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Orfa
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:39 pm    Post subject: Spam Reply with quote

Spam (electronic)
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This article is about electronic spam. For other uses, see Spam.
An email box folder of spam messages.

Spamming is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, Online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam and junk fax transmissions.

Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, and it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings. Because the barrier to entry is so low, spammers are numerous, and the volume of unsolicited mail has become very high. The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. Spamming is widely reviled, and has been the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions.[citation needed]

Persons who create electronic spam are called spammers.[1]
Contents
[hide]

* 1 Spamming in different media
o 1.1 E-mail spam
o 1.2 Instant Messaging Spam
o 1.3 Newsgroup spam and forum spam
o 1.4 Mobile phone spam
o 1.5 Online game messaging spam
o 1.6 Spam targeting search engines (spamdexing)
o 1.7 Blog, wiki, and guestbook spam
o 1.8 Spam targeting video sharing sites
* 2 Noncommercial spam
* 3 Geographical origins of spams
* 4 History
o 4.1 Pre-Internet spam
o 4.2 Origin of the term "spam"
o 4.3 History of Internet "spam"
* 5 Trademark issues
* 6 Costs of spam
o 6.1 General costs of spam
* 7 In crime
* 8 Political issues
* 9 Court cases
o 9.1 United States
o 9.2 United Kingdom
o 9.3 New Zealand
* 10 Newsgroups
* 11 See also
o 11.1 History
* 12 References
* 13 External links

[edit] Spamming in different media

[edit] E-mail spam

Main article: E-mail spam

E-mail spam, known as unsolicited bulk Email (UBE) or unsolicited commercial email (UCE), is the practice of sending unwanted e-mail messages, frequently with commercial content, in large quantities to an indiscriminate set of recipients.

Spam in e-mail started to become a problem when the Internet was opened up to the general public in the mid-1990s. It grew exponentially over the following years, and today comprises some 80 to 85% of all the email in the world, by conservative estimate;[2] some sources go as high as 95%.[who?]

Pressure to make e-mail spam illegal has been successful in some jurisdictions, but less so in others. Spammers take advantage of this fact, and frequently outsource parts of their operations to countries where spamming will not get them into legal trouble.

Increasingly, e-mail spam today is sent via "zombie networks", networks of virus- or worm-infected personal computers in homes and offices around the globe; many modern worms install a backdoor which allows the spammer access to the computer and use it for malicious purposes. This complicates attempts to control the spread of spam, as in many cases the spam doesn't even originate from the spammer. At the same time, it is becoming clear that malware authors, spammers, and phishers are learning from each other, and possibly forming various kinds of partnerships.[citation needed]

E-mail is an extremely cheap mass medium, and professional spammers have automated their processes to the extent that millions of messages can be sent daily with little or no labor costs. Thus, spamming can be very profitable even at what would otherwise be considered extremely low response rates.

An industry of e-mail address harvesting is dedicated to collecting email addresses and selling compiled databases.[3] Some of these address harvesting approaches rely on users not reading the fine print of agreements, resulting in them agreeing to send messages indiscriminately to their contacts. This is a common approach in social networking spam

[edit] Instant Messaging Spam
This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.
Please improve this article if you can. (November 2007)

Main article: Messaging spam

Instant Messaging spam, sometimes termed spim (a portmanteau of spam and IM, short for instant messenger), makes use of instant messaging systems, such as AOL Instant Messenger,Xfire,ICQ,Yahoo messenger or Windows Live Messenger. Many IM systems offer a user directory, including demographic information that allows an advertiser to gather the information, sign on to the system, and send unsolicited messages. To send instant messages to millions of users requires scriptable software and the recipients' IM usernames. Spammers have similarly targeted Internet Relay Chat channels, using IRC bots that join channels and bombard them with advertising.

Messenger service spam has lent itself to spammer use in a particularly circular scheme. In many cases, messenger spammers send messages to vulnerable machines consisting of text like "Annoyed by these messages? Visit this site." The link leads to a Web site where, for a fee, users are told how to disable the Windows messenger service. Though the messenger service is easily disabled for free, the scam works because it creates a perceived need and offers a solution. Often the only "annoying messages" the user receives through Messenger are ads to disable Messenger itself. It is often using a false ID to get money or credit card numbers.

