Spam, spam, spam…

No, this isn’t a rant about the vast amounts of unsolicited junk I receive on a daily basis, it’s about two research papers I have recently written on anti-spam tools.

Last week I learnt that a paper I had written based on the work of one of my part II project students had been accepted for publication in ACM Crossroads magazine. The topic was using a peer-to-peer network to distribute spam “fingerprints” to allow the detection of junk e-mail — like Vipul’s Razor but using a DHT for distributing the information, and a reputation system based on SECURE.

The editors made some very helpful comments that I think really helped to improve the final version which was good, and while producing the requested XHTML mark-up for submission was an absolute pain compared to LaTeX, it does mean I have a pretty good idea of how the online version will look. The next step is the dreaded copy-editing… It probably won’t be too bad as I know the quality of my writing isn’t great, but the last two articles I’ve been involved with have had quite subtle but serious changes made to them by copy-editors and you have to be very sharp to make sure they don’t change the meaning of something.

The second article I worked on last week was a collaboration with Jm from TCD on raising the level of trust in legacy plain-text e-mail addresses. The techniques we use are quite interesting, and I think fairly novel, although there is an awful lot of literature on spam out there at the moment so it’s hard to keep on top of it all. We submitted to the Privacy, Security and Trust conference in New Brunswick, Canada, so fingers crossed for that one.

Anyway, after all this, I’m quite bored of spam now! Alas, there’s a project deliverable deadline coming up and since the consortium have chosen spam as one of our key applications, I guess my respite will be short lived… 🙁