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Home : ITU-D : ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division : Cybersecurity

Countering Spam and Related Threats

Spamming is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages, which are generally undesired. While the most widely recognized form of spam is email spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, mobile phone messaging spam, internet forum spam and junk fax transmissions. Spamming is economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of mailing lists, and it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings. Because the barrier to entry is so low, spammers are numerous, and the volume of unsolicited mail has become very high and represents almost 90 per cent of all email.

The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. Spam is particularly problematic for developing countries who have thin pipe connectivity to the Internet backbone which becomes clogged with unwanted traffic. Spam is also the primary attack vector for delivery of viruses and forms of malware. Links to some of ITU's spam related activities and resources can be found below.

Other Projects

Anti Spam Video

Botnet Movie

i-Safe, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and their OnGuard Online Web site educates and empowers youth to be safe and responsible cyber citizens. More information on their Spam Site.




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Updated : 2011-01-21