[edit] Newsgroup spam and forum spam

Main article: Newsgroup spam
Main article: Forum spam

[edit] Mobile phone spam

Main article: Mobile phone spam

Mobile phone spam is directed at the text messaging service of a mobile phone. This can be especially irritating to customers not only for the inconvenience but also because of the fee they may be charged per text message received in some markets. The term "SpaSMS" was coined at the adnews website Adland in 2000 to describe spam SMS.

[edit] Online game messaging spam

Many online games allow players to contact each other via player-to-player messaging, chatrooms, or public discussion areas. What qualifies as spam varies from game to game, but usually this term applies to all forms of message flooding, violating the terms of service contract for the website.

[edit] Spam targeting search engines (spamdexing)

Main article: Spamdexing

Spamdexing (a portmanteau of spamming and indexing) refers to the practice on the World Wide Web of modifying HTML pages to increase the chances of them being placed high on search engine relevancy lists. These sites use "black hat search engine optimization techniques" to unfairly increase their rank in search engines. Many modern search engines modified their search algorithms to try to exclude web pages utilizing spamdexing tactics.

[edit] Blog, wiki, and guestbook spam

Main article: Spam in blogs

Blog spam, or "blam" for short, is spamming on weblogs. In 2003, this type of spam took advantage of the open nature of comments in the blogging software Movable Type by repeatedly placing comments to various blog posts that provided nothing more than a link to the spammer's commercial web site.[4] Similar attacks are often performed against wikis and guestbooks, both of which accept user contributions.

[edit] Spam targeting video sharing sites

Video sharing sites, such as YouTube, are now being frequently targeted by spammers. The most common technique involves people (or spambots) posting links to sites, most likely pornographic or dealing with online dating, on the comments section of random videos or people's profiles.

Another frequently used technique is using bots to post messages on random users' profiles to a spam account's channel page, along with enticing text and images, usually of a suggestive nature. These pages may include their own or other users' videos, again often suggestive. The main purpose of these accounts is to draw people to their link in the home page section of their profile.

YouTube has blocked the posting of links but people can still manage to get their message across by replacing all instances of a period with the word "dot." For instance, typing out example dot com instead of example.com bypasses the filter set in place. In addition, YouTube has implemented a CAPTCHA system that makes rapid posting of repeated comments much more difficult than before, because of abuse in the past by mass-spammers who would flood people's profiles with thousands of repetitive comments.

Yet another kind is actual video spam, giving the uploaded movie a name and description with a popular figure or event which is likely to draw attention, or within the video has a certain image timed to come up as the video's thumbnail image to mislead the viewer. The actual content of the video ends up being totally unrelated, sometimes offensive, or just features on-screen text of a link to the site being promoted.

Others may upload videos presented in an infomercial-like format selling their product which feature actors and paid testimonials, though the promoted product or service is of dubious quality and would likely not pass the scrutiny of a standards and practices department at a television station or cable network.

[edit] Noncommercial spam

E-mail and other forms of spamming have been used for purposes other than advertisements. Many early Usenet spams were religious or political. Serdar Argic, for instance, spammed Usenet with historical revisionist screeds. A number of evangelists have spammed Usenet and e-mail media with preaching messages. A growing number of criminals are also using spam to perpetrate various sorts of fraud,[5] and in some cases have used it to lure people to locations where they have been kidnapped, held for ransom, and even murdered.[6]

[edit] Geographical origins of spams

Experts from SophosLabs analysed spam messages which were caught by some companies' spam filters, these being a part of the Sophos global spam monitoring network. They found that during the third quarter of 2007 the USA was the leader in the number of spam messages around the world. According to Sophos experts 28.4% of global spam comes from the U.S. The second place in the list of spammer-countries is South Korea, bringing 5.2% of global spam.

