McAfee recently conducted its S.P.A.M (Spammed Persistently All Month) experiment in which 50 people from around the world surfed the web, filled forms, and responded to unsolicited emails for 30 days. Over the course of the month McAfee was able to make some groundbreaking discoveries: spam is linked to cyber crime and spammers are as active as ever – that was sarcasm by the way.
The test subjects accumulated 104,000 spam messages, or roughly 70 per day per recipient. Many of the spam messages received were phishing e-mails, some carried viruses and others allowed malware to be silently installed on the computers by redirecting participants to unsafe websites. United States participants topped the spam count, receiving 23,233 junk messages over the course of the experiment. Brazil followed with 15,856 while Italy ranked third with 15,610.
Other findings show financial spam was the most popular type of spam followed by solicitations for unwanted products and services, health and medical spam, and porn spam. You can read more about the study as well as the 50 guinea pigs’ experiences here.