Technologies involved in countering e-mail spam (recommendation no x.1240)

Principles and Recommendations

Recommendation ITU-T X.1240 – ‘Technologies involved in countering e-mail spam’, looks into one specific type of spam – that transmitted via e-mail – provides an introduction into the concept and characteristics of spam, and underlines the fact that spam is increasingly used to support fraudulent and criminal activities across national borders, and that countering spam requires international coordination and cooperation. Approaches to countering e-mail spam are also briefly presented in the document, and they include: regulation, technology, industrial action, international cooperation, and education. The recommendation then presents several types of anti-spam technologies, such as blacklists and whitelists, filtering, greylisting, the use of tokens and passwords, silent rejection, etc.  In addition, the document provides an overview of solutions and activities developed and undertaken by various organisations (such as the ITU, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the London Action Plan, etc.) in combating e-mail spam.

As it is the case with ITU-T recommendations, Recommendation ITU-T X.1240 does not have a mandatory status for ITU member states or any national or international body, and compliance with its provisions is not mandatory. However, the guidelines and information it provides can serve as a valuable reference for those who want to develop and implement technical solutions on countering e-mail spam.