Spamming In Different Media Scams

Spamming in different media

E-mail spam

E-mail spam is the practice of sending large quantities of unwanted e-mails to an indiscrimate set of recipients. Spam email has grown exponentially over the years and today is estimated to comprise of 80 to 85% of all the email in the world.

There has been pressure in the past to make e-mail spam illegal but has only been successful in some jurisdictions and even less so in others.

Instant Messaging and Chat Room spam

Instant Messaging spam makes use of instant messaging systems, such as AOL Instant Messenger, Xfire, ICQ or Windows Live Messenger. The IM programs offer a user directory which includes demographic information that allows a spammer to gather the information they need, sign on to the system, and send begin sending unsolicited messages. In order to send millions of instant messages to users, the spammers use scriptable software and the recipients’ IM usernames. Spammers also use IRC bots that join channels and bombard the rooms with advertising.

Chat spam

Chat spam can occur in any live chat environment like an AOL chatroom or IRC. It can also take place within multiplayer gaming chat supplied through online games/gaming systems (World of Warcraft gold spamming is a perfect example of this.)  The spamming consists of repeating words or phrases many times to get attention of other people.

Mobile phone spam

A growing common practice is spammers utilizing text messaging services in order to spread their spam to peoples cell phones. Mobile phone spam can be incredibly irritating to a customers not only due to the inconvenience but also because of the fee they may be charged per text message depending on their service provider.

Spamdexing is the practice of modifying HTML pages to increase the chances of them being placed high on search engine relevancy lists. These sites use certain unfair SEO techniques in order to increase their rank in search engines.

Blog, wiki, and guestbook spam

Blog spam, which has been on the rise in recent years, is the act of spamming on weblogs. Back in 2003, due to the open nature of comments in the blogging software Movable Type, spammers used to repeatedly place their comments in various blog posts that provided nothing more than a link to their spam site. There have been similar attacks  performed against wikis and guestbooks, both of which accept user contributions.

Spam targeting video sharing sites

Video sharing sites, such as YouTube, are now being frequently targeted by spammers. The most common technique involves people (or spambots) posting links to sites, most likely pornographic or dealing with online dating, on the comments section of random videos or people’s profiles.