Things you should know about spam mail; the adaptive enemy

In 2009, it was estimated that spam cost businesses US$130 billion, and in 2010, spam mail hit a peak, accounting for about 89% of all emails.

These numbers show that spam mails are an important, mostly unpleasant part of the digital space.

Ever wоndеrеd hоw ѕраm mail саmе to bе? Wеll, here’s ѕоmе infоrmаtiоn. Wе’ll start frоm thе wоrd, SPAM.

SPAM was originally the name of a canned luncheon meat by Hormel Foods in 1937. It has been said to be an acronym meaning Spiced Ham or Shoulders of Pork and Ham, among many other speculations.

SPAM was widely accepted and used in a play where it was served with almost all items in the menu, so some customers annoyingly repeated the word, ‘SPAM’ until they were asked to shut up.

However, it was not until the 1990s that the word was used to refer to certain electronic messages from multi-user-dungeons. The first documented case of spam among Usenet users was March 31, 1993.

Before the naming and the documentation, the first recognized action of spamming occurred in 1978. While the year has been agreed on, the number of recipients and the exact day the mail was sent have had some discrepancies. On the number of recipients, the numbers ranged from 300, 393 to 600 recipients.

Interestingly but not surprising, it was an advertisement by Digital Equipment Corporation by a marketer of their, Gary Thuerk. As expected, and as it the case today, the reaction was mostly negative even though it led to some sales.

Spam mail has maintained its repetitive annoying trait from its meat origin as well as its ability to reach many people at once, and so it has become a nuisance, interrupting productive work by distracting and wasting time, no wonder a lot of money is spent on anti-spamming controls.

On September 27, 2004, Nicholas Tombros pleaded guilty to charges and became the first spammer to be convicted under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. He was sentenced in July 2007 to three years’ probation, six months’ house arrest, and fined $10,000.

Despite these controls in place, the spamming continues and we may have come to accept that they have come to stay.

The reason the spamming continues was explained in one line in Digitaltrends, “Anti-spam software are fighting an adaptive enemy.”

Spamming has many convictions, but it remains. While we may not be able to stop them, we can control them by blocking each recognized.

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