It was a life of greed and excess, one that preyed especially on vulnerable people hoping to score drugs or win money gambling on the Internet. From when he was expelled from high school at 17 until he quit his spam career at 22, Ed -- who does not reveal his full name but sometimes goes by SpammerX -- was part of an electronic underworld profiting from the Internet via spam.
"Yes, I know I'm going to hell," said Ed, who spoke in London on Wednesday at an event hosted by IronPort Systems, a security vendor now owned by Cisco Systems. "I'm actually a really nice guy. Trust me."
A quick-witted and affable guy who wears an earring and casual clothes, there was a time when Ed wasn't so nice. He sent spam to recovering gambling addicts enticing them to gambling Web sites. He used e-mail addresses of people known to have bought antianxiety medication or antidepressants and targeted them with pharmaceutical spam.