The list of top 12 countries that spread spam around the globe is presented below:

1. USA: 28.4%;
2. South Korea: 5.2%;
3. China (including Hong Kong): 4.9%;
4. Russia: 4.4%;
5. Brazil: 3.7%;
6. France: 3.6%;
7. Germany: 3.4%;
8. Turkey: 3.%;
9. Poland: 2.7%;
10. Great Britain: 2.4%;
11. Romania: 2.3%;
12. Mexico: 1.9%;

* Other countries: 33.9%[7]

[edit] History

[edit] Pre-Internet spam

In the late 19th Century Western Union allowed telegraphic messages on its network to be sent to multiple destinations. The first recorded instance of a mass unsolicited commercial telegram is from May 1864.[8] Up until the Great Depression wealthy North American residents would be deluged with nebulous investment offers. This problem never fully emerged in Europe to the degree that it did in the Americas, because telegraphy was regulated by national post offices in the European region.

[edit] Origin of the term "spam"

It is widely believed the term spam is derived from the 1970 SPAM sketch of the BBC television comedy series "Monty Python's Flying Circus".[9]

The sketch is set in a cafe where nearly every item on the menu includes SPAM luncheon meat. As the waiter recites the SPAM-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons drowns out all conversations with a song repeating "SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM... lovely SPAM, wonderful SPAM", hence "SPAMming" the dialogue. The excessive amount of SPAM mentioned in the sketch is a reference to British rationing during World War II.[citation needed] SPAM was one of the few meat products that avoided rationing, and hence was widely available.

In the 1980s the term was adopted to describe certain abusive users who frequented BBSs and MUDs, who would repeat "SPAM" a huge number of times to scroll other users' text off the screen.[10] In early Chat rooms services like PeopleLink and the early days of AOL, they actually flooded the screen with quotes from the Monty Python Spam sketch. With internet connections over phone lines, typically running at 1200 or even 300 BAUD, it could take an enormous amount of time for a spammy logo, drawn in ASCII art to scroll to completion on a viewer's terminal. Sending an irritating, large, meaningless block of text in this way was called spamming. This was used as a tactic by insiders of a group that wanted to drive newcomers out of the room so the usual conversation could continue. It was also used to prevent members of rival groups from chatting—for instance, Star Wars fans often invaded Star Trek chat rooms, filling the space with blocks of text until the Star Trek fans left.[11] This act, previously called flooding or trashing, came to be known as spamming.[12] The term was soon applied to a large amount of text broadcast by many users.

It later came to be used on Usenet to mean excessive multiple posting—the repeated posting of the same message. The unwanted message would appear in many if not all newsgroups, just as SPAM appeared in all the menu items in the Monty Python sketch. The first usage of this sense was by Joel Furr[13] in the aftermath of the ARMM incident of March 31, 1993, in which a piece of experimental software released dozens of recursive messages onto the news.admin.policy newsgroup [1]. This use had also become established—to spam Usenet was flooding newsgroups with junk messages. The word was also attributed to the flood of "Make Money Fast" messages that clogged many newsgroups during the 1990s.[citation needed]

In 1998, the New Oxford Dictionary of English, which had previously only defined "spam" in relation to the trademarked food product, added a second definition to its entry for "spam": "Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of newsgroups or users."[14]

There are three popular false etymologies of the word "spam". The first, promulgated by early spammers Canter & Siegel, is that "spamming" is what happens when one dumps a can of SPAM luncheon meat into a fan blade. The second is the backronym "shit posing as mail." The third is similar, using "stupid pointless annoying messages." Another false etymology is the Esperanto interpretation: The term spamo (with the o-ending designating nouns) makes sense as "senpete alsendita mesaĝo", which means "a message sent to someone without request".[citation needed]

[edit] History of Internet "spam"

The earliest documented spam was a message advertising the availability of a new model of Digital Equipment Corporation computers sent to 393 recipients on ARPANET in 1978, by Gary Thuerk.[15][16][13] The term "spam" for this practice had not yet been applied.

Spamming had been practiced as a prank by participants in multi-user dungeon games, to fill their rivals' accounts with unwanted electronic junk.[16] The first known electronic chain letter, titled Make Money Fast, was released in 1988.

