Only 3 Banks Fund The Majority Of Spammers

Brad Chacos

We here at Maximum PC love credit cards, cheap pharmaceuticals and nude celebs just as much as the next guy, we just don't like spam – or the suggestion of inferiority that its "Make (insert body part here) bigger!" offers hint at. Numbers indicate that spam makes up the majority of all emails sent worldwide, and email providers spend a ton of time and money combating spam so that we don't have to. A recent report offers new insight on how to hit spammers where it hurts – their wallets.

Ars Technica is reporting that a group of researchers from the University of California-San Diego, the University of California-Berkeley, and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics sifted through over one billion spam URLs, and continued clicking on each page until they were prompted to buy a product. Their findings? Only 45 advertising affiliates were responsible for all the trash. They then made 120 purchases; the credit companies OK'd 76 transactions. The spammers then processed 56 of the orders and sent out products for 49 of them.

So what did the researchers find other than the fact that approximately 14 percent of spam transactions result in paying money for nothing? One very interesting tidbit; just three banks were responsible for 95 percent of all the authorized transactions. Azerigazbank in Azerbaijan, St Kitts & Nevis Anguilla National Bank in St Kitts &Nevis, and DnB Nord in Latvia were revealed as the primary money-men behind the spam scene.

We're glass-half-full types, so we look at the numbers optimistically; most banks won't deal with spammers. Too bad about those other three.

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