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Spam The Internet IT

Project Honey Pot Traps Billionth Spam 118

Posted by timothy
from the spam-sequestration dept.
EastDakota writes "Project Honey Pot today announced that it had trapped its 1 billionth spammer. To celebrate, the team behind the largest community sourced project tracking online fraud and abuse released a full rundown of statistics on the last five years of spam. Findings include: spam drops 21% on Christmas Day and 32% of New Year's Day; the most spam is sent on Mondays, the least on Saturdays; spammers found at least 956 different ways to spell VIAGRA (e.g., VIAGRA, V1AGRA, V1@GR@, V!AGRA, VIA6RA, etc.) in mail received by the Project; and much more."
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Project Honey Pot Traps Billionth Spam

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  • Spelling (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Foxxxy (217437)

    I have seen 945 of the spellings in my inbox just last week.... damn spammers

  • Spam = spy chatter? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:37PM (#30446848)

    Is spam even really spam anymore?

    Every now and then I take a look at my gmail spam folder, and none of the messages contain links or even coherent sentences.

    Nothing being sold, nothing being said... What's the point?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      *slow golf clap*

      Gmail strips most of the links.

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        Why would it strip out a link but allow the rest through unchanged? Why does it strip out the links in some spam messages, but not others?

      • Gmail strips most of the links.

        I have to ask (afraid to hear the depressing answer) even if there are links to something for sale, what's the point? Are there honestly people out there who get an e-mail that is gibberish, a link, and then more gibberish, they click on the link, see "Hey, it's selling viagra! I need viagra!" and enter their credit card, and there are enough of these people that you can make more money preying on them than you can working at McDonalds?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by hvm2hvm (1208954)
          in short... yes
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            in short... yes

            This is not true. All SPAM needs to get published is somebody to spend a few bucks to get their message out there. That's it. SPAM rates are not goverened by success of the ad. SPAM is, however, dirt cheap (I think I read something like $100 for 50,000 messages...) and a number of people use that stupid "if I only get 1% of those...." logic.

            Advertising in general works like that. We still have pop-up ads because some dumb-shits out there are ordering them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Who needs to enter anything? You can install plenty of malware simply by having the user click on your link. Plus, it depends on who the spam comes from. Would you really check the URL if you received an e-mail that looked like it was from a close friend that simply read, "Check out this link: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/12/15/1652236/Project-Honey-Pot-Traps-Billionth-Spam [totalyavirus.com]"? (Disregarding, of course, the Slashdot URL display feature)
    • by maxume (22995) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:11PM (#30447412)

      My favorite theory is that spammers are making money by selling spamming services to suckers, not by actually selling a product in the spam.

      I guess there is also some chance that there is some botnet out there set to verify that mail reaches addresses, and it is just running out of control.

      • You mean, skynet actually is created by spammers?

        • by maxume (22995)

          Well, it's more like a runaway bulldozer than a sentient computer network bent on the destruction of humanity, but sure, why not.

        • by Aphoxema (1088507) *

          All life started from chaotic collisions of molecules...

          • All life started from chaotic collisions of molecules...

            But this had the guiding hand of some sort of developer, a creator of those conditions you might say.

            Which is to say, we are God's rhinovirus.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I guess there is also some chance that there is some botnet out there set to verify that mail reaches addresses, and it is just running out of control.

        This. It's not just about finding whether the email address is correct, though, it's also testing the junkmail filters -- seeing what words will get a domain on a blacklist and which will still get delivered or bounced at the directory level. I learned this after researching why I got a promising email titled "TEENAGE GIRL HAS SEX WITH BAT!" only to open it up and find a disappointing message like "Gillette rosemary is talking sweet sound to hair bounces great. Sounded of?"

    • They are training your spam filters.

    • by fm6 (162816)

      I get links. Perhaps Google is filtering yours out?

    • by stevey (64018)

      Attempting to subvert bayasian filters such that future real spam can slip through more easily.

    • by L3370 (1421413)

      Is spam even really spam anymore?

      Every now and then I take a look at my gmail spam folder, and none of the messages contain links or even coherent sentences.

      Nothing being sold, nothing being said... What's the point?

      Take heed to the lilly botanical before racing and suffer the pullback!

      These puzzle me too. You know what I think it is? I think those are test messages sent by spammers--to test mail filters for which words trigger a junk mail alert.

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      Someone is checking to see if the email address is valid.

      If so, the spammer will appropriate your name for spam.

      --

      Another tale from the Village of the Spammed.

  • ok (Score:4, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:38PM (#30446852) Homepage
    1 billionth spammer

    So approximately one out of every 7 people on earth is a spammer?
    • Re:ok (Score:5, Funny)

      by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:47PM (#30447034) Journal

      And thats only the ones they've caught.

      In fact, almost everyone on the net is a spammer. It's kind of a secret club, where you have to pass a secret trial, to gain your secret right of entry. It's so secret, I shouldn't even be divulging this secret information. If the secret spammers found out, I could get

      • Re:ok (Score:4, Funny)

        by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:12PM (#30447428)

        Nice of them to hit the Submit button for you though, though it does seem to defeat the purpose of killing you for trying to send it.

      • by Again (1351325)

        And thats only the ones they've caught.

        In fact, almost everyone on the net is a spammer. It's kind of a secret club, where you have to pass a secret trial, to gain your secret right of entry. It's so secret, I shouldn't even be divulging this secret information. If the secret spammers found out, I could get

        NO CARRIER?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Narpak (961733)

        In fact, almost everyone on the net is a spammer. It's kind of a secret club, where you have to pass a secret trial, to gain your secret right of entry. It's so secret, I shouldn't even be divulging this secret information.