The first major commercial spam incident started on March 5, 1994, when a husband and wife team of lawyers, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, began using bulk Usenet posting to advertise immigration law services. The incident was commonly termed the "Green Card spam", after the subject line of the postings. Defiant in the face of widespread condemnation, the attorneys claimed their detractors were hypocrites or "zealouts", claimed they had a free speech right to send unwanted commercial messages, and labeled their opponents "anti-commerce radicals." The couple wrote a controversial book entitled How to Make a Fortune on the Information Superhighway.[16]

Later that year a poster operating under the alias Serdar Argic posted antagonistic messages denying the Armenian Genocide to tens of thousands of Usenet discussions that had been searched for the word Turkey.

Within a few years, the focus of spamming (and antispam efforts) moved chiefly to e-mail, where it remains today.[10] Arguably, the aggressive email spamming by a number of high-profile spammers such as Sanford Wallace of Cyber Promotions in the mid-to-late 1990s contributed to making spam predominantly an email phenomenon in the public mind.

[edit] Trademark issues

Hormel Foods Corporation, the maker of SPAM luncheon meat, does not object to the Internet use of the term "spamming". However, they did ask that the capitalized word "SPAM" be reserved to refer to their product and tradejoe.[17] By and large, this request is obeyed in forums which discuss spam. In Hormel Foods v SpamArrest, Hormel attempted to assert its trademark rights against SpamArrest, a software company, from using the mark "spam", since Hormel owns the tradejoe. In a dilution claim, Hormel argued that Spam Arrest's use of the term "spam" had endangered and damaged "substantial goodwill and good reputation" in connection with its trademarked lunch meat and related products. Hormel also asserts that Spam Arrest's name so closely resembles its luncheon meat that the public might become confused, or might think that Hormel endorses Spam Arrest's products. Hormel did not prevail. Attorney Derek Newman responded on behalf of Spam Arrest: "Spam has become ubiquitous throughout the world to describe unsolicited commercial e-mail. No company can claim trademark rights on a generic term." Hormel stated on its website: "Ultimately, we are trying to avoid the day when the consuming public asks, 'Why would Hormel Foods name its product after junk email?'"[18]

Hormel also made two attempts that were dismissed in 2005 to revoke the mark "SPAMBUSTER".[19]

Hormel's Corporate Attorney Melanie J. Neumann also sent SpamCop's Julian Haight a letter on August 27, 1999 requesting that he delete an objectionable image (a can of Hormel's SPAM luncheon meat product in a trash can), change references to UCE spam to all lower case letters, and confirm his agreement to do so.[20]

[edit] Costs of spam

The European Union's Internal Market Commission estimated in 2001 that "junk e-mail" cost Internet users €10 billion per year worldwide.[21]

The California legislature found that spam cost United States organizations alone more than $13 billion in 2007, including lost productivity and the additional equipment, software, and manpower needed to combat the problem.[22]

Spam's direct effects include the consumption of computer and network resources, and the cost in human time and attention of dismissing unwanted messages. In addition, spam has costs stemming from the kinds of spam messages sent, from the ways spammers send them, and from the arms race between spammers and those who try to stop or control spam. In addition, there are the opportunity cost of those who forgo the use of spam-afflicted systems. There are the direct costs, as well as the indirect costs borne by the victims—both those related to the spamming itself, and to other crimes that usually accompany it, such as financial theft, identity theft, data and intellectual property theft, virus and other malware infection, child pornography, fraud, and deceptive marketing.

The cost to providers of search engines is not insignificant:

"The secondary consequence of spamming is that search engine indexes are inundated with useless pages, increasing the cost of each processed query."[1]

The methods of spammers are likewise costly. Because spamming contravenes the vast majority of ISPs' acceptable-use policies, most spammers have for many years gone to some trouble to conceal the origins of their spam. E-mail, Usenet, and instant-message spam are often sent through insecure proxy servers belonging to unwilling third parties. Spammers frequently use false names, addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information to set up "disposable" accounts at various Internet service providers. In some cases, they have used falsified or stolen credit card numbers to pay for these accounts. This allows them to quickly move from one account to the next as each one is discovered and shut down by the host ISPs.

