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  1. #1

    how to *attract* spam (research)

    Hi - I've been tasked with a project to try and collect as many spam messages per day as possible. We're not an ISP so don't see a lot of email traffic on our own.

    I've done some basic things like putting up a handful of public email addresses (honeypots) and registered some new domains, but it's been surprisingly hard to collect *a lot* of spam. We're now seeing 200-300 spam messages per day, but we would like to collect 10k-50k+ per day.

    Ideally we want the original, full spam message (headers and all).

    - Any ideas or tips on how to do this?

    - Are there any public databases out there that expose this type of data?

    Thanks for any leads...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Baile tha Cliath
    Most spam these days is sent from hacked computers, and hence its likley your internet provider is blocking many of them at the edge of their network.

    Only thing i can think of is to get in contact with spamhaus

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Spam in volume is easy to get if you are operating a MX for a lot of destination addresses.

    Older addresses also get a higher ratio of spam to ham. I bet my old email addresses alone could almost meet your need!

    Re your own honeypot, do also configure your system to accept any address to the domain (wildcard addresses) if you haven't already; a surprising percentage of spam comes to us via screen scrap bots which have incorrectly parsed email addresses. Perhaps people selling these lists are not keen on quality control!

    Based on my experience, for the amounts you are looking for a smallish ISP/web hosting provider - say delivering 1000 legit emails a day to its users - would be attracting 15 - 30 thousand illegitimate mail attempts. Maybe more. The ratio of spam to ham can be very high depending on the nature of the user community served. You could approach some providers and discuss a partnership. This would involve real effort on their part though; instead of rejecting the mail attempt their system would have to accept the session and divert it elsewhere. Privacy issues (false positives being logged into this corpus) are likely to be a concern with any automated provision of spam to you.

    Here's an older corpus with 92K messages:

    SpamAssassin Corpi:
    “Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under
    considerable economic stress at this period in history.”

  4. #4
    Try to register with same email on 100 forums. Usually forums were hacked and the databases are parsed for email addresses.

    Or try to expose your email whenever is possible

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Near You..
    Disable spam filters like spamassasin in the server.

    Post your email address on forums etc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    Try and use an email address with a web hosting company that does not block spam at their border. Most residential ISPs will do this, decreasing your spam. If you are using your own domain on your own server (or dedicated server) within a data center, that will certainly help (if they have no filters in place).

    A lot of spam bots go to the whois information of domains too, so be sure to add an email address you want to collect spam from to that information as well.
    Mean Servers - Mean Business
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Post on usenet with those email addresses.
    I used to run the oldest commercial Mumble host.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Take a look at sites like this... Even though they say they're opt-out, etc, we all know the truth.

    One go through that and you should be good in not time!

  9. #9
    To: SA-ChrisM

    "we all know" meaning you assume it is that way, so do not speak for all...I work at Submit Express...we are a partner of ReturnPath and all their lists are 100% double optin, meaning it is not spam. So subscribing to those lists, will not send you SPAM, because the definition of spam is Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE), so if you register and request to get emails from us or anyone for that matter, then it is not SPAM or UCE.

    My suggestion for the original poster is to register some more free emails and even maybe use some company emails and post the email all over the web, in forums, blogs, etc. Spammers prefer company emails, rather than free emails. Eventually many spammers will pick them up with their auto harvesting software. One other suggestion is to purchase a domain or website that has been around for at least 5 years, so naturally the emails from the domain are on a lot of spam lists.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Chicago, IL
    No offense and not trying to derail this thread, but I've seen that page used several times to kill an inbox/spam filter. Just saying...

    But please, this isn't the place to argue about such things, Sorry if I offended you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    purchasing a certain expired domain which was used for a free email service can get you 4,000 spams per day.

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