Spammers make profit …

… with only one sale in every 12.5 million messages sent

Published on computer weekly.com, not authored, Nov. 11, 2008.

The spam study was carried out by computer scientists from University of California Berkeley and University of California San Diego.

For the month-long study the computer scientists infiltrated the Storm network, which uses hijacked home computers as relays for junk mail.

At its height, Storm is believed to have had more than one million machines under its control.

The researchers created several “proxy bots” on the Storm network to send out their own spam.

The team used these machines to control a total of 75,869 hijacked machines on the network and routed their own fake spam campaigns through them …

… The response rate for the campaign was less than 0.00001%. Direct mail campaigns aim for 2.15%.

Even though the experiment saw a poor conversion rate, the researchers said that by sending out many more messages, the owners of the Storm network could be earning £4,500 a day, or £1.6m a year. (full text).

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