Researchers say they've discovered a critical weakness in the spam infrastructure.
Matthew Broersma, Techworld
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) said this week they've discovered a critical weakness in the spam ecosystem that could be used to help cut off the promise of economic returns fuelling the huge growth in spam levels.
In a paper delivered at the USENIX Security 2007 conference in Boston, the UCSD researchers said that while spammers use vastly powerful, distributed delivery networks to pump out junk e-mail, it's quite another story for the internet scams that form the real heart of the spam mechanism.
Such scams, for instance selling pharmaceutical products over a website, are typically hosted on a single website, the researchers found. What's more, a single site might host several scams and might also act as a spam relay.
"The engine that drives this arms race is not spam itself - which is simply a means to an end - but the various money-making 'scams' (legal or illegal) that extract value from internet users," said the report, which was authored by David Anderson, Chris Fleizach, Stefan Savage and Geoffrey Voelker of UCSD's Collaborative Center for Internet Epidemiology and Defenses.
Spam might seem ever-present -- it makes up more than 80 percent of all e-mail, according to some estimates -- but in fact junk e-mail is organized into particular campaigns, the study found.
I was toying with this theory here at MM. I started blocking the IP's of the spammed websites from access to the site and noticed a marked decline in spammer member registrations. Of course it takes about 15 minutes to have a new site up and start the attack again. This is a good read though http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,13568 ... =nl_wbxnws check out the rest of the story.