by Patrik Boubín
History of SPAMming
SPAM is an unsolicited message in most cases with commercial content. Spamming means sending a message to a lot of email addresses owners of which don´t want to receive this message.
The first SPAM was sent as an advertisement through the ARPANET network to 393 recipients in year 1978. The subject of this message signed by David Rhodes was “MAKE MONEY FAST!” (very similar spams are sent till today).
The first really massive spam was the “Green Card Lottery” sent by lawyer Company to about 6000 discuss networks in 1994. The very similar communication was the “Global Alert for All: Jesus is Coming Soon”.
The Czech best-known spam is a massive email by Media Online Company about server Tvujdum.cz: in the body of the email information about news and the web was placed. Later this company apologized for it and let know that they will send 50 000 Czech crowns to the foundation Člověk v tísni (Human in dire straits). But after many people complained about this, Media Online was penalized.
The next spammer was a student Richard Slaby with a spam about cloning a SIM card.
A very known spam is “Hotel U Lípy” : this year Mr. Geyer was penalized, he must pay 250 000 Czech crowns.
There is the law of 1994 against spammers in the Czech Republic. It is important for our country, but as usually it isn´t perfect because “look at www.business-offer.cz “ can´t be considered as a spam.
Kinds of SPAMs
1. Email spams unwanted email messages. This problem arose when the Internet was opened to the common users.
2. Instant Messaging – “spim” – Instant Messenger, ICQ, Live Messenger, QIP, Miranda…
3. Newsgroup and forum spams, blogs, wiki, guest books spams
4. Mobile phone spams – SpaSMS
5. Video sharing: YouTube links to the malware software.
– language: 99% English, next are Japanese, Spanish and Russian
– domain name: .com 66%, .net 13%, .uk 4%
– size: 80% less than 10 kB , 3% more than 30 kB
– theme (subjects): 15% sex (erotic), 10% pharmacy, 8 % software, 5% luxury products (Rolex etc.)
– 80-90% of all emails are spams
– 100 billions spam emails are sent every day
– the company costs in 2007 amounted approximately 250 millions USD
– influence of the first letter of an email address: mostly the addresses beginning with letters A,M,S,R,P are often abused, with Q,Y, Z – less.
How to prevent (chiefly companies) from receiving spams
1. Don´t use email addresses in the company´s homepage or don´t use @ – it is better to write “name zavinac domain.cz” or use a form with a certificate (it is necessary to fill in 4 characters in the form) because spammer robots try to get email addresses from webpages looking for strings with “@”.
2. Don´t use the company email in web forms, chats, discuss groups – users should use private email addresses.
3. Use antivirus, firewall, antispyware, update the operating system.
4. Don´t use unsafely web addresses and don´t download unknown files.
5. Use antispam both on the server and in a local email client (outlook).
6. Configure SMTP server – use only emails to the own domain.
HOAX is a special type of a SPAM. It is a “startler” the basic goal of which is to spread a “chain reaction”. Its content usually concerns charity (e.g. Do you want 7 Golden Retrievers?), money for spreading mails (a burning girl looking like money), something free of charge (Laptop free of charge) etc.
Note: Dear colleagues, I hope you´ve enjoyed the text, which my student has written as an essay. In my opinion this essay is a good material for studying technical texts. At the same time the topic of the essay is a burning problem for many people and we might grateful to the author who shares his experience with us. Good luck in your struggle with spams.