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Okopipi furthers the Anti-spam revolution

A new anti-spam project called Okopipi, named after a poisonous frog, is being developed after the anti-spam project blue frog was bombed with a DoS attack by a peeved spammer. Okopipi is the initiative of six former Blue Security users, who are very dedicated to their cause and are all equipped to take on the spammers.

Blue Security was blackmailed out of business and closed down on May 3 2006. The company lost in the controversial melee against the spammers after a week long battle that led to an attack on its site which had to be taken offline. However, the company did manage to harvest as much as $ 3 million in seed funding from Benchmark Capital.

Okopipi fills in for the blue frog, but it is promising because of its unique modus operandi. It encompasses a lot of Blue Security's spam-fighting tactics; however there is one key aspect, which according to the creators is going to make all the difference. Okopipi takes on a decentralized approach that will work through a peer-to-peer network (P2P). The P2P is a network of thousands of machines, which will relay the e-mail requests to spammers' servers.

The system is not intended to serve as a spam filter, but is to be used in conjunction with one. It will automatically send opt-out requests to websites referenced in the spam messages. The Okopipi system will make sure that the user's addresses are cleansed out of the spammer's list, without revealing the user's email address.

The decentralized approach of Okopipi might result in many points of possible failures, making the users susceptible to spam crossfire. The project's do-not-spam registry can inundate the user's inboxes with email threats and excessive spam. To this end, Alex Eckleberry, CEO of Sunbelt Software, a Clearwater, Florida-based security company commented, "I respect the Okopipi group for the effort and time required to launch such a project, but I think it's an awful idea to have this registry."

The Okopipi might not be equipped well enough to take on the spam world as there are just hordes and hordes of them out there. However, if it can dig in for the long haul, it can sure manage a face-off against the spammers. The spammers might not fade away, but Okopipi will definitely burn them out, because of the huge costs they will have to incur to counter Okopipi.

"It's a question of who can outlast the other," states Eckleberry, "We know there are going to be attacks, but if they keep spamming us they are spending their resources in trying to take us out."

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