Birds of a feather flock together: The accidental communities of spammers

Yehonatan Cohen, Danny Hendler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Outbound spam email is a serious issue for Email Service Providers (ESPs). If not resolved, or at least sufficiently mitigated, ESPs may incur higher costs and suffer damage to their reputation. In this work, we investigate the early detection of spamming accounts hosted by ESPs. Our study is based on a large real-life data set, consisting of mail logs involving tens of millions of email accounts hosted by a large, well-known, ESP. An analysis of our data set reveals that spammers tend to be clustered in the same communities within the graph induced by inter-account email communication. The reason for this phenomenon is, most likely, that spammers often use the same techniques for harvesting email addresses. As a result, they inadvertently spam each other or spam the same legitimate accounts. We leverage this accidental community structure for devising a highly accurate spammer detector that outperforms previous algorithms by a wide margin.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2015 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2015
EditorsJian Pei, Jie Tang, Fabrizio Silvestri
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages986-993
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450338547
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2015
EventIEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2015 - Paris, France
Duration: 25 Aug 201528 Aug 2015

Conference

ConferenceIEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2015
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityParis
Period25/08/1528/08/15

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