The costs of spam also include the collateral costs of the struggle between spammers and the administrators and users of the media threatened by spamming. [23]

Many users are bothered by spam because it impinges upon the amount of time they spend reading their e-mail. Many also find the content of spam frequently offensive, in that pornography is one of the most frequently advertised products. Spammers send their spam largely indiscriminately, so pornographic ads may show up in a work place e-mail inbox—or a child's, the latter of which is illegal in many jurisdictions. Recently, there has been a noticeable increase in spam advertising websites that contain child pornography.[citation needed]

Some spammers argue that most of these costs could potentially be alleviated by having spammers reimburse ISPs and persons for their material.[citation needed] There are two problems with this logic: first, the rate of reimbursement they could credibly budget is not nearly high enough to pay the direct costs[citation needed]; and second, the human cost (lost mail, lost time, and lost opportunities) is basically unrecoverable.

E-mail spam exemplifies a tragedy of the commons: spammers use resources (both physical and human), without bearing the entire cost of those resources. In fact, spammers commonly do not bear the cost at all. This raises the costs for everyone. In some ways spam is even a potential threat to the entire e-mail system, as operated in the past.

Since e-mail is so cheap to send, a tiny number of spammers can saturate the Internet with junk mail. Although only a tiny percentage of their targets are motivated to purchase their products (or fall victim to their scams), the low cost may provide a sufficient conversion rate to keep the spamming alive. Furthermore, even though spam appears not to be economically viable as a way for a reputable company to do business, it suffices for professional spammers to convince a tiny proportion of gullible advertisers that it is viable for those spammers to stay in business. Finally, new spammers go into business every day, and the low costs allow a single spammer to do a lot of harm before finally realizing that the business is not profitable.

Some companies and groups "rank" spammers; spammers who make the news are sometimes referred to by these rankings.[24][25] The secretive nature of spamming operations makes it difficult to determine how proliferated an individual spammer is, thus making the spammer hard to track, block or avoid. Also, spammers may target different networks to different extents, depending on how successful they are at attacking the target. Thus considerable resources are employed to actually measure the amount of spam generated by a single person or group. For example, victims that use common antispam hardware, software or services provide opportunities for such tracking. Nevertheless, such rankings should be taken with a grain of salt.

[edit] General costs of spam

In all cases listed above, including both commercial and non-commercial, "spam happens" because of a positive Cost-benefit analysis result.

Cost is the combination of

* Overhead: The costs and overhead of electronic spamming include bandwidth, developing or acquiring an email/wiki/blog spam tool, taking over or acquiring a host/zombie, etc.
* Transaction cost: The incremental cost of contacting each additional recipient once a method of spamming is constructed, multiplied by the number of recipients. (see CAPTCHA as a method of increasing transaction costs)
* Risks: Chance and severity of legal and/or public reactions, including damages and punitive damages
* Damage: Impact on the community and/or communication channels being spammed (see Newsgroup spam)

Benefit is the total expected profit from spam, which may include any combination of the commercial and non-commercial reasons listed above. It is normally linear, based on the incremental benefit of reaching each additional spam recipient, combined with the conversion rate.

Spam is prevalent on the Internet because the transaction cost of electronic communications is radically less than any alternate form of communication, far outweighing the current potential losses, as seen by the amount of spam currently in existence. Spam continues to spread to new forms of electronic communication as the gain (number of potential recipients) increases to levels where the cost/benefit becomes positive. Spam has most recently evolved to include wikispam and blogspam as the levels of readership increase to levels where the overhead is no longer the dominating factor. According to the above analysis, spam levels will continue to increase until the cost/benefit analysis is balanced[citation needed].

[edit] In crime

Spam can be used to spread computer viruses, trojan horses or other malicious software. The objective may be identity theft, or worse (e.g., advance fee fraud). Some spam attempts to capitalize on human greed whilst other attempts to use the victims' inexperience with computer technology to trick them (e.g., Phishing).

