cc 14(1): e3

Research Article

Is Email Business Dying?: A Study on Evolution of Email Spam Over Fifteen Years

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/cc.1.1.e3,
        author={De Wang and Danesh Irani and Calton Pu},
        title={Is Email Business Dying?: A Study on Evolution of Email Spam Over Fifteen Years},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Collaborative Computing},
        volume={1},
        number={1},
        publisher={ICST},
        journal_a={CC},
        year={2014},
        month={5},
        keywords={email, spam, evolution},
        doi={10.4108/cc.1.1.e3}
    }
    
  • De Wang
    Danesh Irani
    Calton Pu
    Year: 2014
    Is Email Business Dying?: A Study on Evolution of Email Spam Over Fifteen Years
    CC
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/cc.1.1.e3
De Wang1,*, Danesh Irani1, Calton Pu1,*
  • 1: College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0765
*Contact email: wang6@gatech.edu, calton.pu@cc.gatech.edu

Abstract

With the increasing dedication and sophistication of spammers, email spam is a persistent problem even today. Popular social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are not exempt from email spam as they all interface with email systems. While some report predicts that email spam business is dying due to the decreasing volume of email spam. Whether email spam business is really dying is an interesting question. In this paper, we analyze email spam trends on Spam Archive dataset, which contains 5.5 million spam emails over 15 years (1998 – 2013). We statistically analyze emails contents including header information (e.g. content type) and embedded items (e.g. URL links). Also, we investigate topic drift using topic modeling technique. Moreover, we perform network analysis on sender-to-receiver IP routing networks. Our study shows the dynamic nature of email spam over one and a half decades and demonstrate that the email spam business is not dying but more capricious.