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Yahoo tries harder to screen out spam

Through deals with Abaca and Return Path, Yahoo hopes to screen out spam better. It already uses thousands of PCs to identify spammers.

Yahoo anti-spam czar Mark Risher
Yahoo anti-spam czar Mark Risher Yahoo

Yahoo has signed a deal with start-up Abaca to help curtail spam on Yahoo Mail and has begun using Return Path technology to let companies know when and why their legitimate e-mail is being blocked.

Mark Risher, Yahoo's "anti-spam czar," described the move on the Yahoo Mail blog on Tuesday. He also described other efforts to cut down on spam:

One way we're turning up the heat on the spammers is by utilizing even more state-of-the-art technology. Recently, Yahoo's anti-spam team has been using a "supercomputer" consisting of thousands of individual PCs--part of our open source Hadoop project--to help detect spammers. We're teamed up with several top universities on this research, looking for more ways to find and block the bad guys even faster, before they can do their damage.

Risher also exhorted Yahoo Mail users to use the "Spam" and "Not Spam" buttons on Yahoo Mail to help Yahoo correct errors when spam isn't filtered out or legitimate e-mail is. "Clicking those buttons sends an immediate and powerful signal to our systems (and to me :) so that we can quickly try to correct the problem," he said.