To Fight Email Scammers, Take a Different View. Literally.

In an effort to combat email scams, researchers at New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering and Agari, a data security company, have developed a visual analytics tool that dramatically speeds up forensic email investigations and highlights critical links within email data. The Beagle tool creates a visual analytical interface that can return queries as well as summarize emails and highlight commonalities between them, even in fields that investigators commonly overlook. Such fields include the time an email is sent, the geographical location of recipients, and keywords and content patterns. Beagle was developed using a database of more than 100,000 emails intercepted from real-world scammers. Said NYU's Enrico Bertini, "Beagle builds pictures from the data, making it much easier to connect the dots and ultimately understand how scam networks operate, from first contact with a victim through what are often multiple rounds of extortion."