[ISN] Study shows how spammers cash in

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 04:02:01 -0600 (CST)

BBC News
10 November 2008

Spammers are turning a profit despite only getting one response for 
every 12.5m e-mails they send, finds a study.

By hijacking a working spam network, US researchers have uncovered some 
of the economics of being a junk mailer.

The analysis suggests that such a tiny response rate means a big spam 
operation can turn over millions of pounds in profit every year.

It also suggests that spammers may be susceptible to attacks that make 
it more costly to send junk mail.

Slim pickings

The spam study was carried out in early 2008 by computer scientists from 
University of California, Berkeley and UC, San Diego (UCSD).

For their month-long study the seven-strong team of computer scientists 
infiltrated the Storm network that uses hijacked home computers as 
relays for junk mail.

At its height Storm was believed to have more than one million machines 
under its control.

The team, led by Assistant Professor Stefan Savage from UCSD, took over 
a chunk of the Storm network to make it easier to run their study.

"The best way to measure spam is to be a spammer," wrote the researchers 
in a paper describing their work.


Visit the InfoSec News Security Bookstore
Best Selling Security Books and More!
Received on Tue Nov 11 2008 - 02:02:01 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Tue Nov 11 2008 - 02:08:39 PST