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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Surviving a month on a diet of spam

31 March, 2008
The 1st of April sees the start of a novel experiment by McAfee to gauge the affects on 50 volunteers around the world of accepting and responding to spam on unprotected computers.
30 days of nothing but spam is a grim prospect which stalwart volunteers from Britain, America, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Brazil, Mexico and Austrialia have accepted as part of an interesting experiment launched this week by McAfee.

McAfee's hypothesis is that spam is anything but benign and is the front line of attack by cyber criminals intent on stealing information and taking control of computers, a far cry from simply trying to sell fake watches and prescription only medicines.

To test out this hypothesis, McAfee has supplied its volunteers with a clean e-mail address and a clean laptop without any anti-virus protection or other security measures. At the end of the trial period, the results will be analysed and conclusions drawn.

Meanwhile, the participants in the experiment have undertaken to keep a diary of their activities on the McAfee Spam Experiment page where each one will keep a blog of events. I suspect this will be compulsive reading in the nature of a gruesome story which you know will be unpleasant but which you follow regardless to its inevitable conclusion.
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