Spam is unsolicited, unwanted e-mail sent by someone with whom the recipient has no personal or business relationship.
WHAT DAMAGE DOES IT CAUSE ?
The vast majority of email security systems in production today scan only for the content of the messages, relying on techniques such as keyword scanning. This means they will accept the vast majority of malformed messages as legitimate.
Spam is forcing businesses to invest in additional bandwidth, storage space and CPU capacity just to collect, store and forward enormous quantities of unwanted email traffic.
The very high ratio of illegitimate messages to legitimate mail forces companies to invest more and more resources in building spam detection and filtering systems. For some businesses, the need to scan the content of a vast amount of email, just to find the relatively small proportion of real messages, creates serious bottlenecks within the IT infrastructure.
CURRENT MICROSOFT SPAM FILTERING TECHNOLOGY:
SmartScreen Technology is a machine-learning-based filtering technology. It uses a probability-based algorithm to essentially "learn" what is and what isn't spam based on characteristics of both types of mail. The source material for educating SmartScreen Technology has come from hundreds of thousands of e-mail users who contribute to Microsoft's feedback loop program. Gates called SmartScreen Technology a major advance in the battle to help secure consumers' inboxes and return greater productivity to people's e-mail experience.
HOW DOES THE SmartScreen TECHNOLOGY WORK?
As new e-mail messages arrive at a Microsoft e-mail server or client machine running SmartScreen Technology, the filter analyzes it for the weighted characteristics and generates an overall probability that the message could be spam. If the message hits a specific threshold of probability, it gets marked either for deletion or placement in the user's junk e-mail folder. The key advantage of SmartScreen Technology is that it is always adapting and learning more about what is and isn't spam. It learns the latest characteristics that distinguish spam from good mail based on data that the filtering technology collects over time, both from the e-mails that individual users deem as spam and the data collected centrally through Microsoft's feedback loop program. SmartScreen Technology already searches for more than 500,000 characteristics of spam that are based on feedback from e-mail users, which enables the filter to be highly effective. And Microsoft will also issue periodic updates to the filtering technology to augment the machine learning process.
SOURCES: Microsoft , Computer Crime Research Center