        Order your copy of the Secret Guide to Membership NOW. Only 19.99$, for 29.99$ you get the extra DvD and you own genuine signet ring!

      • by revlayle (964221)
        OH NO - Candlejack got h
      • by operagost (62405)
        The first rule of spam club is that you don't talk about spam club.
      • So secret that most people in it don't even know they are in it!


        seriously...mostly it is people with viri.
  • by rehtonAesoohC (954490) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:40PM (#30446904) Journal
    It's been a long lonnnng time since I've actually seen a spam message that I didn't immediately recognize as spam... Maybe some people are completely ignorant of the fact that someone on the internet is out to take your money (*gasp!*), but honestly, how can the amount of effort expended in creating spam compare to the amount of money they receive from suckers who click on "V1AGRA!11!!" links?

    I'm just sayin'...
  • Maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by machinelou (1119861)
    Maybe now with a billion samples, we can start training people how to recognize it.
    • by sajuuk (1371145)
      That would imply that the average human has a brain capable of logical deduction. Sadly, that is not the case.
      • Actually, you don't need logical deduction to correctly sort most emails. Just say "spam" every time, and most of the time you'll be right.

      • All it takes is for one human brain capable of logical deduction to write the code for the software that will sort out the SPAM for everyone else.
    • The article calls out that primarily, bots are used to actually distribute the spam.

      Bots are also used for any number of malicious purposes, spam being perhaps the most benign (because it CAN be recognized and discarded).

      People have called in this thread for training victims to make spam not pay. This might work for spam bots, but would do nothing for any other type of bot. How about training people to ensure their machine is swept clean of malware on a regular basis, and to keep adequate defenses (AV sof

    • Maybe now with a billion samples, we can start training people how to recognize it.

      Do you actually know anybody who's ever purchased something from SPAM?

  • Let's celebrate with a song we all know: "Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam..."

    Now repeat 1 billion times...

    (Sad to think that way more spam has been sent than the number of times that Monty Python sketch has been played; should be the other way around)

  • Their web site claims, "We also work with law enforcement authorities to track down and prosecute spammers." Have they actually prosecuted any spammers using this?

    If it helps create better spam filters, yay. But I'd really like to know if any spammers are being punished as well.

  • The summary is wrong (Score:2, Informative)

    by hwyhobo (1420503)

    The article says clearly:

    On Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 06:20 (GMT) Project Honey Pot received its billionth email spam message

    In fact, the title of the article is:

    Our 1 Billionth Spam Message

  • by FauxPasIII (75900) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:18PM (#30447534)

    Putting aside for a moment the potential medical issues, I wonder how much money would be saved in the US economy if we just legalized the selling of Viagra over the counter?

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      The cost of treating doughy impotent old men for heart attacks caused by Viagra Im sure outweighs this. Its not exactly safe:

      http://www.ehow.com/facts_5687205_viagra-risk-factors.html [ehow.com]

      If anything, its legal as a script because of the intense demand. I wonder if something thats targeted at old men that also drops heart pressure and causes heart attacks would be tolerated as even sellable if it wasnt for the overwhelming demand to get Mr Pokey up one last time. Pot is safer.

  • I must get a billion spam in one year. :(

    Damn spammers

  • by delirium of disorder (701392) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:20PM (#30447568) Homepage Journal

    If you total up all the productivity lost to fighting spam and time wasted getting spam, it's probably cheaper to just put the spammers out of business by giving every male on earth free Viagra.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hoi Polloi (522990)

      I hope they start spamming "Meet hot and horny girls!" more then.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But how would you contact them? via e-mail? Then how would they know it was legit? Damn spammers!

  • 956 ways? (Score:3, Funny)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquar ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:25PM (#30447642) Homepage Journal

    viagra can be misspelled many ways
    in an email message.
    all of them not as direct as
    going and using this way of
    routing the word around filters,
    and not even misspelling it

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They face a lot of STIFF competition!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by fafaforza (248976)

      Depite all that, they still try to stand up and deliver, with their heads held high.

  • To celebrate,

    Personally I think 1 billion spam isn't something to celebrate. "Mourn" is more like it...

    • by batquux (323697)

      If it helps, this really doesn't sound like much of a celebration:

      To celebrate, the team behind the largest community sourced project tracking online fraud and abuse released a full rundown of statistics on the last five years of spam.

      Hopefully it won't get too wild.

  • I've only been able to come up with 796 versions of viagra. I'm sure there must be many more. Can I download the list? It would help in my work^h^h^hhobby...

  • no ipV6 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mabu (178417) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @02:54PM (#30448868)

    The most effective way of stopping spam thus far is using IP blacklisting. It should be noted if the net moves to ipV6, that will be the end of blacklist effectiveness for some time.

    • by daveime (1253762)

      Yup, just set your filter to block the range 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255.

      Problem solved.

      Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment. This is because the submission process is so borked, it takes 45 seconds to write a new entry to our database.

      Chances are, you're behind a firewall or proxy, or clicked the Back button to accidentally reuse a form. Please try again. Nope, it's just my neurons fire faster than once per minute.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Straterra (1045994)
      Not really. Every end user is supposed to get a /64. You could just block their /64 and accomplish pretty much the same thing.
    • Why would that be? You can block a /64 just as easily as a single IP address. Sure, each end-user may have 2**64 separate addresses, but they'll all be within the same subnet. If a particular host is misbehaving you can just block their entire /64.

      In fact, the lack of ubiquitous NAT should make it easier to block individual hosts without affecting non-offending customers of the same ISP.

  • I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

    by tool462 (677306) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @04:56PM (#30450544)

    I wonder how many of those Viagra spelling variations are valid Perl code...

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