SPIT: Spam Over Internet Telephony

SPIT: Spam Over Internet Telephony

Kevin Curran (University of Ulster, Magee Campus, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch180
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

Spam in the computer does not simply mean ads. Spam is any message, article, or ad that repeats itself an unacceptable number of times so that it causes annoyance. The content of the spam is of no importance. It could contain your simple “Make Money Fast” hyperlink or a beautiful piece of poetry, but if the message is continuously repeated it becomes spam. The term spam is thought to have been taken from a famous Monty Python sketch. In that sketch spam came with everything the people ordered and the waitress would be constantly saying the word spam. Therefore the meaning of spam is something that repeats itself causing much anger or annoyance. Spam can be categorized as follows: • Junk mail: Mass mailings from legitimate businesses that is unwanted. • Noncommercial spam: Mass mailings of unsolicited messages without an apparent commercial motive including chain letters, urban legends, and joke collections. • Offensive and pornographic spam: Mass mailings of “adult” advertisements or pornographic pictures. • Spam scams: Mass mailings of fraudulent messages or those designed to con people out of personal information for the purpose of identity theft and other criminal acts. • Virus spam: Mass mailings that contain viruses, Trojans, malicious scripts, and so forth. Spoofing (Schwartz & Garfinkel, 1998) is a technique often used by spammers to make them harder to trace. Trojan viruses embedded in e-mail messages also employ spoofing techniques to ensure the source of the message is more difficult to locate (Ishibashi, Yamai, Abe, & Matsuura, 2003). Spam filters and virus scanners can only eliminate a certain amount of spam and also risk catching legitimate e-mails. As the SoBig virus has demonstrated, virus scanners themselves actually add to the e-mail traffic through notification and bounceback messages. SMTP is flawed in that it allows these e-mail headers to be faked, and does not allow for the sender to be authenticated as the “real” sender of the message (Geer, 2004). This article looks at a new type of spam known as spam over Internet telephony (SPIT).
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

Spam in the computer does not simply mean ads. Spam is any message, article, or ad that repeats itself an unacceptable number of times so that it causes annoyance. The content of the spam is of no importance. It could contain your simple “Make Money Fast” hyperlink or a beautiful piece of poetry, but if the message is continuously repeated it becomes spam. The term spam is thought to have been taken from a famous Monty Python sketch. In that sketch spam came with everything the people ordered and the waitress would be constantly saying the word spam. Therefore the meaning of spam is something that repeats itself causing much anger or annoyance. Spam can be categorized as follows:

  • Junk mail: Mass mailings from legitimate businesses that is unwanted.

  • Noncommercial spam: Mass mailings of unsolicited messages without an apparent commercial motive including chain letters, urban legends, and joke collections.

  • Offensive and pornographic spam: Mass mailings of “adult” advertisements or pornographic pictures.

  • Spam scams: Mass mailings of fraudulent messages or those designed to con people out of personal information for the purpose of identity theft and other criminal acts.

  • Virus spam: Mass mailings that contain viruses, Trojans, malicious scripts, and so forth.

Spoofing (Schwartz & Garfinkel, 1998) is a technique often used by spammers to make them harder to trace. Trojan viruses embedded in e-mail messages also employ spoofing techniques to ensure the source of the message is more difficult to locate (Ishibashi, Yamai, Abe, & Matsuura, 2003). Spam filters and virus scanners can only eliminate a certain amount of spam and also risk catching legitimate e-mails. As the SoBig virus has demonstrated, virus scanners themselves actually add to the e-mail traffic through notification and bounceback messages. SMTP is flawed in that it allows these e-mail headers to be faked, and does not allow for the sender to be authenticated as the “real” sender of the message (Geer, 2004). This article looks at a new type of spam known as spam over Internet telephony (SPIT).

Top

Spam

Spam has been used for a few different types of techniques. One was to overrun the computer with so much data and information that it crashes. Another technique is to send unwanted messages to people during a chat session by using a computer program known as a spambot. A spambot is used to get e-mail addresses from the Internet so that it can build a mailing list for sending unwelcome e-mail. A spambot can gather e-mail addresses from anywhere including Web sites, message boards, and chat rooms. Unwanted messages being sent to an e-mail address is also called spam or more affectionately “junk mail.” This is the most popular type of spam (Boutin, 2004).

Spam has grown because of the new advances being made in communication connectivity. The first major type of spam was flooding message boards with unwanted messages (Simpson, 2002). This first happened around 1993 when the first giant spam was made by a Clarence Thomas. This spam contained a religious theme stating that our sins were to blame for the destruction in the world. This caused widespread controversy. Although Clarence caused the first giant spam, the most famous spam was caused by two lawyers called Canter and Siegel. In this instance, they flooded the message boards with spam offering the chance for people to take part in a Green Card Lottery. This spam also received a lot of complaints but went on to make the two men quite famous. When e-mail became widely used among home users, spammers saw this as the perfect way to advertise products and services. The vast quantities of modern spams offer get rich quick schemes, adult Websites or the perfect body in days. Some also contain viruses and worms hoping to break into a system. Some estimates claim that over 50% of all e-mail is spam (Littauer, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Translation Memory (TM): A specialized computer application which allows the translator to store translations in a database and recycle them in a new translation by automatically retrieving matched segments (usually sentences). The TM database consists of source text and target text segment pairs. After dividing a new ST into segments, the system compares each successive ST segment against the ST segments stored in the translation database. TM is often combined with a terminology management component to allow the consistent use of terminology.

Telework: Use of computers and telecommunications to enable people to work remotely away from the office. The substitution of telecommunications for transportation.

Computer-Aided Translation (CAT): A translation modus operandi in which human translation (HT) is aided by computer applications.

Virtual Reality (VR): A technology which provides an interactive interface between human and computer that involves using multiple senses, typically sound, vision, and touch in the computer-generated environment.

Machine Translation (MT): A computer program to translate text written in one natural language into another.

Wiki: A Hawaiian word meaning “quick” used to refer to a collaborative authoring application developed on the Web, using a simple markup language.

Interpretation, Interpreting: The process involved in converting the source speech in one natural language into the target speech in another language.

Translation, Translating: The process involved in converting the source text written in one natural language into the target text in another language.

Localization: The process of adapting a product or service to a particular language, culture and desired local ”look and feel”.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset