94 percent of spam-advertised online scams are hosted on individual Web servers
Millions of us get our mailboxes hit with spam messages everyday. Many of us even succumb to the fraudulent charms of these mails or adverts only to burn our fingers! But fret not, there seems to be a ray of hope; “Computer scientists from UC San Diego have found striking differences between the infrastructure used to distribute spam and the infrastructure used to host the online scams advertised in these unwanted email messages.” This discovery will probably help in curbing spam volume and shut down illegal online businesses and mailware sites. According to the findings of the computer scientists from the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering (based on analysis of over one million spam emails), 94% of the scams advertised via embedded links are hosted on individual Web servers. This research will be presented at the USENIX Security 2007 conference in Boston on August 09, 2007.
This is what the scientists did to help uncover their findings, its called the “spamscatter” approach:
“Using new Internet monitoring approaches developed at UCSD, the computer scientists studied a spam feed over the course of a week. They analyzed spam-advertised Web servers hosting online scams that either offer merchandise and services ( e.g., pharmaceuticals, luxury watches, mortgages) or use malicious means to defraud users (e.g., phishing, spyware, rootkits). The researchers followed the URLs embedded in spam back to the hosting servers, probed the servers and analyzed the Web pages advertised in the spam.”
“A given spam campaign may use thousands of mail relay agents to deliver its millions of messages, but only use a single server to handle requests from recipients who respond. A single takedown of a scam server or a spammer redirect can curtail the earning potential of an entire spam campaign,” write the UCSD computer scientists in their paper accepted for publication at USENIX Security 2007 conference.
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