Wikipedia has an abridge list of some of the most prominent spammers in history. It is a stretch to say that the open source encyclopedia will eventually be able to enumerate all the names. It is also may be considered as a borderline form of defamation against the named individuals and corporations listed in that article. Especially if they are not yet convicted as guilty by a competent court for spamming.
The issue of spam should not focus around who-is-who in the spamming syndicates, but rather how do we develop an effective approach in our fight against it. Spam grew from the mundane intent of Gary Thuerk, the "father of spam" in a mass marketing push to sell Digital Equipment Corporation’s computers in 1978 to a black market industry that floods the everyone with junk emails, 45% of all emails daily are just spam.
1. The first form of anti spam blockers that existed are ourselves, the users. When we decide to initiate the fight for spam by defining an email policy, through keywords. Keywords that are usually associated with junk email, like that venerated prescription medicine for solving the impotence of men. But that first form of anti spam blocking technique is a heavy burden for the users to maintain. By this time in history of computing, if we can only imagine how many times Viagra has been deliberately misspelled by the spammers. Misspelling is a proven effective method to workaround a user-made blacklist serving as an anti spam blockers.
2. The second form of anti spam blocker is through the advances of the email clients in auto-blocking junk emails. Both Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird includes a default anti spam blocker, that watches over incoming emails and auto-categorize them as spam or not. This is done through the "Junk folder", where all emails that are deemed spam are quarantined. Anti spam blockers, sooner or later tend, become obsolete given that spammers continue to find ways to work around the filters. This is evident with Outlook and Thunderbird,the sophistication of their anti spam blocker is dependent on the version of the program installed for the user. The newer the program version, the more updated the blocking algorithm. However, in an enterprise space not all users are using the latest versions of Outlook or even the open source Thunderbird due to strict update cycle policy.
3. The third and the most advanced form of anti spam blocker today is through the use of a dedicated software service that runs parallel with the mail server. Such software filters the email traffic even before it reaches the user’s mailbox.
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