HELLO DEAR, Where Does Spam Come From?


Rachel Swaby

HELLO DEAR, Where Does Spam Come From?

Typically our electronic exchanges flow from person to person, one real email address to another. But the sad fact is, the vast majority of messages sent don’t have anything to do with managing relationships, workloads, or weekend plans. Spaaaaaaam!

According to Dave Marcus at McAfee Labs, 80-90 percent of email floating between servers is spam. Luckily, much of what’s aimed for us is deflected. Email programs employ filters to direct messages with suspicious links and attachments away from our inboxes, which is good because these messages have the potential to infect our computers or dupe us into coughing up personal information.

We know all this.

But there’s another flavor of suspicious email that doesn’t betray its malicious intent as openly: the single line of gibberish. Is it an email verification technique? Is there something coded into the message that could harm my computer? Did someone let their two year old loose on the Internet? So we decided to look into it. What are those nonsensical emails trying to do to us anyway?

See what they found out at gizmodo.com


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