A KMail folder full of spam e-mail messages collected over a few days.
Spamming is commonly defined as the sending of unsolicited bulk e-mail – that is, email that was not asked for (unsolicited) by multiple recipients (bulk). A further common definition of spam restricts it to unsolicited commercial e-mail, a definition that does not consider non-commercial solicitations such as political or religious pitches, even if unsolicited, as spam.
In the popular eye, the most common form of spam is that delivered in e-mail as a form of commercial advertising. However, over the short history of electronic media, people have spammed for many purposes other than the commercial, and in many media other than e-mail. Spammers have developed a variety of spamming techniques, which vary by media: e-mail spam, instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, and mobile phone messaging spam.
Spamming is economically viable because advertisers have effectively no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists. Because the barrier to entry is so low, the volume of unsolicited mail has produced other costs which are borne by the public (in terms of lost productivity and fraud) and by Internet service providers, which must add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. Spamming is widely reviled, and has been the subject of legislation in a number of jurisdictions.
Solutions to the spam problem
All manner of attempts have been made to curb unsolicited mass electronic communications. There are many solution categories in this constantly evolving field. Source-based blocking solutions prevent receipt of spam, while content filtering solutions identify spam after it’s been received. There are avoidance strategies, including disposable identities. Automated cancellation of netnews spam is ongoing. Contractual measures such as Internet Service Providers’ acceptable-use policies are also employed. Anti-spam laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 have also been introduced to regulate or increase the legal penalties for spamming. Various vigilante and retaliatory tactics are also employed. Newer strategies include various cost-based and e-mail authentication and sender reputation solutions. The best means however is to be vigilant as to whom you give your email address. Constant distribution of your email address is bound to result in spam in some way. The best frame of mind is to decide whether the website can be trusted with your email address.
- others in news.admin.net-abuse.* hierarchy
- IETF views on spamming can be found in RFC 2635.
- Ursine:Spam – Spam article in The Jargon Wiki.
- DMOZ Open Directory
- Webmaster Forums at the Open Directory Project
- CircleID: Addressing Spam
- Spam Blocker Crawler Free public service for scanning guestbooks on link spam and send abuse in the Google and spammer’s hoster.
- Anti Spam Research Group
- APCAUCE – CAUCE Asia Pacific
- The Spamhaus Project
- Fight Spam on the Internet!
- Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group
- OECD Antispam Toolkit
Anti-spam articles and publications
- Spam In Developing Countries – part of the OECD Antispam Toolkit
- AOL Postmaster Pages – What to do if AOL blocks you
- Outblaze Antispam Pages – Articles on spam filtering by the postmaster staff at Outblaze
- SpamKings Blog by Brian McWilliams
- SpamHelp Anti-Spam Articles
- Anti Spam Whitepapers and Software
- Anti-Spam Topics
- Antiphishing Crusade Daily News of phishing spam collected from around the net.
- Article by Andy Coote in SC Magazine June 2004
- California lawyer who sues spammers
- E-mail Address Harvesting: How Spammers Reap What You Sow by the Federal Trade Commission
- Email Battles Daily news about spam, security, privacy, spyware, phishing and viruses from the front lines of the e-mail wars.
- Getting Rid of Spam (summary)
- Library of E-mail Spam Reports and Articles
- Spam FAQs
- Spamfo.co.uk News on junk e-mail, scams, fraud, legal aspects and reviews of software and services.
- SpamNews.co.uk Delivering your daily slice of fresh Spam. All the spam news, all the time
- Suggestions on how to choose an e-mail address and how to disclose it with care
- The rules of spam, according to net.admin.net-abuse.email
- The War Against Spam — a collection of reading material on the subject
- Unsolicited Commercial E-mail Research Six Month Report by the Center for Democracy & Technology
- UPI article about the economic effects of spam
- White paper from e-mail client developers
- Yahoo Domain Keys: Another Ineffective Spam Solution — shumans.com article, Dec 6, 2003
- Spam Techniques Research — do.homeunix.org paper and wiki, Jul 7, 2005
- A tool that deals with referer spam
- How to deny access to spam bots
- Why I Hate Spam by Bill Gates, The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2003.
- Artist turns mortgage loan and Viagra spam into art Vyuz.com
- Spamusement A collection of humorously drawn cartoons inspired by actual spam subject lines.
- The Incredible Spam Museum A search engine like site that collects and publish spam e-mails.
- Spamradio Turns spam e-mail into online music streams.
- Spam Eulogy A guy that lives in a world of spam.
- WhamBamSpam Website that wants you to spam it’s forums, essentially free advertising, and spam discussions.
Video: Spam, Phishing, and Online Scams: A View from the Network-Level