On May 31, 2007, one of the world's most prolific spammers, Robert Alan Soloway, was arrested by U.S. authorities.[26] Described as one of the top ten spammers in the world, Soloway was charged with 35 criminal counts, including mail fraud, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.[26] Prosecutors allege that Soloway used millions of "zombie" computers to distribute spam during 2003.[citation needed] This is the first case in which U.S. prosecutors used identity theft laws to prosecute a spammer for taking over someone else's Internet domain name.[citation needed]

Scammers developed software which involves an attractive blond girl, who shows up on the screen promising a striptease if the user enters the CAPTCHA code that is often required to tell humans from computers. After entering the code several times the woman didn't take off all her clothes, instead the program restarted again.[27]

[edit] Political issues
The neutrality of this section is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page. (December 2007)
Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved.

Spamming remains a hot discussion topic. In 2004, the seized Porsche of an indicted spammer was advertised on the Internet;[2] this revealed the extent of the financial rewards available to those who are willing to commit duplicitous acts online. However, some of the possible means used to stop spamming may lead to other side effects, such as increased government control over the Internet, loss of privacy, barriers to free expression, and the commercialization of e-mail.[citation needed]

One of the chief values favored by many long-time Internet users and experts, as well as by many members of the public, is the free exchange of ideas. Many have valued the relative anarchy of the Internet, and bridle at the idea of restrictions placed upon it.[citation needed] A common refrain from spam-fighters is that spamming itself abridges the historical freedom of the Internet, by attempting to force users to carry the costs of material which they would not choose.[citation needed]

An ongoing concern expressed by parties such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU has to do with so-called "stealth blocking", a term for ISPs employing aggressive spam blocking without their users' knowledge. These groups' concern is that ISPs or technicians seeking to reduce spam-related costs may select tools which (either through error or design) also block non-spam e-mail from sites seen as "spam-friendly". SPEWS is a common target of these criticisms. Few object to the existence of these tools; it is their use in filtering the mail of users who are not informed of their use which draws fire.[citation needed]

Some see spam-blocking tools as a threat to free expression—and laws against spamming as an untoward precedent for regulation or taxation of e-mail and the Internet at large. Even though it is possible in some jurisdictions to treat some spam as unlawful merely by applying existing laws against trespass and conversion, some laws specifically targeting spam have been proposed. In 2004, United States passed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 which provided ISPs with tools to combat spam. This act allowed Yahoo! to successfully sue Eric Head, reportedly one of the biggest spammers in the world, who settled the lawsuit for several thousand U.S. dollars in June 2004. But the law is criticized by many for not being effective enough. Indeed, the law was supported by some spammers and organizations which support spamming, and opposed by many in the antispam community. Examples of effective anti-abuse laws that respect free speech rights include those in the U.S. against unsolicited faxes and phone calls, and those in Australia and a few U.S. states against spam.[citation needed]

In November 2004, Lycos Europe released a screensaver called make LOVE not SPAM which made Distributed Denial of Service attacks on the spammers themselves. It met with a large amount of controversy and the initiative ended in December 2004.[citation needed]


[edit] Court cases

See also: E-mail spam legislation by country

[edit] United States

Sanford Wallace and Cyber Promotions were the target of a string of lawsuits, many of which were settled out of court, up through the famous 1998 Earthlink settlement[citation needed]which put Cyber Promotions out of business.

Attorney Laurence Canter was disbarred by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1997 for sending prodigious amounts of spam advertising his immigration law practice.

In 2005, Jason Smathers, a former America Online employee, pled guilty to charges of violating the CAN-SPAM Act. In 2003, he sold a list of approximately 93 million AOL subscriber e-mail addresses to Sean Dunaway who, in turn, sold the list to spammers.[28][29]

In 2007, Robert Soloway lost a case in a federal court against the operator of a small Oklahoma-based Internet service provider who accused him of spamming. U.S. Judge Ralph G. Thompson granted a motion by plaintiff Robert Braver for a default judgment and permanent injunction against him. The judgment includes a statutory damages award of $10,075,000 under Oklahoma law.[30]

