My Spam analysis for 4th week of September 2007
This article is about current email spam categories and percentages, based on rule sets created for and reported by the anti spam tool - MailWasher Pro.
I use MailWasher Pro to screen all of my various incoming POP email accounts, and for which I write my own custom spam filter rules. I give each rule a unique name so I can track the different types of spam I am deleting and reporting. The program has an interesting incoming email statistics window, that includes a pie chart breakdown of the various types of spam that are recognized and dealt with by the software. I thought I would start sharing my spam pie chart results with you all. This is the first installment, which I will try to update during, or at the end of the week. I'll post a new report each week, running from Monday through Sunday.
My analysis of this week's spam shows that various pharmaceuticals, including illicit prescription drugs, male and female enhancement pills and weight loss capsules lead the pack, again, accounting for well over 70% of all incoming spam. All of them have links to websites hosted in China, where the counterfeit drugs are produced. One has to wonder how many people are dying, or ending up in emergency rooms every day, because they foolishly bought spamvertised, counterfeit medicine?
Noticeably reduced this week were numeric links to Storm Trojan infected computers. However, counterfeit watches and Pump-And-Dump stocks are back in the countable statistics, along with a strong surge in pirated software.
My current statistics show that spam is now 82% of all my incoming email, for the week of September 24 through 30, 2007. This is an 14% increase from the week before, which topped out at 68%. Without my MailWasher Pro filters identifying and automatically deleting most of this onslaught of spam, email would be essentially useless for me (if I had to sort out the spam manually). Thanks to those custom filters, which I work hard to keep updated, I only have to manually delete a handful of spam messages on a daily basis (which I then classify into filters). The machines sending this deluge of spam are all members of BotNets, with spam relays and remote command and control software surreptitiously installed, mostly by the Storm Worm Trojan. I see many identical spam messages in my statistics (sorted by subject), but sent from different places in the World, all with forged sender names, confirming that this is a World-wide "Spam-demic" (Wow, I think I just coined a new word!).
MailWasher Pro spam category breakdown for Sept 24 through 30, 2007.
|Male enhancement spam:||22.42%|
|Counterfeit Watches spam:||3.97%|
|Numeric IP scams:||0%|
|Pirated software spam:||4.96%|
|Pump & dump stocks:||.20%|
|Weight loss pills:||3.37%|
|Free NFL Tracker Trojan:||0%|
|"DW" Spammer:||(detected by other filters)|
|One word subjects:||4.0%|
|New Known Spam Subjects:||2.98%|
|X-Mailer: The Bat!:||2.78%|
|Bayesian learning filter:||.20%|
These spam categories and their relative percentages will probably shift a bit each week, as the BotMasters send new spam scripts to the zombie computers under their control. I will try to keep the percentages updated and merge miscellaneous categories as I am able to identify what they were spamvertising.
If you are reading this and wondering what you can do to reduce the huge volumes of spam emails that must be overwhelming your POP client inboxes, I recommend MailWasher Pro (with my downloadable custom filters) as a front-end screener to your POP email program (Outlook, Outlook Express, Microsoft Mail, Thunderbird, Eudora, etc).
Regarding my custom MailWasher Pro spam filters; due to my continuing work of refining these filter rules, their accuracy has increased to the point that less than 1/4% of the spam detections flew under my radar and were classified as DNS Blacklists, for this reporting period (ditto for the learning filter). All other spam was classified and dealt with by my custom filters.
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