A Brief History of Spam [Infographic]Written by Casper Manes on February 12, 2013
You asked for it, you’ve got it, readers of AllSpammedUp.com! Based on some of the comments that we received in my last article, I thought I would start out a new series of articles on this history of spam. Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at the origin of spam, how it got its name, and how it grew from minor nuisance to major problem, the financial impact from the perspective of both sender and recipient, and how the various technologies we use to counter spam operate. Here’s what you can look forward to over the next several weeks.
We’ll start out with the origins of email itself, since without email, we wouldn’t have spam at all. We’ll see how, as email grew from researcher’s novelty to both a mission critical business application and something almost as common as a cellphone, spam was first born, and then grew into what we all know and love today.
Then we will cover the evolution of anti-spam technologies, from the first simple word filters and sender blacklists to Bayesian filters and reputation lists. We’ll also look at some of the technologies that have been proposed over time to combat spam, and see why they didn’t catch on.
No series on spam would be complete without an article or two taking a look at some of the most notorious and prolific spammers, whether they are individuals or organized groups. And no look at spammers would be complete without a review of some of the worst and most impactful of the various malware that spammers use to peddle their wares.
We’re even going to spend a little time looking at the various regulations that are out there designed to combat spam, and why they seem to have so little impact.
To round out this introduction, I’d like to include an infographic from my friends over at Marketo. Disclosure-I’ve used Marketo several times in the past as the sender of bulk email for companies I have worked for. These guys understand SPF, DKIM, the importance of using opt-in mailing lists, and how critical it is to process unsubscribe requests immediately.
If there’s anything you think should be included in the coming weeks, leave a comment below and let me know. Like many of our series, this one can adapt over time so it’s never too late to put in a request. Otherwise, I look forward to reading your comments as we look at a brief history of spam.