How to Kill Spam

Researchers find 'choke point' for spammers

Researchers at the University of California have found spam’s weakness. A team of computer scientists discovered that 95 percent of credit card transactions for spam deals were handled by just three companies. With the assistance of credit card companies and banks, researchers say it would be possible to cut off the money flow to spam operations.

The research conducted to come to this conclusion would make any inbox neat freak’s teeth grind. The team spent three months trying to receive as much spam as possible, and then actually following through on purchasing the miracle cure-alls spammers had on offer. The experiment revealed that most purchases went through three financial companies in Azerbaijan, Denmark, and Nevis Island in the West Indies. If these companies can be compelled to no longer service spam accounts, a majority of funding will instantly disappear.

Anti-spam experts are heralding the study as a tangible solution to a problem that has proliferated, even in the face of evolving filters, blockers, and online policing. Today, spam accounts for approximately 90 percent of all email. The logic behind the flood of emails is that if you inundate enough inboxes, someone is bound to take the bait. The same researchers found in an earlier study that a spammer would need to blast 12.5 million messages in order to sell just $100 worth of popular spam product, Viagra.

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