Why Technical English

SPAMs | December 7, 2008

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.

Galina Vitkova



  1. This essay is really well wroted, shows meaning of word spam….from my opinion spam is so common thanks to modern technologies, in old days when the only way how to send a message was a postman couldn´t spam get its power. The golden area came with internet and email.Freedom on the net is great thing, but sometimes some kind of regulation could be useful.

    Comment by Jiri Filandr — December 9, 2008 @ 7:47 pm

  2. I actually haven’t gotten much of spam for a long time and I don’t think I have any superior secure PC. When I was getting that crap, it was mainly advertisment for penis enlargment and what not. Dunno, why..though 🙂 . Anyway, it’s a good Essay for studying. I especially liked exposure of statistics and the part “How to prevent..”.

    Comment by Miroslav Čermák — December 9, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

  3. I agree, it is well writen, pure, without emotive context. Interesting way, how to hide spam when sending it, is changing the letters in headers (instead of erotic – erottic, eerotic) so security software is in that case practically rendered useless. Same for the pictures – instead of forwarding the same one, there are many iterations with some random colour dots, different compress methods – again, just to confuse any software, which would try to supress spam. Hiding email address is getting harder, because fulltext searchers are now trying to guess by what are “hidden” characters replaced by. Czech phrases like “zavinac” are still quite safe, because it is not that widely used.
    I heard a rumor, that Bill Gates had one department just for deleting spam from his mailbox 🙂

    Comment by Michal Elias — December 11, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

  4. Congratulations. It is really great essay. For users are also dangerous those types of registrations on some websites, which required your e-mail adress. It is good to have a special e-mail adress for registrations.

    Comment by Michal Horn — December 13, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  5. I consider that spam is a problem mainly for companies or someone who puts his email adress everywhere. Perhaps I’m a lucky man, but the amount of spams I get is really small. It isn’t more than 2 a week…
    But I think too that this essay is good written.

    Comment by Vojtěch Hovorka — December 14, 2008 @ 11:45 am

  6. Thanks for very nice essay. I think SPAM is no big deal today with so much software against it. At least I feel it that way. I´ve just got used to ignore it, delete it and forgot about it as soon as possible. Problems could appear when someone is learning with PC and don´t know what to expect from this.

    Comment by Vít Smetana — December 15, 2008 @ 10:25 am

  7. My opinion: spam is a big problem, because when you open spam mail by accident some trojan can get into your computer and even if you have good antivirus it can cause a lot of trouble. I’m receiving like two spam mails per day but it used to be worse (two years ago it was about twenty messages per day). Now I have a second mail address for registrations and it’s full of spam (it is realy good step to use two addresses, it is relief for your personal mail).
    Spam will always be there, but everyone can avoid to it if they will listen to advices in this essay.

    Comment by Jiří Sekera — December 15, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

  8. SPAM is a great problem nowadays, it really makes work of different companies or even people very hard. They are to delete all this SPAM and it takes a lot of time when there is really much of this. It contains useless or really bad information. I think there aren’t a lot of ways to solve this problem, because it ran so much out of control. But this is only one of the problems that almost all people in the world have to deal with and the greatest one. So people are to behave right to overcome the problem of SPAM.

    Comment by Robert Arzumanov — December 25, 2008 @ 9:05 am

  9. It is a good essay. SPAM is global problem of internet. And it’s hard to protect your email from spams today. It’s adviced to have more than 1 email adresses and to use each in particular way. SPAMs, viruses, maleware, are price for all the good, we get from internet. But I have to say that I do not get much spams, fortunately.

    Comment by Eduard Arzumanov — December 25, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  10. In my opinion spam is not really dangerous. I think it is only very annoying message. I got much spams two years ago, but nowadays I do not get spam.

    Comment by Ota Chasák — January 1, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

  11. I hate spam but I guess, spam will be in future so common thing, that there will be lower number of spamming bots and spam will no longer work on people. And when there will be nobody, who would try buying e.x. some pills through the internet, there will be also no spam.

    Comment by Jan Herych — January 2, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

  12. I get about 5 SPAM emails a week. But when I am registering on some suspicious webpage I put there my other email adress. Because I dont want to get tens of SPAM a day and thats why I have one mailbox for SPAM.

    Comment by Jan Janíček — January 6, 2009 @ 10:49 am

  13. Gmail.com is cool webmail which filters spams allways correctly. Just open spams folder, laugh at funny subjects of spams and two clics to send them all to away.

    Comment by Jiří Brabec — January 7, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

  14. Very great essay. I don’t think that spam issue is big problem nowadays because almost every email client or internet aplication has anti-spam protection already embeded. I know that spams and stuff are very troublesome but with just a little protection you can rid of it.

    Comment by Martin Fritzl — January 13, 2009 @ 11:35 am

  15. Well, I got a new information from this essay… In my opinion, Spam is not really dangerous these days. It used to be, when there wasn´t any anti-spam software. Nowadays, every mail is controlled by several applications (e.g. embedded anti-spam control in Mozilla), so it´s impossible to read the spam, because it´s deleted before you can ever see that you have a mail.

    Comment by Jan Sládek — January 14, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

  16. May be spams are not dangerous today, but in any case they are time-wasting. Every day I receive about 15 spams although I use filters, which the operating system provides. However, it is very difficult to set filter parameters because spammers use different spelling of well known words, e.g instead of “viagra” they write “vi-agra” etc. So, spams for me are rather a boring problem.

    Comment by Galina Vitkova — January 15, 2009 @ 10:18 am

  17. […] SPAMs   […]

    Pingback by Changing the theme of this blog « Why Technical English — August 26, 2010 @ 9:27 am

  18. Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.

    Comment by Oregege — November 17, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

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