Why So Much Spam? Big Bucks, Why Else!
A spammer can potentially make $7,000 to $9,500 a day. A Berkeley study commandeered part of a botnet that was responsible for a large chunk of the internet's spam and turned it into a research tool. The researchers instructed the infected computers to send out spam that directed people to fake storefronts, which the study then monitored. The researchers netted only 28 "sales" in 26 days -- a 0.00001% conversion rate -- but they'd infiltrated only about 1.5% of the actual botnet. Their final conclusion was that whoever was responsible for the entire botnet could be pulling in $7,000 a day, and $9,500 during active periods, although they stressed that determining actual profit from that figure would be difficult.