Making the Most of the Internet - Blog


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

An Analysis of Bank Phishing E-Mails


I collect spam and bank phishing e-mails in particular.

I should say that as I have had an Internet presence since about 1992, my e-mail addresses at have been severely compromised. They have been distributed to virtually all of the spammers, whether they are in the US, Russia, Eastern Europe, China or elsewhere.

To make matters worse, but much better for the purpose of collecting spam, some bright spark has generated lots of e-mail addresses based on, so they can tell the crooks that they’ve sent many times more than they actually have. Sometimes I get twenty or thirty copies of the same message to different addresses. Most of these addresses bear no relation to reality, typically being something like

Bank Phishing - Click for latest data

To illustrate the scale of the problem, I’ve taken just one source of spam; bank phishing scams, where criminals are trying to get details of bank accounts through fake sites.

In the graph, blue are messages supposedly from Barclays, red shows the Co-Operative Bank and yellow shows all the other phishing attempts on other banks. I have included messages to about ten domain names, most of which are .coms, in addition to

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