Mobile Broadband adoption is experiencing rapid growth. In 2009, worldwide subscriber counts exceeded 250 million users with nearly 100 million users concentrated in Asia alone–by far the fastest growing region in terms of subscribers. This represents more than a 93% increase from a year earlier, with an even faster adoption trajectory expected in 2010 and beyond.
In regions where terrestrial infrastructure is not readily available due to high infrastructure costs, an in- creased number of operators are launching mobile broadband services. With improved radio access technologies, increased bandwidth availability, lower cost of service, and greater consumer dependence on the Internet, mobile broadband is experiencing rapid adoption in these developing areas. This growth is being further reinforced by several government subsidies, reducing the initial cost burden on the operator.
Mobile Broadband providers face the following challenges with messaging threats:
Cloudmark’s unique solution offers preventative layers of protection to address outbound spam and threats. With its combination of best-in-class content and message filters, and its intelligent throttles and protocol filters, Cloudmark minimizes the risk of loss and network burden to mobile operators while maximizing profits (i.e. volume-based billing for spammers).
Outbound spam problems on broadband networks are the result of a key trend in messaging abuse - the convergence of spam and viruses to create “zombie hosts.” Spammers create viruses that silently infect these hosts creating a masked channel for messaging abuse. When these infected hosts connect to mobile broadband, their accounts are leveraged to send massive spam attacks that appear to come from the operator’s IP-space. See Figure 1. This results in global RBLs detecting and blocking the source of spam identified as the operator, causing a significant negative impact on an operators’ reputation, and increases operational and customer support costs.
User impact varies depending upon the chosen network architecture:
Outbound messaging abuse is best fought at the broadband network edge for maximum visibility as packets leave the network. Cloudmark’s outbound messaging security is deployed in several modes (in-line or policy-based redirect) and runs in a standalone, low-latency and high-performance platform deployed in-between the mobile edge router (i.e. GGSN, PDSN, ASN GW, BRAS) and the Internet gateway. There are two primary components in Cloudmark’s outbound messaging security solution:
A comprehensive, carrier-class, messaging security solution delivers:
Cloudmark’s solution for mobile broadband is a network-layer solution that leverages a carrier grade content filtering solution with full protocol transparency for SMTP, to effectively filter outbound email with no impact to the end-user. With the Cloudmark solution, the reputation of operator IP addresses are protected, ensuring continuous service to their customers.
With Cloudmark’s carrier-grade messaging security solution for broadband networks, all emails go through an SMTP protocol transparency layer and are scanned by Cloudmark Authority, with over 99% filtering accuracy. Cloudmark Authority delivers the industry’s most effective and highest performing anti-spam, anti-phishing and anti-virus protection. Because the solution is fully transparent, the end user does not see a header indicating mail was scanned. Mobile operators who deploy Cloudmark’s solutions for broadband will not experience a relay, or extra ‘hop’ within their network.
Cloudmark’s solution for broadband integrates in transparent mode into the SMTP message stream to filter outbound email. Cloudmark prevents mobile broadband users, who may be infected by botnets, from sending spam to other service providers.
We described the architecture and operation of the Cloudmark Global Threat Network service and illustrated the emergent properties of the reputation system underlying the classifier. We also presented a framework for evaluating the efficacy of spam fingerprinting algorithms.
Finally, we also contrasted the GTN approach with other popular methods for classifying spam. The actual architecture and algorithms currently used in the Global Threat Network service are quite complex. The descriptions above have been simplified to highlight the central themes. We hope that we have conveyed the importance of reputation-based methods in the fight against spam.
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