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Models to Combat Email Spam Botnets and Unwanted Phone Calls

Description: With the amount of email spam received these days it is hard to imagine that spammers act individually. Nowadays, most of the spam emails have been sent from a collection of compromised machines controlled by some spammers. These compromised computers are often called bots, using which the spammers can send massive volume of spam within a short period of time. The motivation of this work is to understand and analyze the behavior of spammers through a large collection of spam mails. My research examined a the data set collected over a 2.5-year period and developed an algorithm which would give the botnet features and then classify them into various groups. Principal component analysis was used to study the association patterns of group of spammers and the individual behavior of a spammer in a given domain. This is based on the features which capture maximum variance of information we have clustered. Presence information is a growing tool towards more efficient communication and providing new services and features within a business setting and much more. The main contribution in my thesis is to propose the willingness estimator that can estimate the callee's willingness without his/her involvement, the model estimates willingness level based on call history. Finally, the accuracy of the proposed willingness estimator is validated with the actual call logs.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Husna, Husain
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Multi-Variate Analysis of SMTP Paths and Relays to Restrict Spam and Phishing Attacks in Emails

Description: The classifier discussed in this thesis considers the path traversed by an email (instead of its content) and reputation of the relays, features inaccessible to spammers. Groups of spammers and individual behaviors of a spammer in a given domain were analyzed to yield association patterns, which were then used to identify similar spammers. Unsolicited and phishing emails were successfully isolated from legitimate emails, using analysis results. Spammers and phishers are also categorized into serial spammers/phishers, recent spammers/phishers, prospective spammers/phishers, and suspects. Legitimate emails and trusted domains are classified into socially close (family members, friends), socially distinct (strangers etc), and opt-outs (resolved false positives and false negatives). Overall this classifier resulted in far less false positives when compared to current filters like SpamAssassin, achieving a 98.65% precision, which is well comparable to the precisions achieved by SPF, DNSRBL blacklists.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Palla, Srikanth
Partner: UNT Libraries

E‐Shape Analysis

Description: The motivation of this work is to understand E-shape analysis and how it can be applied to various classification tasks. It has a powerful feature to not only look at what information is contained, but rather how that information looks. This new technique gives E-shape analysis the ability to be language independent and to some extent size independent. In this thesis, I present a new mechanism to characterize an email without using content or context called E-shape analysis for email. I explore the applications of the email shape by carrying out a case study; botnet detection and two possible applications: spam filtering and social-context based finger printing. The second part of this thesis takes what I apply E-shape analysis to activity recognition of humans. Using the Android platform and a T-Mobile G1 phone I collect data from the triaxial accelerometer and use it to classify the motion behavior of a subject.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Sroufe, Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries

System and Methods for Detecting Unwanted Voice Calls

Description: Voice over IP (VoIP) is a key enabling technology for the migration of circuit-switched PSTN architectures to packet-based IP networks. However, this migration is successful only if the present problems in IP networks are addressed before deploying VoIP infrastructure on a large scale. One of the important issues that the present VoIP networks face is the problem of unwanted calls commonly referred to as SPIT (spam over Internet telephony). Mostly, these SPIT calls are from unknown callers who broadcast unwanted calls. There may be unwanted calls from legitimate and known people too. In this case, the unwantedness depends on social proximity of the communicating parties. For detecting these unwanted calls, I propose a framework that analyzes incoming calls for unwanted behavior. The framework includes a VoIP spam detector (VSD) that analyzes incoming VoIP calls for spam behavior using trust and reputation techniques. The framework also includes a nuisance detector (ND) that proactively infers the nuisance (or reluctance of the end user) to receive incoming calls. This inference is based on past mutual behavior between the calling and the called party (i.e., caller and callee), the callee's presence (mood or state of mind) and tolerance in receiving voice calls from the caller, and the social closeness between the caller and the callee. The VSD and ND learn the behavior of callers over time and estimate the possibility of the call to be unwanted based on predetermined thresholds configured by the callee (or the filter administrators). These threshold values have to be automatically updated for integrating dynamic behavioral changes of the communicating parties. For updating these threshold values, I propose an automatic calibration mechanism using receiver operating characteristics curves (ROC). The VSD and ND use this mechanism for dynamically updating thresholds for optimizing their accuracy of detection. In addition to unwanted calls ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Kolan, Prakash
Partner: UNT Libraries

[News Clip: Fair Spam]

Description: Video footage from the KXAS-TV/NBC station in Fort Worth, Texas, to accompany a news story. This story aired at 6:00 P.M.
Date: October 14, 1997
Creator: KXAS-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[News Clip: Spam-o-Rama]

Description: B-roll video footage from the KXAS-TV/NBC station in Fort Worth, Texas, to accompany a news story. This story aired at 10pm.
Date: April 10, 1994, 10:00 p.m.
Creator: KXAS-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

2001: A Texas Folklore Odyssey

Description: This volume of the Publications of the Texas Folklore Society "contains a sample of the research that members of the Society were doing at the turn of the millennium as represented at the 1998, 1999, and 2000 meetings." The volume covers "a wide variety of contemporary and historical topics," including baby lore, stories about notable women, stories about food and cooking, information about the Model T Ford, and more (inside front cover). The index begins on page 339.
Date: 2001
Creator: Abernethy, Francis Edward
Partner: UNT Press

2001: A Texas Folklore Odyssey

Description: This volume of the Publications of the Texas Folklore Society "contains a sample of the research that members of the Society were doing at the turn of the millennium as represented at the 1998, 1999, and 2000 meetings." The volume covers "a wide variety of contemporary and historical topics," including baby lore, stories about notable women, stories about food and cooking, information about the Model T Ford, and more (inside front cover). The index begins on page 339.
Date: 2017
Creator: Abernethy, Francis Edward
Partner: UNT Press