Analyzing the Social Structure and Dynamics of E-mail and Spam in Massive Backbone Internet Traffic
Rapport, 2010

E-mail is probably the most popular application on the Internet, with everyday busi- ness and personal communications dependent on it. Spam or unsolicited e-mail has been estimated to cost businesses significant amounts of money. However, our understanding of the network-level behavior of legitimate e-mail traffic and how it differs from spam traffic is limited. In this study, we have passively captured SMTP packets from a 10 Gbit/s Internet backbone link to construct a social network of e-mail users based on their exchanged e-mails. The focus of this paper is on the graph metrics indicating various structural properties of e-mail networks and how they evolve over time. This study also looks into the differences in the structural and temporal characteristics of spam and non- spam networks. Our analysis on the collected data allows us to show several differences between the behavior of spam and legitimate e-mail traffic, which can help us to under- stand the behavior of spammers and give us the knowledge to statistically model spam traffic on the network-level in order to complement current spam detection techniques.


Farnaz Moradi

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Nätverk och system

Tomas Olovsson

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Nätverk och system

Philippas Tsigas

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Nätverk och system


Datavetenskap (datalogi)

Technical report - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg University: 2010-03

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