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Spam Distribution Infrastructure: New Study Finds 94% of Scams Hosted on Individual Web Servers

Computer scientists, Geoff Voelker and Stefan Savage, from UC San Diego have found striking differences between the infrastructure used to distribute spam and the infrastructure used to host the online scams advertised in these unwanted email messages. This discovery is believed to help aid in the fight to reduce spam volume and shut down illegal online businesses and malware sites.

While hundreds or thousands of compromised computers may be used to relay spam to users, most scams are hosted by individual Web servers. Based on an analysis of over one million spam emails, 94 percent of the scams advertised via embedded links are hosted on individual Web servers, according to new peer-reviewed research to be presented@the USENIX Security 2007 conference in Boston today, August 09, 2007.

"A given spam campaign may use thousands of mail relay agents to deliver its millions of messages, but only use a single server to handle requests from recipients who respond. A single takedown of a scam server or a spammer redirect can curtail the earning potential of an entire spam campaign," write the UCSD computer scientists in their paper accepted for publication@USENIX Security 2007 conference.

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