Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spamtastic

As one of the internal Virgin Media people who trialled the Google migration for @blueyonder.co.uk addresses before we started customer migrations, I had to un-link my Google Mail account from my blueyonder one (so my BY account would fill up with e-mail) - I've been aggregating my blueyonder mail in my Google inbox so I can get used to the Google experience ever since we started our migration project.

It's only this week that I remembered I hadn't linked them back up again - sorry to anyone I took ages in responding to accordingly!

I've been on the Internet with my blueyonder e-mail address for 10 years now (and my Cable Internet one of the same format before that), and plenty of spam bots have harvested the address through years of helping out customers on newsgroups, forums etc. I always try to post with a valid address so that people who don't understand 'munging' e-mail addresses can still get through to me.

So, when I used Mail Fetcher to aggregate my mail I got a flood of e-mail - mostly spam - come through.

As I tweeted yesterday, when all the mails flowed in I did some analysis of the spam sent to me, and it came out as:
  • 41,782 messages correctly classified as spam (and put into my spam folder)
  • 8 spam messages delivered to my Inbox (naturally I clicked on 'Report Spam' when I received these to help train my spam filter)
  • 0 'false positive' messages in my spam folder that were genuine mail (as far as I know, only skim read the senders and subject lines)
I'm happy enough with that as a user, and it backs up my previous experience of the Google Mail spam filters, which are truly excellent.

The spam that's come through in the last few hours alone can be seen below:

[Click on image for a larger version]

Analysing the latest 52 spam messages in my Inbox (in retrospect I should probably have analysed the lot for a bigger sample before purging them yesterday) I can report the following pattern:
  • 36 (69.23%) messages about medical products
  • 7 (13.46%) in a foreign character set (no idea what they're about then)
  • 3 (5.77%) Phishing mails
  • 3 (5.77%) examples of 419 scams
  • 2 (3.85%) general products spam
  • 1 (1.92%) other scam
And I'd like to emphasise that I have never purchased or shown interest in such medical products!

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