Could we have discovered the achilles heel of spamlords? A team of UCAL researchers seem to think so. Oh please, let them be right.
This team has spent months getting as much spam as possible, and buying things advertised via spam, in order to study how it works. The looked at the entire process, looking for a "choke point" that could be a place that could be exploited to stop spam from working. They think it's the financial institutions that process credit cards for spammers.
Here's what they discovered: "95 percent of the credit card transactions for the spam-advertised drugs and herbal remedies they bought were handled by just three financial companies -- one based in Azerbaijan, one in Denmark and one in Nevis, in the West Indies." So, by giving that info to credit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard, they're hoping they can shut those three companies off from being able to accept credit cards, effectively shutting off spammers' access to money. And now that they know what to look for, they can easily shut down any new institution, which is much easier than finding a new one up for such sleazy dealings.
It makes sense! It'll just take the cooperation of major credit card companies to do it. Please, Visa and Mastercard? Pretty please?
Via NY Times