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Ways to stop spam, detect robotic activity, and actually harm the spam trade, as well as how it works, how to circumvent filters, etc. 
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How much is an email worth?
Posted by: barbarianbob
Date: August 29, 2007 06:47PM

How much would an average spammer pay for, say, 1000 unique emails? I'm curious because I heard at one time email grabbers were making several dollars a second.

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Re: How much is an email worth?
Posted by: id
Date: August 30, 2007 12:34AM

I don't think they care anymore with million bot armies it doesn't take long to just guess enough valid names.

It goes something like:

1. scrape web for names (or just grab dictionary list of names)
2. grab top 100,000 domains from Alexis or wherever
3. try every name combo until id is pissed

-id

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Re: How much is an email worth?
Posted by: wireghoul
Date: December 21, 2008 08:37PM

People still use lists, as it saves verification and bounce management leaving the botnet free to push spam. ISC posted on it recently and it payed more than I expected, but it was still less than a buck for a million emails. I have run into list sellers that guarantee virgin emails, emails that aren't on other lists, which usually pay more. Last time I checked they achived this by writing a bot that creates accounts with free mail providers and sell you accounts that will never be read by humans. Chances are it won't offset your bandwidth cost for scraping unless you live in a third world country.
As with 419 scalping I would recommend caution as the spammers are usually connected to someone who is happy to track you down and break your knee-caps if you screw them around.

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Re: How much is an email worth?
Posted by: id
Date: December 22, 2008 02:33PM

Do you have a link to the ISC posting?

We've seen a fairly dramatic drop in spam recently, down to about 20k spams a day that hit the mail server, though only a handful ever make it through, down from about 120k at the peak 5-6 months ago.

The ckers.org domain only has 4 valid addresses, but gets the majority of spam because it is the highest ranked. The rest of our domains combined (~20) get less than 5% of the total spam despite having far more valid users.

This is what our average spam looks like:

to=<vicar@ckers.org>
to=<sparisian@ckers.org>
to=<cupboard@ckers.org>
to=<ohoboken@ckers.org>
to=<vitamin@ckers.org>
to=<tanishagleancaron@ckers.org>
to=<royalhorriblecrane@ckers.org>
to=<royalbardcrane@ckers.org>
to=<ujungle@ckers.org>
to=<gailorgyburch@ckers.org>
to=<compelled@ckers.org>
to=<sulfate@ckers.org>
to=<sondrasopranotimmons@ckers.org>
to=<earleminefieldstark@ckers.org>
to=<sulfate@ckers.org>
to=<sondrasopranotimmons@ckers.org>

-id

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Re: How much is an email worth?
Posted by: wireghoul
Date: December 29, 2008 06:26PM

I did a quick google search, since it was some time ago and their diary flips day by day, but nothing turned up. Typical with ISC. You can have a fiddle at http://isc.sans.org

Your list looks like vanilla dictionary spam to me. Did you notice the drop after the McColo removal? Haven't really kept on top of the tube news this holiday season so I'm unaware of any recent changes in the spam landscape.


Happy belated xmas btw.

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Re: How much is an email worth?
Posted by: id
Date: December 29, 2008 08:14PM

We had a huge drop in spam after McColo was removed, that was the 100k to 20k drop, now the majority is the bruteforce type spam I listed above.

sl@ckers.org is publicly listed on this site and others, yet it only gets 1-10 spams a day, almost always from the russians or chinese.


merry xmas too!

-id

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Re: How much is an email worth?
Posted by: badeat
Date: January 13, 2009 08:18PM

There are forums that you have to get voucher by 3-5 people to access them. Usually Russian since all the English speaking ones keep getting raided by the fbi/interpol. Anyhow, email databases go for 5 to 10 dollars per 1000. The price depends on :

a) If the database is fresh -> that means databases retrieved from legit websites, normally by hacking, and that haven't been sold already.

b) What type of database it is. Databases retrieved from dating and job-search websites are in more demand. Also emails from U.S and Europe are in more demand.

c) The information that comes with the databases. It's good to provide first name, last name, and the location of the user for each email. Also a couple of hundreds of usernames and passwords of the website that the database was retrieved from are usually request to prove the validity of the transaction.

Anyhow, I wouldn't suggest you guys try this. You find yourself hooked, soon you cross the ethical limit and start selling credit cards, bank accounts and etc...
Next thing you know the FBI is at your door....

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Re: How much is an email worth?
Posted by: SW
Date: January 26, 2010 03:26AM

What are gmail accounts worth? I have something like 1 spam a year make it into my inbox. :)

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