Top 7 most interesting spam stories we’ve come across

Throughout our experience with fighting spam, we’ve come across some pretty interesting and even hilarious news around this topic. Want to see our top 7 most awesome stories? Read on.

Spam Museum

Photo courtesy of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(food)

Did you know that…

  1. The first spam message goes back all the way to 1978?

It all started when a very committed marketer from Digital Equipment Corporation sent out a massive sales message in CAPS letters to 400 people via ARPAnet, the “first Internet” acknowledged. This is believed to be the first ever computer based spam email.

  1. Bill Gates is probably the “most spammed person” in the world?

Making his email public in every speech, Microsoft founder Bill Gates ended up receiving up to 4 million emails on a daily basis back in 2004. As expected, most of them were spam and due to the work of the anti-spam team at Microsoft, only 10 actually made it to his Inbox. Although he predicted spam would be “a thing of the past”, here we are 11 years later still fighting it!

  1. In 2004, internet portal Lycos came up with a smart screensaver to scare spammers away?

The screensaver would constantly request data from the sites whose names appeared in the body of the messages. Their goal was to keep spammers’ servers running and have them send out terabytes of data, which would cost the spammers a fortune to keep up with. Unfortunately, this project was eventually put on hold, as others who tried to trick spammers. Nice try!

  1. In 2006, startup company Blue Security tried to stop spam by personally contacting spammers to get names taken off mailing lists?

Obviously spammers don’t play nice and the project failed, due to an increase in the number of attacks. However, the team’s sense of responsibility should be highly appreciated.

  1. There’s a “Spam King”?

In 2007, 28 year-old Robert Soloway earned the right to be called the “Internet Spam King” after allegedly sending out millions of junk email. He was arrested in 2007 on charges of mail fraud, identity theft and money laundering, eventually pleading guilty on 40 charges. He was released in 2011.

  1. January 2011 registered a dramatic fall in spam volumes?

In spite of predictions that email spam would decline, it was only a temporary event, as spammers have the tendency to regroup and new botnets pop up every day.

  1. There is a Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota?

This is however related to the homonym Spam Food and tells the history of the Hormel company, the inventor of the Spam canned meat.

Do you have any cool spam stories to add to our list?

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