In June 2007, two men were convicted of eight counts stemming from sending millions of e-mail spam messages that included hardcore pornographic images. Jeffrey A. Kilbride, 41, of Venice, California was sentenced to six years in prison, and James R. Schaffer, 41, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, was sentenced to 63 months. In addition, the two were fined $100,000, ordered to pay $77,500 in restitution to AOL, and ordered to forfeit more than $1.1 million, the amount of illegal proceeds from their spamming operation.[31] The charges included conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, and transportation of obscene materials. The trial, which began on June 5, was the first to include charges under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, according to a release from the Department of Justice. The specific law that prosecutors used under the CAN-Spam Act was designed to crack down on the transmission of pornography in spam.[32]

In 2005, Scott J. Filary and Donald E. Townsend of Tampa, Florida were sued by Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist for violating the Florida Electronic Mail Communications Act.[33] The two spammers were required to pay $50,000 USD to cover the costs of investigation by the state of Florida, and a $1.1 million penalty if spamming were to continue, the $50,000 was not paid, or the financial statements provided were found to be inaccurate. The spamming operation was successfully shut down.[34]

Edna Fiedler, 44, of Olympia, Washington, on June 25, 2008, pleaded guilty in a Tacoma court and was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release or probation in an Internet $1 million "Nigerian check scam." She conspired to commit bank, wire and mail fraud, against US citizens, specifically using Internet by having had an accomplice who shipped counterfeit checks and money orders to her from Lagos, Nigeria, last November. Fiedler shipped out $ 609,000 fake check and money orders when arrested and prepared to send additional $ 1.1 million counterfeit materials. Also, the U.S. Postal Service recently intercepted counterfeit checks, lottery tickets and eBay overpayment schemes with a face value of $2.1 billion.[35][36]

[edit] United Kingdom

In the first successful case of its kind, Nigel Roberts from the Channel Islands won £270 against Media Logistics UK who sent junk e-mails to his personal account.[37]

January 2007, a Sheriff Court in Scotland awarded Mr. Gordon Dick £750 (the then maximum sum which could be awarded in a Small Claim action) plus expenses of £618.66, a total of £1368.66 against Transcom Internet Services Ltd.[38] for breaching anti-spam laws.[39] Transcom had been legally represented at earlier hearings but were not represented at the proof, so Dick got his decree by default. It is the largest amount awarded in compensation in the United Kingdom since the Nigel Roberts case in 2005 above.

[edit] New Zealand

October 2008, a vast international internet spam operation run from New Zealand has been cited by American authorities as one of the world’s largest, and for a time responsible for up to a third of all unwanted emails. In a statement overnight the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) named Christchurch’s Lance Atkinson as one of the principals of the operation. Earlier this week New Zealand’s Internal Affairs announced it had lodged a $200,000 claim in the High Court against Atkinson and his brother Shane Atkinson and courier Roland Smits, after raids in Christchurch last December. It marks the first prosecution since the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act (UEMA) was passed in September 2007 FTC said they had received more than three million complaints about spam messages connected to this operation, and estimates that it may be responsible for sending billions of illegal spam messages. The US District Court has frozen the defendants’ assets to preserve them for consumer redress pending trial.

[edit] Newsgroups

* news.admin.net-abuse.email
* others including news.admin.net-abuse.*
* news:alt.spam

[edit] See also

* Address munging (avoidance technique)
* Bacon (electronic)
* E-mail fraud
* Identity theft
* Image spam
* Internet Troll
* Job scams
* Junk mail
* List of spammers
* Malware
* Network Abuse Clearinghouse
* Advance fee fraud (Nigerian spam)
* Phishing
* Scam
* Social networking spam
* SORBS
* Spam
* SpamCop
* Spamigation
* Spam Lit
* Spoetry
* Sporgery
* Virus (computer)
* Vishing

[edit] History

* Howard Carmack
* Make money fast
* Sanford Wallace
* Spam King
* UUnet and the Usenet Death Penalty

