|Spammers v. World: The Arms Race Escalates|
|Written by Save the Mail!|
|Thursday, 25 March 2010 00:44|
If ever there was a single image that shined a spotlight on the arms race that has been escalating over the past decade between spammers and the entities seeking to disarm them, it is Fast Company’s Infographic of the day, courtesy of New Scientist. A copy of the full image can be found here.
It chronicles the rise and fall of overall spam levels since 2004 – the rise of botnets in ’06, the fall of McColo in ’08, a new spoofing technique unleashed earlier in the year and several others.
But more interesting than the spam levels themselves is the breakdown of emails to responses in one particular “spam campaign.” The campaign was comprised of pharmaceutical spam sent out over a one month period in 2008 by just 1.5 percent of one botnet called “Storm.” The numbers go something like this:
- 35 million emails sent
- 8.2 million arrived at valid email servers/recipients
- 10,500 recipients clicked the link in the message
- 28 bought products
From a marketing perspective, these numbers are terrible and translate to a conversion rate of 0.000008%.
But when you extrapolate over the whole network of Storm botnets, the numbers tell a different story – and generated around $3.5 million in “sales” for the year.
Given the low cost of spamming, this is nearly all profit. If $3.5 million is not incentive to keep doing something, we’re not quite sure what is.
Which puts the rest of the numbers into perspective – spammers are highly incentivized to continue to find ways around content filters, blacklists and “isp shut-downs” – and as the numbers show, they will.
Increasingly, there is a real need here for change. Spammers are not going away, yet we continue to do battle against them using the same old, tired techniques. It might just be time to take a new mainstream approach here.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 25 March 2010 16:49|