Web page archived as of 2018-05-22. Some links & features might not work.

Does Google fight spam?

About a year ago, maybe longer, I observed a particular type of fake lottery win spam messages hitting our mail server. Fortunately, it turned out that this type could easily be filtered. Even though the senders change often and the format of the messages changed over time, some crucial parts remained the same.

All of this spam is sent via Google Mail. So, of course, I reported the messages to Google. Since we received quite a lot of them and since there are apparent patterns, it should be easy for Google to track down the spammers and stop them. Or so I thought.

I have reported these messages many times since at least 1 year. But they keep coming. Go figure!

Lotto spam via Google of the last 12 months

2012-05: |========+=========+=========+=========+=========* (est.) [ 150]
2012-04: |========+=========+=========+*                           [  95]
2012-03: |========+=========+=======*                              [  86]
2012-02: |*                                                        [   7]
2012-01: *                                                         [   5]
2011-12:                                                           [   2]
2011-11: |========*                                                [  30]
2011-10: |========+=========*                                      [  61]
2011-09:                                                           [   0]
2011-08:                                                           [   2]
2011-07: |=*                                                       [   9]
2011-06:                                                           [   0]

1 bar sign (=) represents 3 spam messages. The current number of May 2012 is 51 as of 2012-05-10 12:00.

Update of 2012-05-17

In the course of further analysis I found that a few of the original numbers shown above were slightly off for 2011. I have corrected them now.

Some of the numbers for July and August 2011 were actually too high. In these 2 months the spammer also used Yahoo. One could assume that Yahoo managed to lock the spammers out whereas Google did not. But of course, that's just wildest guesses ;-)

Here is a chart similar to the one above showing the percentages of spam messages coming in via Google and the percentages of the particular lotto spam per week:

blog/120510_spam_via_google.txt ยท Last modified: 2012-05-17 21:41 by andreas