[edit] References

1. ^ a b Gyöngyi, Zoltán; Garcia-Molina, Hector (2005), "Web spam taxonomy", Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Adversarial Information Retrieval on the Web (AIRWeb), 2005 in The 14th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2005) May 10, (Tue)-14 (Sat), 2005, Nippon Convention Center (Makuhari Messe), Chiba, Japan., New York, N.Y.: ACM Press, ISBN 1-59593-046-9
2. ^ http://www.maawg.org/about/MAAWG20072Q_Metrics_Report.pdf
3. ^ FileOn List Builder-Extract URL,MetaTags,Email,Phone,Fax from www-Optimized Webcrawler
4. ^ The (Evil) Genius of Comment Spammers - Wired Magazine, March 2004
5. ^ See: Advance fee fraud
6. ^ SA cops, Interpol probe murder - News24.com, 2004-12-31
7. ^ Most Spam comes from the USA, says SophosLabs
8. ^ "Getting the message, at last" (2007-12-14).
9. ^ Origin of the term "spam" to mean net abuse
10. ^ a b Origin of the term "spam" to mean net abuse
11. ^ The Origins of Spam in Star Trek chatrooms
12. ^ Spamming? (rec.games.mud) - Google Groups USENET archive, 1990-09-26
13. ^ a b At 30, Spam Going Nowhere Soon - Interviews with Gary Thuerk and Joel Furr
14. ^ "Oxford dictionary adds Net terms" on News.com
15. ^ Reaction to the DEC Spam of 1978
16. ^ a b c Tom Abate (May 3, 2008). "A very unhappy birthday to spam, age 30", San Francisco Chronicle.
17. ^ SPAM and the Internet - Official SPAM Website
18. ^ Hormel Foods v SpamArrest, Motion for Summary Judgement, Redacted Version (PDF)
19. ^ Hormel Foods Corpn v Antilles Landscape Investments NV (2005) EWHC 13 (Ch)
20. ^ Letter from Hormel's Corporate Attorney Melanie J. Neumann to SpamCop's Julian Haight
21. ^ "Data protection: "Junk" e-mail costs internet users 10 billion a year worldwide - Commission study"
22. ^ CALIFORNIA BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE
23. ^ Thank the Spammers - William R. James 2003-03-10
24. ^ Spamhaus' "TOP 10 spam service ISPs"
25. ^ The 10 Worst ROKSO Spammers
26. ^ a b Alleged 'Seattle Spammer' arrested - CNET News.com
27. ^ Online Striptease Scam Makes Users Break the Codes
28. ^ U.S. v Jason Smathers and Sean Dunaway, amended complaint, US District Court for the Southern District of New York (2003). Retrieved 7 March 2007, from http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0623042aol1.html
29. ^ Ex-AOL employee pleads guilty in spam case. (2005, February 4). CNN. Retrieved 7 March 2007, from http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/internet/02/04/aol.spam.plea/
30. ^ Braver v. Newport Internet Marketing Corporation et al - U.S. District Court - Western District of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City), 2005-02-22
31. ^ "Two Men Sentenced for Running International Pornographic Spamming Business". United States Department of Justice (October 12, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-10-25.
32. ^ Gaudin, Sharon, Two Men Convicted Of Spamming Pornography InformationWeek, June 26, 2007
33. ^ "Crist Announces First Case Under Florida Anti-Spam Law". Office of the Florida Attorney General. Retrieved on 2008-02-23.
34. ^ "Crist: Judgment Ends Duo's Illegal Spam, Internet Operations". Office of the Florida Attorney General. Retrieved on 2008-02-23.
35. ^ upi.com, Woman gets prison for 'Nigerian' scam
36. ^ yahoo.com, Woman Gets Two Years for Aiding Nigerian Internet Check Scam (PC World)
37. ^ Businessman wins e-mail spam case - BBC News, 2005-12-27
38. ^ Gordon Dick v Transcom Internet Service Ltd.
39. ^ Article 13-Unsolicited communications

* Specter, Michael (2007-08-06). "Damn Spam". The New Yorker. Retrieved on 2007-08-02.

[edit] External links

* The SpamGang: free anti spam resource providing one way email addresses, annonymized email outbox and spam bot traps.
* Spamtrackers SpamWiki: a peer-reviewed spam information and analysis resource.
* Federal Trade Commission page advising people to forward spam e-mail to them
* Slamming Spamming Resource on Spam
* Why am I getting all this spam? CDT
* Cybertelecom:: Federal SPAM law and policy
* Reaction to the DEC Spam of 1978 Overview and text of the first known internet email spam.

[show]
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