Where does Spam come from?

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Where does Spam come from?

It would seem to be logical that if we can identify where spam comes from, it would be easy to stop the spammers. One of the parameters that spam filtering services work with is identifying the Internet Service Providers (ISP) of a message and then blocking the ISP. This is why legitimate emails sometimes wind up in your spam folder, the filter is working based upon an assumption that if the majority of spam comes from India, Vietnam and Brazil then blocking all message from ISPs in those countries will prevent spam from breaking through to your inbox. Unfortunately, there are legitimate businesses that are also registered on those ISPs as well and they can get sent to the spam folder too if you are not using a dynamic filtering service like Clean Message.

Spam by Country

Another thing that filtering and security services have been able to show is that the type of spam tends to vary from country to country. Spam from Asia is going to try and sell you something. You may be surprised to find out that spam that has viruses to steal your information or control of your machine tends to come from America. Nigerian ISPs have a high rate of spam associated addresses, with almost 62% of the registered addresses from Nigeria being associated with spamming.

Why those countries?

Spammers use these ISPs because the country’s Internet laws allow for certain types of activities that may be banned on ISPs registered in other countries. Similar to how online gambling can work, a casino may have to have an ISP located in Croatia in order to legally operate, but anyone in the world can use the site, as long as their earnings are process in a legal area as well. The issue with spam is not the ISP address it comes from, this only helps to identify loopholes in international data laws and individual country Internet laws, but where the spam originates from. Using online gambling as an example again, the casino with the Croatian ISP may be owned and operated by someone in Florida. To stop spam completely, you have to find the owner and masking the owner’s identity is too easy on the Internet and too costly to uncover.

The importance of Anti-spam services

Uncovering owner identity is too costly when the industry is dependent on goodwill development of spam filters by services like Google. Dedicated spam filtering service providers, like CleanMessage, not only help to gather and analyze statistical data that can be used for shaping Internet policy and laws, but it also allows for monetary resources to be refocused on fighting the origination of spam, not just blocking it as it comes in.