At a security conference in London this week, a former professional spammer talked about his five-year stint dodging email filters, pushing through unwanted advertisements for porn, casinos and more. The man, who identified himself as “Ed” but says he also goes by the name SpammerX, says he made between $10,000 and $15,000 a week in the dirty business—nearly half-a-million dollars in a single year. And yes, he does think he’s going to hell for his actions.
He revealed a few details about how he worked his way around different security systems, tricking them with images that made his emails seem legit, for instance. But the more chilling revelation was his outlook for the future. Unfortunately, he does not think spam is going away. And, of course, people like him aren’t really to blame. He says it’s the users who are the problem. As long as people continue to click through the links in those emails, spam will persist as a viable marketing tool, and our inboxes will continue getting clogged.—Gregory Mone