Why do I get spam?
- Dictionary attacks, where the spammer takes common names or words and craft email addresses from them. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and so on;
- Masquerade as someone known to recipient, where they trick the recipient to open/respond to the email by using a personal/friendly subject line like ‘Hi!’, ‘Hey, meet for lunch?’, etc.;
- Spoofing where the spammer uses a fake email header to make the email look like it came from somebody else or somewhere else other than the spammer;
- Harvesting/Mining where they mine the Internet’s public places, like message boards, chat rooms and personal homepages, using automated programs (called bots or spiders) for email addresses;
- Web beacons, where the spammer inserts an image in the email, which is invisible to the recipient. When the email is opened, the images send a message back to the spammer alerting him that the address is valid;
- Replies to spam, where the recipient unwittingly replies back to spammer;
- Open proxies, relaying through third party servers, where these machines allow the spammer to send mail while maintaining their anonymity;
- Viruses– mass mailing worms that send themselves to all available addresses on the infected machine.
Spammers often have different techniques to send millions of messages to unsuspecting recipients. They usually send the unsolicited message in the hope that the recipient would buy their products or services. They employ various mechanisms, often trial-and-error, to establish the validity of email accounts.
A few of the popular ones are: