Project Honeypot (about, wiki), which is a spam watchdog spread over 170 countries, has crossed a huge milestone of potting 1 billion spam messages. The spam messages tracked by Project Honeypot consist of fraudulent email sent from infected machines to several million people, a few of whom, fall prey to the so called legitimate looking spam messages and end up giving their personal and bank information.
Project Honey Pot is a community of tens of thousands of web and email administrators from more than 170 countries around the world who are working together to track online fraud and abuse. The Project has been online since 2004, and each day receives millions of email and comment spam messages, which are catalogued and shared with law enforcement and security partners.
Viagra spamemails are usually ignored by users, however, official looking messages from banks and government agencies are bound to generate clicks to fraudulent websites. The key to avoiding email spam is to NEVER CLICK on links included in email messages from banks or other sensitive organizations. Instead you should always open a web browser and manually type in the URL of the site. If you follow this practice without fail, there is a very less chance of you getting scammed.
Project Honeypot recently received their 1 billionth spam message, which is not startling considering that thousands of users around the world are conned by legitimate looking email and scams every single day. The 1 billionth spam message spoofed the US IRS (see screenshot).
Here are some interesting Spam statistics according to Project Honeypot:
- Monday is the busiest day of the week for email spam, Saturday is the quietest
- 12:00 (GMT) is the busiest hour of the day for spam, 23:00 (GMT) is the quietest
- Malicious bots have increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 378% since Project Honey Pot started
- Over the last five years, you’d have been 9 times more likely to get a phishing message for Chase Bank than Bank of America, however Facebook is rapidly becoming the most phished organization online
- Finland has some of the best computer security in the world, China some of the worst
- It takes the average spammer 2 and a half weeks from when they first harvest your email address to when they send you your first spam message, but that’s twice as fast as they were five years ago
- Every time your email address is harvested from a website, you can expect to receive more than 850 spam message
- Spammers take holidays too: spam volumes drop nearly 21% on Christmas Day and 32% on New Year’s Day
These are some amazing facts. One thing in particular, is the fact that Facebook users are the most affected from spam attacks, and no doubt it would be considering that it has more than 350 million users, which in turns gives a higher success rate to the spammer. Twitter is also a regular target.
Spotting spam is not easy, if you do not know what to look for, the Email Spam Wikipedia page is a very good place to get started out with acquainting yourself with this topic. You will find several more articles related to this on the same wiki page.