What is spam?
The term "spam" is used to describe the use of media to spread unwanted mass messages to millions of recipients. This means that the recipient receives a message he or she has not chosen to receive. The most commonly used form of spam is email, but it is not limited to it. Nowadays, spam can be seen either in instant messengers (such as ICQ, Skype, MSN, etc.), forums, social networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or in the traditional way by mail or fax. Generally you can receive spam via any kind of contact information.
Why are spam messages being sent?
In short?... Money! Due to very little or no costs, spammers have the possibility to reach hundreds of millions of people with their messages. Spammers are already satisfied if only one or two people either click on the link sent within 1000 messages, buy their product or, in the worst case, give out personal data.
With the increasing number of people who have Internet access and are using new technologies, spam or unwanted mass messages are being used as the most popular method of committing crimes (such as bank fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud).
Spam can also be used to gain unauthorized access to your computer or server. Usually further spam messages are then sent with malicious links that forward the visitor to the website prepared by the spammer. From there, further viruses or Trojans are downloaded without the visitor's knowledge and consent. Most of the time, the malware is also used to create a "bot"-network which gains control over a large number of comupters. These can then be used to spread the malware.
Who is behind spam?
There are various forms and types of spammers. This can be a single person who has purchased a list of addresses. Or whole groups of people who run servers in many different countries so they can send unsolicited messages to millions of people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This is a register of senders and spam services that have been blocked more than three times by ISPs due to clearly unwanted messages. According to Spamhaus (https://www.spamhaus.org/), the persons on this list are responsible for 80% of worldwide spam on the Internet.
Further information can be found on the website http://www.spamhaus.org/rokso/index.lasso