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Spammers Making Huge Money by Selling Illegal Products

According to SophosLabs, associates behind any spam network are capable of earning $180,000 per annum by generating traffic for online casinos, bogus antivirus websites or pharmaceutical sites.

These associates recommend that users should procure the network's items because the former (associates) has created numerous web-pages and instructs huge numbers of infected PCs within a 'botnet,' to dispatch junk e-mails called spam. Evidently, the perpetrators employ blackhat SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methods and sometimes follow the trends of search terms so that they can raise their pages' rank among search engine results.

At the Geneva-based Virus Bulletin Conference held between September 23 and 25 2009, Dmitry Samosseiko, Manager of Canada's SophosLabs, made certain presentation discussing about the communications he had with Russia's "Partnerka" a spam associates' group, as reported by SCMagazine on September 28, 2009.

Partnerka is an organization that pushes bogus security products, advertises pharmaceuticals, or makes money out of spam and activities related to it.

Samosseiko indicated that several thousand associates claiming themselves as 'webmasters,' worked 24 hours to divert the maximum possible user traffic to the stores of their affiliates.

The associates consequently received a commission whenever they sold a product or infected a PC with malicious software.

Moreover, the products ranged from generic drugs offered even in the absence of licenses to bogus Viagra, bogus Rolex watches, pirated software, pornography, dating services and casinos.

Samosseiko stated that the average price of Viagra was approximately $200, with spammers getting a maximum commission of 40% whenever they made a sale. This means that merely 50 purchasers were needed daily from the innumerable spam mails distributed, for earning huge revenues.

Meanwhile, it isn't likely that the problem would get better shortly. Despite the improvement in anti-spam filters, tactics of spammers have accordingly adapted to the security solutions. The most notable adaptation is to take spam tactics away from users' mailboxes to their web-browsers, which are not adequately guarded or where the law isn't very hash.

As many e-mail spammers got caught and punished during recent months, it appears that the safer strategy is web-based spam.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

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