Spam mail turns 30

Posted by Hitarth Jani | 12:12 PM | 0 comments »

Spam - the scourge of every inbox - has turned 30.

The first recognisable email marketing message was sent on May 3, 1978 to 400 people on behalf of DEC - a now - Defunct computer-maker.

The message was sent via Arpanet, the net's forerunner.

Thirty years on, Spam has grown into an underground industry that sends out billions of messages every day.

Statistics gathered by FBI suggest that 75 per cent of net scams snare people through junk email.

Some 85 per cent of all email is spam and 100 billion messages are sent ever day.

The culprit of the said first spam was named Gary Thuerk, a marketer for Digital Equipment Corporation. He send a sales email to 400 users of Arpanet (the ancestors of todays Internet). The said first spammer told the Wall Street Journal that his ground breaking email worked and gained $12 million tech sales. Thuerk never did spammed again instead he does promos for fighting spam-fighting companies. But he doesn’t spend sometime blaming himself for the current epidemic of spam.

Here’s the world first spam in it’s original all-caps format:

Mail-from: DEC-MARLBORO rcvd at 3-May-78 0955-PDT
Date: 1 May 1978 1233-EDT
From: THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO
Subject: ADRIAN@SRI-KL

DIGITAL WILL BE GIVING A PRODUCT PRESENTATION OF THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY; THE DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060, AND 2060T. THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY OF COMPUTERS HAS EVOLVED FROM THE TENEX OPERATING SYSTEM AND THE DECSYSTEM-10 COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE. BOTH THE DECSYSTEM-2060T AND 2020T OFFER FULL ARPANET SUPPORT UNDER THE TOPS-20 OPERATING SYSTEM. THE DECSYSTEM-2060 IS AN UPWARD EXTENSION OF THE CURRENT DECSYSTEM 2040 AND 2050 FAMILY. THE DECSYSTEM-2020 IS A NEW LOW END MEMBER OF THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY AND FULLY SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH ALL OF THE OTHER DECSYSTEM-20 MODELS.

WE INVITE YOU TO COME SEE THE 2020 AND HEAR ABOUT THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY AT THE TWO PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS WE WILL BE GIVING IN CALIFORNIA THIS MONTH. THE LOCATIONS WILL BE:

TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1978 - 2 PM
HYATT HOUSE (NEAR THE L.A. AIRPORT)
LOS ANGELES, CA

THURSDAY, MAY 11, 1978 - 2 PM
DUNFEY’S ROYAL COACH
SAN MATEO, CA
(4 MILES SOUTH OF S.F. AIRPORT AT BAYSHORE, RT 101 AND RT 92)

A 2020 WILL BE THERE FOR YOU TO VIEW. ALSO TERMINALS ON-LINE TO OTHER DECSYSTEM-20 SYSTEMS THROUGH THE ARPANET. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE NEAREST DEC OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXCITING DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY.

Happy Birthday Spam!!! Internet would not be as colorful without you :)

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