Spam Evolution

While there has been much argue about what was truly the first spam, these unsolicited messages became well known in the mid 1990's. When people understand that this was the most cost-efficient way to advertise on the web, spam quickly became a serious issue - the RBL (Real-Time Black List) released in 1997 was solid proof.

Over the years, spamming techniques have developed in order to penetrate several filtering programs designed to stop the problem. As soon as new blockers and filters are developed, spammers quickly find a way around them. This had led to a cruel cycle that is spiraling out of control.

Shortest Spam Mailing

Early types of spam were frankly sent to internet users.  In these days, spammers had no need to cover themselves.  While it was a terrible irritation, early spam was relatively easy to block; all it took was black listing a specific sender or the IP address from which the mail originated.  This resulted in spammers spoofing their email addresses and fake contents of the messages.  
Open communicate Spam
The majority mail servers were open relay in the mid 1990's.  This allowed persons to send email to anyone they beloved.  The growing rate of spam and other security problems caused administrators to reconfigure email servers across the world.  Completing this took more time than many spam receivers would have liked.  Aside from that, many owners and administrators of servers were not willing to follow along.  As the process started, security analysts worldwide began searching for all remaining open relay servers.  Black lists became available, giving administrators the ability to block incoming spam from all servers found on the lists.  While this drastically reduced the amount of spam for some, many spammers still target open relay servers for mass mailing campaigns.

Modem Pool Spam  
Once the act of flooding open relay servers became less efficient, spammers started using dial-up connections as a source of distribution.  They became inventive by exploiting vulnerabilities in the structure of ISP dial-up services.  Since dial-up modems utilize a dynamic IP address, spammers were able to spam users from a different IP address per session.  To battle the problem, internet service providers placed a limit on the number of messages an individual could send out per session.  Anything over the set limit was sent back to the user and categorized as a spam message.

Robot Networks         
Robots, more usually identified as zombies, were responsible for the majority of the spam being sent in 2003 and 2004.  This form was much more than an inconvenience for the user.  Spammers used Trojan horses to download malware and crippling viruses onto several machines, allowing them to be controlled from a remote location.
Industry analysts have predictable that Trojans are actively operating on millions of computers throughout the world.  Some are advanced in ways that allow them to install other Trojans, initiate DDOS attacks and much more - all this from opening a single spam message.  

Spammers now use a combination of various methods to be more effective.  This is because many anti-spam programs are incapable of detecting them all.  As spam filters improve to protect receivers, spamming techniques will continue to evolve and keep our mailbox clogged with unwanted messages. 



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