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How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!

 
Gazing @ Orion
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05/27/2011 01:51 PM
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How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
For years, a team of computer scientists at two University of California campuses has been looking deeply into the nature of spam, the billions of unwanted e-mail messages generated by networks of zombie computers controlled by the rogue programs called botnets. They even coined a term, “spamalytics,” to describe their work.

Now they have concluded an experiment that is not for the faint of heart: for three months they set out to receive all the spam they could (no quarantines or filters need apply), then systematically made purchases from the Web sites advertised in the messages.

The hope, the scientists said, was to find a “choke point” that could greatly reduce the flow of spam. And in a paper to be presented on Tuesday at the annual IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in Oakland, Calif., they will report that they think they have found it.

It turned out that 95 percent of the credit card transactions for the spam-advertised drugs and herbal remedies they bought were handled by just three financial companies — one based in Azerbaijan, one in Denmark and one in Nevis, in the West Indies.

The researchers looked at nearly a billion messages and spent several thousand dollars on about 120 purchases. No single purchase was more than $277.

If a handful of companies like these refused to authorize online credit card payments to the merchants, “you’d cut off the money that supports the entire spam enterprise,” said one of the scientists, Stefan Savage of the University of California, San Diego, who worked with colleagues at San Diego and Berkeley and at the International Computer Science Institute.

Visa, the largest credit card company, declined to comment. But Steve Kirsch, chief executive of Abaca Technology, an antispam company based in San Jose, Calif., said the findings held the potential for “a very powerful deterrent” to spammers.

“If the credit card companies wanted to shut down the spammers, we can easily aid them in rapidly and unambiguously identifying the merchant accounts used by spammers,” he said.

Spam has proved notoriously difficult to defeat over the years, despite sophisticated filtering technologies and legal investigations and convictions. Seven years after the famous prediction by Bill Gates, then chairman of Microsoft, that spam would be eradicated in just two years, about 90 percent of all e-mail is spam.

An earlier study undertaken by the scientists showed that a single commercial spam e-mail campaign generated three messages for every person on the planet. That same study revealed that to sell $100 worth of Viagra, a spam provider needed to send 12.5 million messages.


[link to www.nytimes.com]
Alex A Madison

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08/23/2011 11:34 AM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
Should we be putting resources into defeating what is essentially an annoyance?

Wouldn't we be better served by learning to deal with that kind of thing for ourselves as individuals?

I do it and hardly even notice spam any more.
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Anonymous Coward
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08/25/2011 09:09 AM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
Maybe we can use spam to locate Khadafi.
Anonymous Coward
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09/07/2011 11:50 AM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
Should we be putting resources into defeating what is essentially an annoyance?

Wouldn't we be better served by learning to deal with that kind of thing for ourselves as individuals?

I do it and hardly even notice spam any more.
 Quoting: Alex A Madison



Ah the old "well just delete it" argument. It's fine on the individual level, where one can either filter or delete spam, but that does not really solve the problem on the network and server levels. Sure, it keeps the spam out of your inbox but the real damage is the bandwidth, server resources and businesses that get harmed due to blacklisting. (i.e. when some scumbag hacks their mail server to pump a bunch of spam through it that appears to originate from their company due to the IP address.)

I know, I used to be a spammer in the early 2000s (and I'll tell you that porn was a lot more lucrative than Viagara-- when I hit say three million addreses a day we'd be looking at $500-$1000 in revenue.) I sure wish I'd spent that cash on gold back then, rather than pissing it all away on coke,hookers and an expensive rented condo though. Easy come, easy gone.)
Anonymous Coward
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10/01/2011 09:38 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
I get tons of that shit in my junk mail folder. Who in the Hell would buy that crap????
EarthAngel2012

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10/01/2011 09:40 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
I get tons of that shit in my junk mail folder. Who in the Hell would buy that crap????
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2466571


i absolutely agree.. that's why you have these old men dropping dead in bed..
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 2466571
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10/01/2011 09:51 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
I get tons of that shit in my junk mail folder. Who in the Hell would buy that crap????
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2466571


i absolutely agree.. that's why you have these old men dropping dead in bed..
 Quoting: EarthAngel2012
LOL
Anonymous Coward
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12/09/2011 09:20 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
there is something more to the whole spam mail thing..... something sinister.....
Anonymous Coward
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12/09/2011 09:28 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
Wait until RP is president.
Anonymous Coward
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04/01/2012 11:52 AM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
I think Montaigne is the only one who really knew what he was talking about.
Project_Deimos

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04/01/2012 11:59 AM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
It turned out that 95 percent of the credit card transactions for the spam-advertised drugs and herbal remedies they bought were handled by just three financial companies — one based in Azerbaijan, one in Denmark and one in Nevis, in the West Indies.

[link to www.nytimes.com]
 Quoting: Gazing @ Orion


That's an absolutely stunning find. My theory has always been that spam/virus is supported by the companies that pledge to protect us against said threats. You'd think the banks would be fighting it given how many cases of fraud they'd need to deal with. I guess the revenue stream is just that good.
"There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."
Anonymous Coward
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06/17/2012 05:32 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
5a
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 11:41 AM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
spam is shit
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 06:35 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
I wonder if the spammers had real employment opportunities they'd stop?
Anonymous Coward
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11/11/2012 04:06 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
interesting
Anonymous Coward
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11/11/2012 04:11 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
AND...the idiot who buys it will take two...and if they aren't fake...will then jack off to porn.


laugh
Anonymous Coward
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11/11/2012 04:20 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
So if you spammed every man, woman, child, baby, and illegal alien in the USA, you would generate less than $2700 in sales.

That's about as successful as walking into a women's prison with a fist full of pardons and not getting laid.

...maybe getting one half of a blow job...from one of the prison chaplains.
Anonymous Coward
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02/04/2013 05:16 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
tata
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2013 11:59 AM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
I used to read all that shit on geocities. I really miss those old pages when everybody and his mother had a webpage.


Things have changed. Now everybody and his mother has a cell phone.
Anonymous Coward
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10/31/2013 03:27 PM
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Re: How Many Spam Mails Does It Take to Sell $100 of Viagra? 12.5 Million !!
hf

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