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January 2004

Spammers drive organizations to block Internet traffic to stop attacks

At the rate we're going, it won't be long. Patience is waning quickly, anger is building, and, when that process reaches a critical point, we may just see one of the greatest steps backward in the last few decades: The doors of the Internet will start slamming shut. I'm talking about the simple refusal to accept traffic. Suppose you're running an ISP -- a big one -- and you're bombarded daily with DDoS traffic, spam of all kinds and perpetual poking into your networks with hacking tools. And, suppose you can identify some of the major sources of all this spew coming your way. What can you do? You've tried filters. You've tried jawboning the source ISPs. You've tried the law. And you've tried setting policy for your users. The net effect? The load and its ugly contents just keeps getting bigger. Your patience wears thin, and eventually you just slam the door. You block Internet traffic simply by its identifiable source. An unheard of idea? Think again. We already do it with email. You have two basic options: You look in the ...

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