Researchers conducted a study into spam to find out how profitable it was and how high the response rate to spam messages was. To do so the researchers hijacked a portion of the Storm botnet that had over 1 million machines in use to send out spam.
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The research team used 75,869 machines to send their own fake emails trying to sell medications like Viagra. People who clicked on the buy button were greeted with an error message. Out of a claimed 469 million spam messages sent the response rate was 0.00001%.
One researcher wrote that after 26 days and 350 million e-mail messages only 28 sales resulted. Still a real spammer would have had revenues over the month of $2,731.88. At an estimated $80 per million messages, the spammers are earning about $7,000 per day with revenues of around $3.5 million.
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Via PC Pro