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Thread: Spam economy

  1. #1
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    Spam economy

    Just did a little testing of mine on my two non-spam-filtered mailboxes, that I filter locally instead:
    - 23% are below a kilobyte in content size (not including headers).
    - 49% doesn't contain any English words from the about 48 000 words large dictionary file I searched.
    - 81% doesn't contain any url whatsoever.
    - Only 43% of the urls found actually points to anything.
    - A surprisingly low portion uses multipart or HTML emails, just 52%.
    (Mails containing attachments were not included in the breakdown.)


    Now tell me how that fits together with the notion that these spammers must have a profit from some stupid people that actually buy their colour printer cartridges, septic tanks, insurances, Viagra, Valium, Xanax, Prozac or Ambien...
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  • #2
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    is it not that they make profit by trading your email addresses?

    scroots
    Spammers next time you spam me consider the implications:
    (1) that you will be persuaded by me(in a legitimate mannor)
    (2)It is worthless to you, when i have finished

  • #3
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    Decode your spam

    I did this recently as a favor for a friend's company - all their computers were spam clogged. None of the 'software' was fixing this. It's been a long time, but with some backward engineering and tracing - the money is made this way:
    Every email, every unsecure .pl, php, .asp form, every cookie that scripts in with your email to your **addressbook, picks up information. Filling out a form on an unsecure server runs your -email- through confirmation fields, those unsecure files are doubly read by companies that secure your email in affiliation with a 'product' or service - (including ip routes, which allow cookies to reach you that read your email).
    So now, 1 company, monitoring 100 sites, with 1 form each, 1000 people filling it out every month (or leaving their ip numbers, dns and the rest behind to be cookied and traced)- 100,000 new emails. Each one logged into a specific product desire, sometimes not (viagra, thbbbbt)-
    Each time a popup appears on those 100,000 sites, based on marketing statistics, there is a 50% chance of return: 50,000, then there is only a 50% chance that those people are interested or it's non-accidental:25,000, then out of those interested only 20% will actually take an interest: 5000, and out of that, 50% will buy, order and so on: 2500 potential buyers - but wait! There's more:
    For every unscrupulous a$$ who provides our emails to subscribers, their clientele get:
    2500 potential actual buyers
    50,000 people seeing their product initially (popup)
    25,000 people who go to the site to see other advertisements (at about .25 cents each=$6250 free money per month for only 1 add)
    2500 remaining potential buyers that with enough repeat spam,popup, will give in and eventually buy.

    It is-needless to say, VERY lucrative. For $500 per month, I have the ability with only ONE subscriber service to make $6250 in money from advertisements on my website - or better stated, for being a jerk, sitting on my rear and infesting peoples' computers. -- needless to say, VERY lucrative.

    Want your conspiracy theory now? Microsoft says they will stop spamming by charging 1 cent per email. For spammers, 100,000 emails is $1000, add that to my $500 basic fee, and I am still looking great financially. However, at more than 10 million emails per month (on average), Microsoft stands to make: $100,000 per month - and for what: DOING NOTHING but being the first ones to market it. Will it stop spam? Sure, sure it will. Microsoft is going to go out of their way to stop ecommerce and end the platform on which their entire operating system is based. -
    Just a fun (yet scary) thought!!

  • #4
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    Oh man..

    So we're gonna get spammed no matter what and M$ is gonna get richer.

    Spam filters are like cover-up on zits, they just hide the underlying problem. I used to get lots of junk mail (snail mail in the post...) and that's died down now. Is it because it costs too much money (since everything's on paper..)? Or is there another reason?

    I don't use Outlook and I get spammed like crazy! I think what happened was the emails I would receive had a link at the bottom to remove my email address. Well, in fact it was a confirmation to the spammer that my email address was valid and that somebody checks email here, so let's add it to the list and sell it off!

    I'm wondering how M$ is going to regulate the fee of sending spam mail.

    I wonder if it's possible to somehow take legal action against spammers. Or are they not breaking any laws? How do you regulate something like this anyway?

    PS. Does anyone know of any good, free spam filters? We're using MS Exchange Server right now, but I think we're going to switch to a Linux based mail server. So I should also ask if anyone knows of any good free mail servers.

    Thanks,
    Sadiq.

  • #5
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    Spam Bayes seems to work really well: http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/
    Check out the Forum Search. It's the short path to getting great results from this forum.

  • #6
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    Thanks Roy,

    Their webpage makes it sound pretty good.. I'm just concerned to put it on our system as it's still in beta testing and I took a look at the bugs page and it looks like there's a few things, well, buggy with it!

    I'll keep it in mind for the future if it ever gets out of beta testing since it sounds like it has lots of potential.

    Any others I should keep in mind?

    Thanks,
    Sadiq.

  • #7
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    Have you tried ...

    Norton anti-virus / spam software? Personally, I won't use Norton on my personal computer because I visit a lot of sites as an occassional webbuilder, and more often than not, those *unwanted* sites keep coming up, cause Norton to activate and screw up my computer. So I stick with ZoneLabs for at home email control. It can be a pain, but it's worth it.
    Back to Norton, at one of the companies I help do Network Maintenance for, their boss wanted Norton hands down, so that's what we installed, including anti spam email filters. And, for the most part, it does a fairly decent job. Some people I have heard of have used enough blockers to stop spam entirely, but as for me, I don't have enough memory for all of that crud.
    Also think about a few of the anti-spybot programs. None are perfect, but they have sure helped. So far, I operate regmedic, regcrawler, Xoft Spyware remover and Zone Labs. I have gone from about 180 spam mails a day down to 10, and see unwanted popups only on rare instances (funny enough, they all seem to be related to msn?).
    I'd love to hear from someone who has stopped the email spams entirely and what process they used.
    -the daemon

  • #8
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    It may have a lot of bugs but I haven't had much trouble with it, I'm using it now both at work and at home and after a few weeks "training" it's getting really, really good at seperating spam from genuine mail.
    Check out the Forum Search. It's the short path to getting great results from this forum.

  • #9
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    awesome!

    If it's your comfort zone and already there, just take full advantage of it. Norton has some good downloads on line (as does symantec and Microsoft for dealing with software that is helping to hack your email). Try Xoft's online download for free at www.paretologic.com, it will show you where there are registry entries and cookies that are related to spam type info: I am not proclaiming them as the best, just one piece of software I've used and installed for a client that has helped some. I've attached a picture to give you an idea of some of the garbage that hits my computer. I have to keep my firewall on minimal settings for some of the webwork I do, so a lot gets through, but I deal with it. You don't have to subscribe to Xoft, I don't know much about them or have an validation for them, but it might give you an idea of what types of cookies/registry settings are bogging down your computers.
    So - stay with your software, maybe throw on a firewall, if you like Norton, they have one too, and Good luck!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Spam economy-samplethreats.gif  

  • #10
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    Odd. Once I switched from IE to Firefox (then Firebird), I stopped getting spyware.
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  • #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDP2006
    Odd. Once I switched from IE to Firefox (then Firebird), I stopped getting spyware.
    I used (mostly past tense) IE for years an never had a spyware problem, but I also didn't download and run programs from the web left and right either.

    IE alone isn't the problem, it's users running every little thing they find without bothering to check the details. Why do you think the current crop of email viruses have been so widespread? It's because users will blindly click right through all the warnings in their mad rush to get to whatever content they found in their mailbox simply because it sounded interesting.
    Check out the Forum Search. It's the short path to getting great results from this forum.


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