encrypted spam (was Re: gnupg encrypted mail and malware/spam)

David Shaw dshaw@jabberwocky.com
Sat May 10 23:12:02 2003

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Disposition: inline
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Sat, May 10, 2003 at 08:15:18PM +0200, Thomas Scheffczyk wrote:

> PPS: I hope the I don't awake sleeping dogs, but what would happen, if=20
> spammers would start to send encrypted messages? All countermeasures=20
> like spamassassin or even statistical token analysis wouldn'd stop this=
> kind of spam.

This is not something I'd worry about.  In fact, I think encryption
would put a serious dent into spam by making it less economical.  One
of the reasons that spam is such a problem is that it costs the
spammer about as much to send to 1,000 people as it does to send to
1,000,000.  The cost per message is not zero, but is incredibly low.

If you put encryption into the mix, the cost of encrypting to each
different user raises the cost per user and hurts the economics of the
equation.  This is similar to the "hashcash" idea, where a mail
contains a proof of work done to generate it.


Content-Type: application/pgp-signature
Content-Disposition: inline

Version: GnuPG v1.2.2 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: http://www.jabberwocky.com/david/keys.asc