UTCS Colloquium/LASR-Geoffrey M. Voelker/UC San Diego: "Spam Analytics: Exploring the Technical and Economic Factors in Bulk Email Scams," TAY 3.128, Friday, March 5, 2010, 4:00 p.m.

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Date: 
Mar 5, 2010 4:00pm - 5:00pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this event that can be found
at http://www.cs.utexas.edu/department/webeven

t/utcs/events/cgi/list_events.cgi

Type of Talk: UTCS Colloquium/L

ASR

Speaker/Affiliation: Geoffery M. Voelker/UC San Diego

Date/Time: Friday, March 5, 2010, 4:00 p.m.

Location: TAY 3.128

Host: Lorenzo Alvisi

Talk Title: Spam Analytics: Exploring the

Technical and Economic Factors in Bulk Email Scams

Talk Abstract:

Today, the large-scale compromise of Internet hosts serves as a platfo

rm
for supporting a range of criminal activity in the so-called Intern

et
underground economy. By far the best known example of this activity
is
unsolicited bulk email (spam), which has become the de facto deli

very
mechanism for a range of criminal endeavors, including phishing

, securities
manipulation, identity theft, and malware distribution.

The "conversion rate" of spam -- the probability t

hat an unsolicited email
will ultimately elicit a "sale" -

- underlies the entire spam value
proposition. However, our understan

ding of this critical behavior is quite
limited, and the literature l

acks any quantitative study concerning its true
value. In this talk I

will present a methodology for measuring the
conversion rate of spam.

Using a parasitic infiltration of an existing
botnet''s infrastructure

, we analyze two spam campaigns: one designed to
propagate a malware

Trojan, the other marketing on-line pharmaceuticals. For
over 240 mil

lion spam e-mails we identify the number that are successfully
deliver

ed, the number that pass through popular anti-spam filters, the
numb

er that elicit user visits to the advertised site, and the number of

"sales" produced.

This work is in collaboration wit

h Brandon Enright, Chris Kanich, Christian
Kreibich (ICSI), Kirill

Levchenko, Vern Paxson (ICSI/Berkeley), and Stefan
Savage. It is par

t of a larger effort within the Collaborative Center for
Internet Epid

emiology and Defenses (CCIED), a joint NSF Cybertrust Center
with UCS

D and ICSI (http://www.ccied.org).

Speaker Bio:

Geoffrey M. Voe

lker is a Professor at the University of California at San
Diego. His

research interests include operating systems, distributed
systems, a

nd computer networks. He received a B.S. degree in Electrical
Engineer

ing and Computer Science from the University of California at
Berkeley
in 1992, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and
Engi

neering from the University of Washington in 1995 and 2000,
respectiv

ely.