Spam, the world wide web, and the future

Traditional spamming consists of sending out an extremely high frequency of emails from a spam-hosted account. In the early days of the Internet, the was an extremely profitable, though illegal, enterprize model. However, the Internet has developed to a point where this practice is no longer viable. This doesn’t mean the Internet will soon be saved from spammers, but rather that spamming will soon take on a different form. The fundamental question is, why has traditional spamming declined? The second is, how will spam change to adapt to the new Internet.


    In 1997, spamming was an extremely profitable business. However, in the past 14 years, the Internet has become an increasingly difficult place for spammers to navigate. The amount of hardware and time needed to run an active spamming business outweighs the profit. This means that spamming is more expensive than it’s worth and, with all things considered, a business model that loses money. Currently, traditional spamming would pay less money per hour than a minimum wage job.

    While traditional spamming is no longer worth the money, spammers are a crafty bunch, known for adapting to new environments. In what ways will spammers change in order to once again make money?

Smart Spam

    Standard spamming was known for mass emails. This is a kind of blunt force approach. Now, these messages are sent subversively. Spammers are beginning to utilize classic hacking techniques. Legitimate email accounts are being hacked, and lower frequencies of spam messages are being sent from them. This technique was recently used on actor Simon Pegg, causing over 1 million recipients to receive a spam link from one of his accounts.

    While there will always be a security answer to new spamming techniques, the best way to protect yourself is through personal diligence. Always be wary of a suspicious link, even if it is sent from a trusted account. Be mindful of any suspicious Internet activity that you encounter and do your best to stay ahead of spammers’ tricks. For more information on how spamming is evolving, make sure to read this article.