Legitimate Research Disguised as Spam Campaign
Article by George Norman
On 11 Nov 2008
Ever wondered how much money there is to be made from spam-based marketing? A study recently conducted by researchers from Berkeley and UC San Diego shows that you need to send out vast amounts of spam if you want to make a profit. A profit of two million dollars for example can be attained if in one year the spammer manages to send out billions of messages, and someone is gullible enough to answer to them of course. To put it simply, there is lots of money to be made, but the work you have to put into it is even greater.

Seven researchers from the two universities mentioned above managed to infiltrate the Storm botnet and ran an experiment to see how profitable spam really is. They set up two spam campaigns and let them run for a period of 26 days – the first campaign emulated the Storm infection; the second was a phishing page that advertised herbal medicine (for erectile dysfunctions and for libido problems). Just to keep things legit the researchers set up the site so that it would prompt an error message when users would attempt to hand over credit card details.


As it turns out, there are people that will buy into spam messages (literally). A grad total of about 469 million spam messages were sent out (about 350 million related to the pharmacy spam campaign), and while most people were security oriented enough to ignore them, 28 people actually placed an order for the advertised herbal male enhancement medicine. The orders placed by these 28 users amounted to $2,731.88, which is to say that the spam campaign earned around $100 per day.

The lesson that we all must learn from this study is that spam campaigns, even though they manage to get an incredibly low response rate (somewhere in the vicinity of 0.00001%), are incredibly cheap to run and have the potential to churn out a profit. If you have a large enough botnet and you manage to convince people to purchase your fake goods, you can earn money through spam. The only way that spam will come to a halt is if running such campaigns becomes a financially unsound decision.

Tags: Spam, Storm
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

I Hope you LIKE this blog post! Thank you!
What do YOU have to say about this
blog comments powered by Disqus
Popular News
By George Norman on 26 Jun 2017
No game is perfect. And although it’s easy to get engulfed in an RPG’s huge world and long list of quests, there are certain annoyances that you’ll encounter in pretty much every role-playing game.
By George Norman on 21 Jun 2017
Fidget spinners, the toys that the internet loves to hate, have managed to grab Google’s attention. The search engine is offering a virtual fidget on desktop as well as mobile. Simply search for "spinner" and Google Search will bring up a fidget spinner quick answer card.
Related News
By George Norman on 24 Feb 2017
Looking for something to play this weekend but you don’t want to purchase anything? You’re in luck, because Steam’s giving you the change to play these three games for free.
By George Norman on 03 Apr 2017
Now that we’re done laughing at all the April Fools' pranks, it’s time to focus on all the brand new video games that are going to be released this month. Listed below are 15 new video games that are scheduled to be released in April 2017.
By George Norman on 26 May 2017
Rising Storm GOTY is completely free on Humble Bundle. Fallout 4 and Racket: NX are free-to-play on Steam. And Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is available for free as a Public Beta.
Sponsored Links
Hot Software Updates
Top Downloads
Become A Fan!
Link To Us!
Legitimate Research Disguised as Spam Campaign
HTML Linking Code