12.5 million. It's a staggering number to just get a ridiculous $100. Unfortunately, it's worth for the spammers—billions of mails are sent every day by zombie computers all around the world. Fortunately, there may be a simple solution.
A new research paper by a team of Californian computer scientists shows the way: According to their research on almost one billion messages, 95 of all credit card sales generated by spam mails are handled by three banks from Azerbaijan, Denmark and the West Indies.
That means that, if you get those banks to cut business with the illegal spammers—and chase any other financial institutions that may spring to take their position, I guess—then you will be able to kill the spam. No way to collect money means no business, as Stefan Savage of the University of California, San Diego, explains to NYT's John Markoff:
In the end, spam is an advertising business. However, it only makes sense if you can find a way to take people's money. This means credit cards. Credit cards are the only payment platform that is ubiquitously available to Western consumers and can be used for Internet commerce.
It makes total sense. If you kill that critical part, it's game over for the spammers. Of course, that means that the banks and the credit card companies would stop collecting their juicy commissions. But, for the good of the worldwide communications, I'm sure every authority in the world would be willing to punch some fat cats on the bracket. [UCSD (PDF) via New York Times]