spam statistics

Cassandra Smith clsmith at DARWIN.BU.EDU
Sat Jul 26 11:59:39 EST 1997

Any suggestions about a word other than women? What is the latin
or Greek for women?...


   From: BIOSCI Administrator <biosci-help at>
   Reply-To: biosci-help at
   Cc: biohelp at, biohelp at


   I thought this might interest you and your newsgroup.

   As part of an analysis of how best to configure our anti-spam efforts,
   I did a rough analysis of the spam hitting our newsgroups. I took May
   '97 data and looked at a sample of 5 newsgroups, large and small. 

   Newsgroup    all_mail spam    % spam

   METHODS	        901     29         3
   BIOPHYSICS      155     28        18
   PLANTS-EDUC     122     34        28
   WOMENINBIO      117     41        35
   ZEBRAFISH        61     30        49

   Totals:        1356     162	

   Average number of groups a spam message sent to: 5.00

   Broken down by:
   -- 31 multi-occurrence sets account for 155 spam messages			
   -- 7 sets of 1 occurrence  (all in WOMENINBIO)		

   To me the surprise was that the women-in-bio newsgroup is getting more
   spam than other groups and spam targeted, presumably because 'women'
   is in the newsgroup name, to women.

   As you can see, roughly speaking, all groups are getting about the
   same number of spam messages, but for groups with a large volume of
   mail it gets lost in the noise, whereas the smaller groups are
   overwhelmed with junk.


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