is spam a seasonal activity?

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Let’s admit it: spammers are not stupid. And even if it looks like their traditional activity (sending spam to classic message systems) is on the decline, let’s take a look at what they're now doing to get us to fall into their traps. In particular, let’s look at how spammers target the times when we are most vulnerable.

anyone out there need spam?

As I explained in a previous article, spammers are doing everything they can to cut their cost per click. That’s why it’s in their interest to send spam when we'll be most certain to receive it. And when's that? During the workweek!

Unlike robberies, which take place when no one is home, spam is more effective when someone is around. That’s why a good spammer will always target peak days, as demonstrated by Cisco. Spam volume drops 25% over the weekend and peaks midway through the week.

These statistics are based on data collected by anti-spam software developed for businesses. To my knowledge, no similar studies have been conducted for spam intended for individuals. But something tells me the trends may be the exact opposite…

Let’s also keep in mind that although spam slows down over the weekend, a company’s inbox over that time is almost entirely composed of spam, since spam can pose as legitimate e-mail.

how do you like your spam?

Spammers also aim to slip right in with our (presumed) interests and take advantage of everything that may help spam blend in with legitimate e-mail. So they always use seasonal keywords like Christmas, Thanksgiving or Black Friday to catch our eye, as Symantec showed us in November 2012.

Lastly, spammers also try to bait us with news events in addition to holiday keywords. See Cisco.

Tax season, the launch of a new smartphone, a new OS, summer diet season, anything is fair game when it comes to launching a new spam campaign!

Spammers are a wily bunch: real ad men!

Philippe

This blog post was originally published in French here.

Photo credit:© buchachon - Fotolia.com

Philippe Macia

After previously working as a training manager, on-site IT officer, pre-sale technical officer, and customer service manager, I joined the Orange Business Services security team as a product manager. I’m very committed to the user experience and easy administration of the solutions we create. My watchwords: knowledge sharing, logic, pragmatism and simplicity.