Spamalytics: An Empirical Analysis of Spam Marketing Conversion

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Executive Summary

Spam-based marketing is a curious beast. All receives the advertisements - " Excellent Hardness is Easy!" - but few of them have encountered a person who admits to following through on this offer and making a purchase. And yet, the relentlessness by which such spam continually clogs Internet inboxes, despite years of energetic deployment of anti-spam technology, provides undeniable testament that spammers find their campaigns profitable. Someone is clearly buying. But how many, how often, and how much? Unraveling such questions is essential for understanding the economic support for spam and hence where any structural weaknesses may lie. Unfortunately, spammers do not file quarterly financial reports, and the underground nature of their activities makes thirdparty data gathering a challenge at best.

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