Thursday, 04 November 2010 06:32

Refining the Spamming Process For More Hits

Written by  Ryan Smith

Remember the vignette performed by Monty Python’s Flying Circus in which two diners float down into a dive filled with Vikings for a breakfast that doesn’t have much SPAM® in it? Back in the 1970’s, the word “spam” had a much different meaning than it does today

Mention SPAM or junk mail to a business person today and the person cringes. Unsolicited Commercial (or Bulk) E-mail (UCE) has grown to become the daily scourge. Not only do corporations spend tons on resources to prevent it, they also spend billions as a result of it.

SPAM, a word initially conjured up to mean “Shoulder of Pork and Ham” was introduced in 1937 after Hormel created a naming contest to improve the sliding sales for their Spiced Ham. The luncheon meat soon garnered fame and rose back as a staple for consumers after World War II. See http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(food) for more info on this type of SPAM.

Now, e-mail inboxes can often be compared to the MPFC vignette because they have “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, egg, sausage, bacon, and SPAM. It doesn’t have MUCH SPAM in it!” Knowing that it exists and that there are methods by which it may be curtailed is a good start.

SPAM Trends

According to CommTouch (www.commtouch.com), a messaging and web security technology company, in the First Quarter 2010, Spam levels averaged 83% of ALL E-MAIL TRAFFIC. The range was 75% to 92%—assuming that worldwide e-mail traffic was around 220 billion messages per day, this would equate to around 183 billion spam message per day!

Spoofing (entering a fake “FROM” address) is one of the most common methods used. By disguising the source of the message from the recipient, some of the spam filtering software may be fooled into allowing bogus messages to reach the legitimate mailbox, thus delivering either an advertisement or a timebomb to the addressee. The most popular spoofing addresses used by spammers include: ups.com, yahoo.com, and Hotmail.com. The domain with the highest spoofing incidence, however, is gmail.com.

In a sampling of email messages from gmail.com, CommTouch identified a random mailbox as having 59% of its email from genuine gmail.com accounts, while 41% of the mail was from fake gmail.com senders. Of the messages received, 42% of the messages were classified as spam, while only 1% of the spam emails were sent by legitimate gmail.com accounts. A number of these 1% were the result of a phishing outbreak aimed at harvesting credentials from gmail users.

Spam Distributions

Many email users have received notifications that they have won the lottery in the U.K. or that a deposed military leader in Nigeria wishes to share his wealth, if you would only do the following…. In fact, the most recent distribution of spam, according to the CommTouch report, indicates Pharmacy tops the list with 81% of the messages

Pharmacy ............................................... 81.0%

Replica ..................................................... 5.4%

Enhancers ................................................ 2.3%

Phishing ................................................... 2.3%

Degrees ................................................... 1.3%

Casino ...................................................... 1.0%

Weight Loss ............................................. 0.4%

Other ........................................................ 6.3%

If you are looking to enhance your performance, then read no further, but if you need assistance in reducing SPAM at your workplace, we can help. We offer a service, BusinessCare, which allows you to control the messages that reach your inbox. This is a low-cost service for accounts that use their own domain names for email. Sorry, if you are using gmail or Hotmail, we cannot provide this service to you. However, we can help you to setup the appropriate spam filtering in your network to get your messages under control regardless of your email address. For help in reducing the incidence of SPAM in your e-mail, reach us by phone at 0800 798 324 or by email at ithelp@rytech.co.nz.

Last modified on Saturday, 16 April 2011 04:13
Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

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