...."Ed," a retired spammer, built a considerable fortune sending e-mails that promoted pills, porn and casinos. At the peak of his power, Ed says he pulled in US$10,000 to $15,000 a week, storing the money in $20 bills in stacks of boxes.
A quick-witted and affable guy who wears an earring and casual clothes, there was a time when Ed wasn't so nice. He sent spam to recovering gambling addicts enticing them to gambling Web sites. He used e-mail addresses of people known to have bought antianxiety medication or antidepressants and targeted them with pharmaceutical spam.
He spent 10 hours a day, seven days a week studying how to send spam and avoid filtering technologies in security software designed to weed out garbage e-mail. Most spam filters are effective 99 percent of the time; he aimed for that remaining window, using tricks such as including slightly different images in his spam, which can fool filters into thinking the e-mail is legitimate.
That became problematic when the cash became voluminous. He says he made $480,000 his last year of spamming. But the lifestyle of being a spammer was taking a toll. In essence, he had no life.
It's hard to go into a bar and explain your job to a woman by saying "I advertise penis enlargement pills online," Ed said. "It doesn't go down very well."
As broadband speeds increase, spammers will increasingly look to market goods by making VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) calls or sending out videos, Ed said. The ultimate unsolvable problem is users, who continue to buy products marketed by spam, making the industry possible....
"I think in 10 years we'll still get spam," Ed said. "Be prepared to be bombarded."...
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment