Posts Tagged ‘spamonomics’

Post #4 on Why Spam Filters Suck “trickle blog” series

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2008
Posted by d.liao.

“Spamonomics”: The Economics of Spamming Spammers earn billions of dollars annually. The business is efficient, hierarchical, and organized. In much the same way that the global trade in narcotics involves every conceivable method of smuggling (from submarines to drug mules), the spam trade employs software engineers to develop increasingly sophisticated delivery technologies. Just as the drug trade will continue until the end of humanity, so too will the illegal delivery of spam. To understand how spamming has become such an intractable problem, it serves to analyze the economics that drive spamming. Spammers make money if one in every 30,000 recipients makes a purchase. And given this response rate, a spammer advertising pharmaceutical products can expect to make roughly $5,000 per million email messages sent. Finding out what it costs to send spam is not difficult: Botnet operators advertise their spamming services via online forums. One forum mentioned a price of […]

Post #3 on Why Spam Filters Suck “trickle blog” series

Posted: Monday, April 07, 2008
Posted by d.liao.

Once Promising Proposals for a Final Ultimate Solution to the Spam Problem (FUSSP) “Two years from now, spam will be solved.” That was Bill Gates’ famous pronouncement back in 2004. Microsoft, Yahoo and the open source community devised two techniques that they believed would eradicate spam. The first was sender authentication, which allowed email senders to provide a list of the servers permitted to send email for users within their domain. The idea was that sender authentication would eliminate spammers spoofing legitimate email addresses, and allow for the creation of a permanent, ironclad white list of trustworthy domains that never send spam, thus allowing recipients to simply block everything not on the white list and end spam forever. Another idea pitched in 2004 was the computational challenge. Senders would, upon connecting to a receiving email server, have to spend considerable CPU cycles computing the answer to a mathematical challenge provided […]