Revealing social networks of spammers through spectral clustering

30 Apr 2013  ·  Kevin S. Xu, Mark Kliger, Yilun Chen, Peter J. Woolf, Alfred O. Hero III ·

To date, most studies on spam have focused only on the spamming phase of the spam cycle and have ignored the harvesting phase, which consists of the mass acquisition of email addresses. It has been observed that spammers conceal their identity to a lesser degree in the harvesting phase, so it may be possible to gain new insights into spammers' behavior by studying the behavior of harvesters, which are individuals or bots that collect email addresses. In this paper, we reveal social networks of spammers by identifying communities of harvesters with high behavioral similarity using spectral clustering. The data analyzed was collected through Project Honey Pot, a distributed system for monitoring harvesting and spamming. Our main findings are (1) that most spammers either send only phishing emails or no phishing emails at all, (2) that most communities of spammers also send only phishing emails or no phishing emails at all, and (3) that several groups of spammers within communities exhibit coherent temporal behavior and have similar IP addresses. Our findings reveal some previously unknown behavior of spammers and suggest that there is indeed social structure between spammers to be discovered.

PDF Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here