SpamCloud

Free the world from spam!

SpamCloud

Free the world from spam!

SpamCloud

Free the world from spam!

SpamCloud

Free the world from spam!

SpamCloud FAQ


The following questions are the most commonly asked ones about SpamCloud. You'll find more detailed answers to some of them in other parts of the site but the information here should give you a pretty good overview of who we are and what we're doing.


  1. What is SpamCloud?
  2. Who is BrightCloud?
  3. How does SpamCloud work?
  4. How can I help?
  5. What is an MX record?
  6. How do I go about donating an MX record?
  7. What will this cost me?
  8. What about my privacy?
  9. Will I end up receiving more spam if I help?
  10. What's in it for me?


1.
What is SpamCloud? top
SpamCloud is a research project sponsored by BrightCloud, Inc. to collect and analyze email in order to better be able to identify and eliminate spam before it reaches your inbox, to prevent spam-based URLs from being accessed if they do reach your inbox, and to provide better support for companies offering network protection tools.

2.
Who is BrightCloud? top
Based in San Diego, CA, BrightCloud, Inc. provides security vendors with hosted security services that extend the value propositions of web filtering across the internet's Long Tail (the 450 million Websites visited by enterprise customers), which includes the most popular sites as well as those sites less frequently visited. Target customers include enterprise security vendors in the security appliance, enterprise security application, end point security, enterprise security application, wireless and xSP spaces. BrightCloud uses the latest in machine learning algorithms, as well as human classification, to build the largest and most accurate URL database available. By integrating the BrightCloud services, OEMs can provide their end customers with a richer, multi-layered security solution.

BrightCloud is sponsoring SpamCloud as a research project with the goal of being able to extend and enrich our existing services with a more complete view of security concerns. We will also be making the results of the project available to the general security community.

3.
How does SpamCloud work? top
SpamCloud works by collecting emails (primarily spam) from a variety of sources and running them through a proprietary analysis process. The resulting data is then used to recognize and classify email messages in real-time in such a way that the results can be used to contribute to a variety of internet security projects, including global anti-spam efforts.

4.
How can I help? top
We need unused email accounts from a variety of domains so that spammers can't tell that they're being used by SpamCloud and pull the domains from their lists. If you own your own domain(s), you can help by donating an MX record (or two). We're also interested in existing accounts that are overrun with spam (the more so the better) and no longer usable as a result, as well as the output of existing spam filters. (Donated/redirected accounts do not have to be pure spam.)

5.
What is an MX record? top
An MX record (the MX stands for Mail eXchanger) is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) that specifies where email should be delivered. MX records indicate which servers to deliver an email to according to priority. So, for example, you can specify that any mail sent to name@yourdomain.com should go to the server at mail.maildomain.com first or mail2.maildomain.com if mail.maildomain.com is unavailable. You can also specify that mail sent to name@prefix.yourdomain.com should got to a different server.

6.
How do I go about donating an MX record? top
In order to donate an MX record you need to be able to modify the DNS records for your domain. (If you don't already know how to do this you should check with your domain host...it's not a difficult process.) All you have to do is add a new MX record that points to our mail server. For more details please contact us using the Contact tab above.

7.
What will this cost me? top
A few minutes of your time!

8.
What about my privacy? top
If you're donating an MX record then once we confirm your record is properly configured your contact information will be deleted from our system. If you choose to stop participating in the project for any reason you can simply delete the record from your DNS. If you're redirecting spam to us then the recipient(s) of the emails along with any other identifying information will be stripped out before we process the contents.

9.
Will I end up receiving more spam if I help? top
No. If you're donating an MX record it will be used only for SpamCloud so it isn't tied to your domain's regular email at all. (If you're still concerned you can always donate a record from an unused domain.) If you're redirecting spam there is nothing we are doing that could trace it back to your account.

10.
What's in it for me? top
Well, if you're redirecting a (sub)domain or email address that is currently deluged with spam then you won't have to deal with it anymore! If you're donating an unused MX record then there's the personal satisfaction of knowing that you're contributing to the global anti-spam efforts (among other things). And, if all goes well, you'll see a reduction in the amount of spam in your inbox as the results of SpamCloud are integrated into various anti-spam systems (and hopefully as less people are able to access spam-based URLs). We also plan on offering personalized statistics so you can track various details of the spam you're donating, and if the volume of spam you're donating is high enough we will provide limited free access to BrightCloud, Inc.'s existing services.