The Economics of Spam

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and UC, San Diego have published a paper on a study they did on spam.

They actually took over part of an existing spam botnet, and sent their own spam to test the response. We all wonder why anyone would actually fall for the scam, and know that the uptake must be low – but how low?

In their case, 350 million emails sent resulted in 28 “sales” – a response rate of 0.00001%.

Commentary ranges from the thought that the rewards for spammers are decreasing to math showing how lucrative it can be even at this low rate. For more detail, read Techdirt, a BBC news article, the Washington Post.

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