Skip to main content

Unhappy Birthday from Nigeria : Spam is 30 years old tomorrow

Spamming seems to be the source of everyone's problems in an average office; clogging our inboxes, bringing pestilence and death to our PCs thanks to viruses and trojan horses, trying to siphon money from our accounts through 419ers and phishers and finally making us think that we're the luckiest persons in the world through deception.

Spam is 30 years tomorrow and was the very first piece of spam was sent by an engineer working at DEC (subsequently owned by Compaq and now by HP).

Carl Gartley sent an unsolicited advertorial email to 39 3Arpanet users, the forerunner of the current Internet saying:

"DIGITAL WILL BE GIVING A PRODUCT PRESENTATION OF THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY; THE DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060, AND 2060T. "

Security firm Sophos has launched a Spam pledge which aims at eradicating spam through users actions; a recent Sophos survey showed that a surprisingly 11 percent of respondents having purchased an item through a spam email.

Spam emails now account for several billions e-missives sent every day and is now threatening to invade our mobile phones and social networking environment.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.