According to a new research paper, the spammers cost the world a total of $20 billion while earning a mere $200 million in return.

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Online spam is a curse which email services have to fight off on a regular basis. It’s ridiculously easy to send out spam to millions of computers. However, in a new and rather interesting paper, it has been revealed that spammers don’t really earn a whole lot of money out of their dirty business, compared to the damage they do. The total imposed cost of spam on the world is roughly $20 billion, whereas the spammers only earn nearly $200 million per year to spread them.


Spam statistics

The revenue generated from email spamming is only $200 million; a tiny sum in the world of IT. And that is what all the spammers in the world earn in total, in the course of one year. Naturally, it is surprising because spam virtually plagues every single platform that is public and has something to do with communications.

The new paper, which has been penned by David Reiley of Google and Justin Rao of Microsoft, reveals that sending spam is cheap and easy. That is why, spammers send out their deals to millions of users. And they need a very tiny return ratio for a good profit. For instance, even if 1 out of 25,000 users receiving the spam fell for the trick, that would suffice for the spammer.

Another interesting fact divulged by the paper is that the spammers cost the world a whopping $20 billion every year! This is not a direct sum and is not exactly internalized by a firm or an organization. The damage and costs are inflicted collectively on the society.

The researchers believe that while ways to filter out spam are important, even more useful would be a method of raising the costs of sending out spam. According to them, “”We advocate supplementing current technological anti-spam efforts with lower-level economic interventions at key choke points in the spam supply chain, such as legal intervention in payment processing, or even spam-the-spammers tactics. By raising spam merchants’ operating costs, such countermeasures could cause many campaigns no longer to be profitable at the current marginal price of $20-50 per million emails.”

Source: Journal for Economic Perspectives

Courtesy: The Atlantic

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  On August 26, 2012(2 years, 3 months ago.)

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