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Project Honey Pot Discloses Their Findings to Masses

Project Honey Pot is a global community of web and e-mail administrators which joined their forces to detect and eliminate online abuse and fraud. The community decided to inform the public about some of their discoveries.

The Project commenced in the year 2004, and when they received the billionth spam e-mail, they decided to take action of alarming the general masses.

Their findings reveal that since the beginning of the project till date, spammers have become more advanced. They have devised 1,000 different ways to spell the word 'Viagra'. Also, the time required to harvest e-mail addresses from websites has reduced by more than half and has now reached 22 days on an average.

It is interesting to note that as compared to harvest and use e-mail addresses to distribute product spam, fraud spammers, those associated with phishing spam and 419, perform this task at a much faster pace.

In the meantime, it takes more time for product spammers to perform the task. Product spammers are basically those who actually sell some kind of product - be it bogus college degrees, fake pharmaceutical products or forged mortgage loans. These spammers spend around a month to procure e-mail addresses and then target them through spam campaigns. These spammers usually hang on to e-mail addresses for a longer time span, sending numerous such e-mails per week to each and every address marked by them.

One more fact that the Project disclosed is that these bad guys also take leaves. For instance, spam level gets down by 21% on Christmas Day, and on the New Year's Day, the decrease is as much as 32%. Monday is cited to be the busiest day of the week for spammers, while only around 60% of Monday's message volume is received on Saturday.

Project Honey Pot has also noticed the content of the spam e-mails, according to which phishing dominates the cybercrime landscape. The billionth spam message that the project received was a phishing scam with the US Internal Revenue Service being the target. Apart from financial institutions and banks, social networking websites are also the preferred target. Presently, Facebook is the second-most frequently phished organization, and is expected to occupy the top position in 2010.

Finally, the Project Honey Pot informed that spammers are mainly based in the US, Spain and Netherlands.

Related article: Prosecutors Charge Romanian Hacker for Violating NASA Computer Security

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