Looking at David Piscitelloâ€™s Blog Â the other day, I saw that in addition to all the various SPxxx words we use, he has coined the term SPOG for SPAM on Online Games.Â Like all these low-cost ways of getting messages to would-be buyers, SPOG will curse gamers as SPAM now curses all email users.Â Perhaps we could also add SPOM to the list (SPAM over Myspace), for a new way to SPAM the teenage market.
In the world of junk-mail a 1% return would be considered exceptionally successful, and the economics of mass-mailing with poor targeting works on this basis of poor returns. Â I think it was Bruce Schneier that said that SPAM is basically an economic problem, because the costs of mass-emailing are so low that the low success rate is not a problem, and actually if one person in 100,000 turns into a sales prospect, then SPAM has become a legitimate marketing tool. Â So as frustrating as most of us find it, those few who say â€œyesâ€ will mean that we continue to receive an unending flow of material about drugs and loans.
SPIT is not a really problem in the wild today. Â This is partly because VoIP largely exists in islands Â today, and not in a fully interconnected network.Â Itâ€™s also partly because would-be SPITters have not yet come across the technology. Â As with SPAM, this will be attractive to some, because it will be possible automate calling, and because the technical barriers are low, and the cost per call negligible, it will be economical to make thousands of calls per day. Â And if a small percentage of those calls actually succeed in closing some sales, then once again it has become a legitimate marketing technique.
SPIT was discussed quite a bit at the recent VoIP Security Workshop, and it seems researchers have already created an impressive array and anti-SPIT techniques, although with the caveat that they have no actual real-world SPIT data to test their techniques against. Â Some of these techniques are economic and some are technical, but we can well imagine combinations of these techniques giving us very high anti-SPIT coverage in the future. Â For the remaining few calls that get through, please letâ€™s all hang up on them, and for goodness sake donâ€™t buy anything.