All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Elizabeth Gardner

Advisory Committee Members

Jason Linville

Darrell Burke

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Forensic Science (MSFS) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Spam, or its more formal name, unsolicited commercial e-mail, is a problem for every person in the world that uses the internet. Spam is mostly illegal but there are legal types of spam. The spam found in emails that are not requested, or that are on social net-works and search engines can be illegal spam. Illegal spam masks the original destination and normally leads a consumer to a harmful site. Pharmaceutical spam leads to an affili-ate site selling prescription drugs without requiring a prescription, along with other ques-tionable products. These drugs range from erectile dysfunction drugs to pain medications. All of these drugs are being sold at very low prices per pill, making them more appealing to the consumer to buy. In this research, pharmaceutical spam subjects were manually analyzed and then grouped into spam campaigns based on common domains. The results of this project include: the determination of the connections among the spam campaigns, as well as the connections among the affiliate sites; the determination of the most domi-nate affiliate sites and spam campaigns that appeared throughout the nine month research period; and the determination that only about eight to ten affiliate programs are hiring affiliates to advertise their affiliate site using the spam campaigns identified in this re-search.

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