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September 03, 2009

Some spamwars.com Statistics

I'll take a break from my usual anti-BadGuy rants and share with Dispatches readers a few tidbits about visitors to this site. The information comes from Google Analytics, which I embedded within this site about a year ago. It was primarily for my personal curiosity, since I have no advertisers to appease and no other overlords dangling swords over my head.

First, on the techy side, here is breakdown of the most popular browsers and operating systems visiting this site:

Browser / OS PlatformPct. Visitors
Internet Explorer / Windows31.95%
Firefox / Windows29.68%
Firefox / Macintosh11.72%
Opera / Linux10.02%
Safari / Macintosh4.54%
Firefox / Linux4.35%
Chrome / Windows2.84%
Opera / Windows2.08%
Mozilla / Linux0.95%
Konqueror / Linux0.38%
Safari / iPhone0.38%

If you merge the operating systems, Firefox is the winner here, with IE running second with pretty dismal penetration — certainly below industry estimates for IE's overall user share. I take this to mean that spamwars.com visitors tend to be on the savvy side when it comes to security. I wouldn't use IE on a production PC for daily web surfing on a dare.

Linux and Mac users are just about even. I imagine that most of the Linux users hold admin or similar posts in IT departments. That so many of them prefer Opera signals that they practice security through obscurity...not a bad practice if you're responsible for keeping a network clean.

As for which content areas of this site are favored by visitors, I'm a bit surprised. After the main entry page, the most popular destinations are the Tools pages, especially the base64 decoder. While the tools I provide are certainly workable, they are (intentionally) not ultra-sophisticated. I don't monitor what types of content visitors are decoding on these client-side tools, but I am curious about whether it's the tech-savvy or general consumer visitors who take advantage of these tools. I would think that experienced admin types would have other tools — if not utilities that they, themselves, wrote — to handle these tasks. Whatever the case, I'm glad the tools are being used.

I'm a little disappointed in the traffic on the Stats page. A lot of the problem must be attributed to my failure to get that page reasonably ranked for Google searches of the phrase spam stats, even after nearly five years of daily content changes and enough keywords to get anybody's attention. When this site hits its five-year anniversary this coming November, I will reevaluate whether I'll continue publishing those stats. If you like them, let me know.

One final note about visitors finding this site is that many arrive here by using search engines to hunt down phrases or names found in various spam and malware campaigns reported in this blog. It is for this reason that I quote liberally from particularly nasty or tricky email messages — so that the curious email user will be able to discover the truth about a message aimed at bilking him or her out of money, private information, or computing power. If one of my tirades here has helped prevent a regular email user from being tricked into acting on behalf of a crook, then this long effort is worth it.

Posted on September 03, 2009 at 09:55 AM