From the earliest days of email there has been the constant glut of unwanted messages. Just like paper mail in the mailbox before it, spam became a permanent fixture of the Internet landscape, an annoying presence that people have learned to accept. Now it seems that spam might finally be on its way out, thanks mostly, PC Magazine reports, to the efforts of law enforcement officials. It seems while we’ve been doing our best to filter the stuff, cyber officials have been tracking down those most responsible for the bulk of spam messages that find their way into virtually every inbox in the world. FireEye reports that most spam these days comes from other countries, mostly those that don’t have law enforcement trying to chase them down. But due to increased work across borders, the big spammers, as TechJournal reported last May, are slowing being found and shut down.
PC World says that over 70% of all junk mail sent in the world today comes from just four or five entities, and one in particular, called Grum, is responsible for 30% of such messages all by itself. So, why don’t the cops just rush in and shut them down? Because they can’t find them, but they think they are getting close. The suspicion is that they reside in an Eastern European country or maybe in Russia. But reside is a slippery term as spammers have learned that they have to be nimble to avoid being discovered, thus while they do maintain some large equipment centers, they hop to other computers before sending out the messages, thus they appear to come from all over the world.
But as FireEye reports, international efforts to hunt them down have narrowed the search; of course law enforcement can’t say much else for fear of tipping of the spammers. But what is clear is if Grum can be shut down, it’s likely others will follow soon thereafter and because of the technology that has come into play to track them down, its unlikely others will spring up to replace them. This means, that the amount of spam messages is likely to decrease in a very big way over the next few years, and then, will likely hold steady at a very low level as only small time operations such as those behind the spam messages promising money to those that will help them get funds out of Africa, that are believed to originate in Somalia where there is very little law enforcement.
It’s hard to image a world without spam, but it might come to pass sooner than most people realize.