RealTime IT News

AT&T WorldNet Takes on Spammers with Brightmail

AT&T WorldNet is attempting to stem the flow of unsolicited bulk e-mail or "spam" sent to its subscribers through Brightmail Inc. anti-spam technology.

AT&T (T) Tuesday released its free anti-spam e-mail screening programming, dubbed AT&T E-Mail Screener, to filter out spam reaching members' mailboxes.

Beta tests completed by 350 AT&T WorldNet subscribers reported unsolictied e-mails were reduced by as much as 80 percent.

Ed Plaskon, AT&T WorldNet Service product director, said the move against spam increases subscriber satisfaction and decreases technical support costs.

"We're delighted with the initial results from our beta club members," Plaskon said. "Now it's time for all our members to experience the benefits."

Plaskon said that spam is an industry-wide problem plaguing Internet service providers nationwide.

"Concern over spam, and how to control it, is also being examined by regulators and law enforcement officials," Plaskon said.

AT&T recently assisted the Los Angeles district attorney's office in its efforts to bring charges against four spammers arrested for using unsolicited e-mail to defraud consumers.

H. Gordon Diamond, AT&T spokesperon, said on an average day approximately 5 to 10 million messages travel over the WorldNet Services network. AT&T estimates that between 5 and 15 percent of its e-mail traffic could be considered "unsolicited."

Brightmail estimates that ISPs spend $7 million annually each year per 1 million users in the fight against spam. AT&T WorldNet supports Internet access for more than 1.8 million subscribers making the move to ban spam a $14 million venture for the national ISP.

AT&T's anti-spam service relies on Brightmail's network of more than 35 million e-mail addresses that work to detect newly launched spam attacks and deliver it for real-time analysis to its logistics center.

Anti-spam specialists at the Brightmail facilities evaluate spam notices an issue updated rules that sideline the spam from reaching AT&T WorldNet subscribers.