[Mailman-Users] Bogus/forged subscription attempts: request for comments and possibly data

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Tue Jun 10 16:16:34 CEST 2014

Perry E. Metzger writes:

 > have been significant academic studies of the market, and they
 > indicate that your portrayal isn't accurate.

I was incautious; "smart" spammers go back at least to Canter and
Siegel.  What I should have written was "spammers are greedy, but many
aren't too smart."

I don't do such studies myself, but my colleagues do a lot of those
studies for various markets.  What those studies invariably show is
that (1) the most profitable businesses generally are reasonably smart
-- getting to the top may have been a matter of luck but staying there
takes work and some smarts, and (2) there is usually a large fringe of
"noise traders", agents who are doing pretty random things.  Some of
the latter can get big enough to be noticed before their bubbles

 > I would presume that if you don't understand what they're doing, it
 > isn't because it is completely irrational, but rather because you
 > don't get exactly what they're attempting.

That's possible.  Nevertheless I suspect that there are quite a few
out there who are doing things that make sense only to themselves and
will disappear in unprofitability (although some may be deliberately
random, as in "fuzzer"-style software testing).

Either way, though, some spammer behavior is inexplicable and it's
probably not worth trying too hard to figure it out.


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