Tuesday, March 9, 2010

There's something amiss in China - Increased daily spam

OK, so for the past few weeks I have noticed a marked increase in spam in my primary email Spam folder. I have been deleting messages willy-nilly from the folder, as I usually do, when I walk through my daily email reading and composition routine.

Yesterday, I decided to let the spam pile up for a 24 hour period and take note of how many spam messages I have received. I don't like to pick on or lean in one direction or the other without having at least some metrics to go on, but out of 98 spam messages, 24 of those messages DID NOT have Chinese characters in the subject line.

Whup, OK, as I was typing this the message count JUST jumped to 102. By way of supposition, that's approximately 80% of the spam I have received in the past 24 hour period is coming from China.

Delving a little deeper I took a random check of the email headers, and yes, unless they're totally forged headers, I have to say, they do originate someplace in China. Where in China? Not important at this time. It's notable that they come from over the China border to here, at my gmail account in the United States.

So, what's happening here? Why the sudden spike in spam to my gmail account originating in China? Is there a mechanism I can implement to block ALL email from China from reaching my email account? I don't know anyone in China. I'm not expecting any email from China. Why can't I simply block all these messages? It's annoying at the very least and it is spam. I am going to keep my eye on this for a while, compile some data, see how it goes and maybe publish my results after 30 days or so. Is it worth it? I'll keep you posted.

- Robert Cazares

Blog Archive