Spam email filtering using network-level properties

By Cortez, P.; Correia, A.; Sousa, P.; Rocha, M.; Rio, M.

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)



Spam is serious problem that affects email users (e.g. phishing attacks, viruses and time spent reading unwanted messages). We propose a novel spam email filtering approach based on network-level attributes (e.g. the IP sender geographic coordinates) that are more persistent in time when compared to message content. This approach was tested using two classifiers, Naive Bayes (NB) and Support Vector Machines (SVM), and compared against bag-of-words models and eight blacklists. Several experiments were held with recent collected legitimate (ham) and non legitimate (spam) messages, in order to simulate distinct user profiles from two countries (USA and Portugal). Overall, the network-level based SVM model achieved the best discriminatory performance. Moreover, preliminary results suggests that such method is more robust to phishing attacks.


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