437 9800</p>

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