Do Zebras Get Less Spam Than Aardvarks?

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 03 2008 @ 11:30 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Cambridge University security expert Richart Clayton discovered a link between the first letter of your e-mail address and the amount of spam you receive:
The study (.PDF), titled "Do Zebras get more Spam than Aardvarks?" analyzed traffic logs from the U.K. ISP Demon Internet. The data analyzed was from the period Feb. 1st - March 27th of 2008.

In the study, Clayton noted that those whose local part of their email address (this is the portion to the left of the "@") begins with "A" receive about 50% spam and 50% non-spam. Clayton called this group aardvarks. When the local part begins with "Z" (call them zebras) about 75% is spam.

You're probably saying, eh? This makes no sense based on what was said earlier. Ah, but it does.

The reason more of the zebra email is spam is because so few actual email addresses start with "Z". Thus, the real portion of email is smaller. If you only look at legitimate email addresses, the picture changes: 20% of email addressed to zebras is spam, 35% of aardvarks is spam.
More info at HotHardware.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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