December 2020 in Spamtraps: ESPs

ESP Top Ten chart, December 2020
Figure 1. ESP spam in spamtraps, December 2020

Okay, so here’s the last post of 2020, a day or two late.

It really seems as if the SendGrid flood that there was during the autumn is over. There’s still a lot of mail, and some of it is still stuff that no ESP customer should be sending, but the numbers are more or less back to normal, which is nice.

0All others33.9%259 ESPs identified
1Salesforce Marketing Cloud15.6%Marcus & Millichap (3.5%)
2SendGrid13.8%Uber (7.0%)
3Mailchimp8.7%Spamtrap bias showingAkcióbazár (<1%)
4Amazon SES6.3%Netflix (4.9%)
5Oracle Marketing (3.7%)
6Adobe Campaign3.9%Pandora (49%) (10%)
8Epsilon>2.9%DICK’S Sporting Goods (40%)
9CheetahMail<2.9%Talbots (7.7%) (3.3%)
Table 1. Top 10 ESPs in our spamtraps, December 2020,
with their shares of the total and most prominent customers

We’ve done something strange, or spammers have done something strange, I don’t know. The proportion of ESP spam to all spam we’ve seen keeps growing. The numbers remain more or less the same, while the total goes down, so I guess either the botnets are spewing less, or we’re ignoring them better. The percentage of ESP spam to all was a whopping 8.1% this month.

Then there’s the relative badness.

ESP badness, December 2020
Figure 2. Relative badness of ESPs in our spamtraps, December 2020

As always, the “relative badness” figure is obtained by dividing the total number of messages sent to us by an ESP by the apparent number of its customers participating in it.

The biggest customers in the badness chart are DICK’S Sporting Goods for Epsilon (almost 40% of Epsilon’s total catch in our traps); the Republican party (over 70% of what Pulsepoint sent); Costco (over a third of what we got from WhatCounts) and Pandora, which amounted to almost half of the Adobe contribution.

That’s all, folks! Happy New Year, may it be less interesting in the Chinese sense than the one we just left behind.

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