Considering the wide variety of products spam email acts as a barker for, you might assume that there are an equally diverse range of individuals, or at least programs, trying to sell you important goods like mirrors, plastic sheers, and of course medications for male stamina. (Also, wow, am I ever troubled by what my spam folder seems to think of me.) According to a recent look at the numbers, though, that’s not the case. In fact, the study from the University of Twente suggests that just 20 of the more than 42,000 Internet service providers worldwide are responsible for nearly half of the emails that you get looking to sell you penis enlargement pills and various other high quality goods and services.
The study, which you can read here, was meant to identify “bad neighborhoods” of the Internet where illegal activity is more likely — ISPs that you can’t walk through without having someone open their virtual trenchcoat to try and sell you a pallet of knock-off Rolexes. They found at least 20 such Internet underworlds, many of which seem to specialize in helping people enact scummy online practices like phishing and sending out spam.
Most of the ISPs are located in the developing world, with India, Vietnam, and Brazil hosting many of the worst offenders. Online scam icon Nigeria managed to contribute as well, of course, with a full 62% of addresses on the country’s Spectranet ISP found to be distributing spam.
The pair of researchers hope that the new report will offer good egg ISPs and security providers new data and tools to hone their defenses against spammers by keeping better track of ISPs that develop a bad reputation, allowing them to more effectively filter and block messages that come from the wrong side of the Internet tracks.
- Just 3 banks process 95% of payments for things bought through spam
- It may not feel like it, but we are getting less spam than we used to
- Twitter spends a lot of dough fighting spammers, to not much avail