Snowshoe Spam is a growing problem.
Continued growth of snowshoe spam has prompted Spamhaus, a leader in the war on junk email, to craft a specific response to it. Earlier this month, the spamfighters rolled out a CSS component of the organization’s Spamhaus Block List.
The SBL is a database of IP addresses from which the organization recommends blocking email. Mail systems throughout the Internet can query the database in real time. It allows email administrators to identify, tag or block incoming messages from IP addresses blacklisted by the group as being connected to sending, hosting or originating unsolicited bulk email, better known as spam.
According to Spamhaus, CSS is an integral part of the SBL. It’s distinguished, however, by a different return code, 127.0.0.3. Users of the SBL need not do anything to activate the new CSS, other than to make sure that their existing spam filters can handle the additional return code.
Snowshoe Spam gets its name from the way it fans out its malicious behavior over the Web. Just as snowshoes spread the weight of a step on snow to minimize sinking and facilitate travel, snowshoe spammers spread their abhorrent activities across a multitude of IP addresses. By doing that, they can reduce their visibility on the Web and raise havoc with reputation metrics and evade detection by spam filters. The spammers know a percentage of their clutter will be diverted by anti-spam systems deployed by their targets, but by broadening the swath of their efforts, they can increase that percentage.