Spamming is when one person or company sends an unwanted email to another person. Spam internet emails are the computer version of unwanted "junk email" (example: gmail junk mail) that arrives in a mailbox, and to get the person to buy something or do something else that will cause gain for the sender. While the most widely recognized form of spam is email spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social spam, spam mobile apps, spam sites, television advertising and file sharing spam.
The hardest part about spamming is to get the email addresses to send the spam to. Sometimes the spammers do this by searching for emails on the internet, or by buying emails from people who know a lot of them. The emails sent when someone is spamming is called spam. The person or company who sent the unwanted email is called a spammer. Both of these words came from a brand of canned meat called "Spam", but it was a short sketch created by the British comedy group Monty Python in 1970 that led to the word "Spam" being widely used to mean unwanted email messages.
Spam can be dangerous as they are used to spread computer viruses, trojan horses or other malicious software. The objective may be identity theft, or worse. Some spam email attempts to capitalize on human greed, while some attempts to take advantage of the victims' inexperience with computer technology to trick them. Computer users at home and in workplaces waste a lot of time opening and deleting spam messages. In some cases, spam emails contain links to pornography or illegal gambling websites. Spam emails often advertise products or services which are being lied about by the companies sending the spam, such as frauds or scams.
In an attempt to assess potential legal and technical strategies for stopping illegal spam, a study cataloged three months of online spam data and researched website naming and hosting infrastructures. The study concluded that:
Half of all spam programs have their domains and servers distributed over just eight percent or fewer of the total available hosting registrars and autonomous systems, with 80 percent of spam programs overall being distributed over just 20 percent of all registrars and autonomous systems
Of the 76 purchases for which the researchers received transaction information, there were only 13 distinct banks acting as credit card acquirers and only three banks provided the payment servicing for 95 percent of the spam-advertised goods in the study.
A "financial blacklist" of banking entities that do business with spammers would dramatically reduce monetization of unwanted e-mails. Moreover, this blacklist could be updated far more rapidly than spammers could acquire new banking resources, an asymmetry favoring anti-spam efforts.