Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ)
Questions regarding spam, and the tools used to combat it, that are commonly asked are being collected here. The intention is to provide a helpful resource that, over time, may be grouped into categories.
- Who sent the first spam in history? When was it sent?
- How do spammers get eMail addresses?
- Is spam illegal?
- Is "SPAM" an acronym?
- What are the Rules of Spam?
- What is the meaning of the F.A.Q. acronym?
- Which technologies does this web site use?
- 1. Who sent the first spam in history? When was it sent?
- The first known junk eMail message was sent by a marketing manager named Gary Thuerk at DEC (Digital Equipment Corp.) in 1978. After many complaints, a military agency intervened and barred Mr. Thuerk from "ever doing it again." The complete details are documented at: http://www.lumbercartel.ca/glossary/spam.pl#history
- 2. How do spammers get eMail addresses?
- Harvesting techniques that scan public web pages are very common. SpyWare and viruses are also used to scan private data files, specifically eMail address books and correspondence histories. Many spammers are also in the business of selling or trading copies of their eMail lists with other spammers.
- 3. Is spam illegal?
- In addition to its natural classification as a form of theft-of-service, spam is often used to promote fraudulent schemes that may involve pyramids and mail fraud, sell stolen and/or illegal goods/services, invite recipients to participate in unethical activities, and much more. One of the challenges faced by spam-fighters can be the subtle-to-enormous differences in laws and legal systems across international borders. When a spammer engages in illegal activity from within their own country, it's much easier to get the appropriate government officials involved (e.g., police, military, various regulatory enforcers, etc.), which is one of the reasons many spammers try to hide their true geographical locations.
- 4. Is "SPAM" an acronym?
- No. "SPAM" is the name of a delicious meat product by Hormel Foods. Hormel Foods allows the use of their Registered Trademark "SPAM" to be used to describe junk eMail under the condition that it is not used in full upper-case letters. The complete details are documented at: http://www.lumbercartel.ca/glossary/spam.pl
- 5. What are the Rules of Spam?
- A set of logical rules, which are routinely referenced by spam-fighters, that accurately characterize spammers. The rules, with a reference to the original source, are documented at: http://www.lumbercartel.ca/glossary/rulesofspam.pl
- 6. What is the meaning of the F.A.Q. acronym?
- F.A.Q. is an acronym for Frequently Answered Questions. Although many people subtitute the word "Answered" for "Asked," we believe that "Answered" correctly reflects the original intended purpose of these lists because the answers are included.
- 7. Which technologies does this web site use?
- We use a variety of free, open source software solutions, particularly NetBSD (Unix), Apache HTTPd, Perl (and ModPerl), and PostgreSQL. Every web page address that ends with "/" or ".pl" is a compiled Perl script served through the ModPerl Apache module. Complete details, and an installation guide for ModPerl, can be found here: http://www.lumbercartel.ca/profile/technology.pl