Top 10 Junk E-mail Subjects of 2002

E-mail filtering provider reveals this year’s most popular unsolicited e-mail

Last week, Security Strategies described the state of today’s corporate e-mail and Internet monitoring programs. One of the key rationales cited for implementing an e-mail monitoring program was to protect the enterprise from junk e-mail. Carrying on that drumbeat, e-mail filtering provider Brightmail Inc. recently released a list of the top 10 unsolicited messages sent in 2002.

“The spam onslaught is a huge drain on bandwidth and storage resources and on an organization's employees, who must spend time dealing with the unwanted mail that arrives in their mailboxes,” said Geoff Webb, a representative for e-mail and Internet monitoring provider FutureSoft Inc., while offering comment for the aforementioned story.

The following subject lines top the 2002 list, along with a comment from Brightmail.

1. “Protect Your Computer Against Viruses for $9.95” - This anti-virus software scam was the most common spam in 2002.

2. “Verification Department” - Credit card spam has been prominent, especially in recent months.

3. “Refinancing? Get a FREE quote on any mortgage loan program” - Mortgage scams are a classic form of spam.

4. “Printer Cartridges – Save up to 80% - Free Shipping Offer” - Printer cartridge spam — also a classic — stays near the top of the list as well.

5. “Miniature Remote Control Car. Great Gift!” - One of the new spams on the list.

6. “$100 FREE, Please Pay Now!” - Casino spam is still big.

7. “Online Auction Marketing Secrets!” - Online auction marketing spams grew in popularity.

8. “Important News Kuira” - Septic system spam was very active in the first half of 2002.

9. “URGENT & CONFIDENTIAL” - New spam asked millions of e-mail users to help free Nigerian royal coffers.

10. “GET A FREE PASS TO THOUSANDS OF XXX SITES!” - Pornographic spam remains a problem.

According to Brightmail, spammers will use well-known brands to draw attention and attach credibility to their scams or unauthorized marketing. Furthermore, Brightmail’s research indicates spammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods, due in large part to the recent spike in spam filtering by corporate and public networks.

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to He focuses particularly on Microsoft .NET and other Web services technologies. Matt was the editor of several technology-related Web publications and electronic newsletters, including Web Services Report, ASP insights and MIDRANGE Systems.