McAfee: Super Spam Us!

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News Posted: Mon, Mar 31 2008 8:58 AM

This experiment resembles nothing so much as the Super Size Me experiment, where a man attempted to live on McDonald's food for an entire month.  McAfee has started a 30-day study to see just how much junk people can get via spam.

The Santa Clara company solicited participants through an ad on Craigslist and chose five people from each of the 10 countries in which it does business. The spam-hunters will be given new Dell laptops with minimal anti-virus protection - which they'll be allowed to keep - disposable e-mail addresses and, in some cases, small amounts of money so they can buy products offered through spam or respond to various money-making schemes.

In return, they'll be required to blog about their experiences at, a Web site that goes live on Tuesday. Those who don't speak English will blog in their own language.

"At the end of 30 days, people will understand why spam is linked to cybercrime," said Dave Marcus, a security researcher for McAfee's Avert Labs, which will be analyzing all the spam and writing a report. "They'll understand why it makes people money."

Naturally it should be noted that with both antispam and antivirus products, McAfee has a vested interest in this study.

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ice91785 replied on Mon, Mar 31 2008 10:03 AM
What are the rules and stipulations here? It seems that if they went out looking for trouble their new laptops will be rendered useless in a matter of hours -- for my question I guess is: are these people allowed to continuously restore their notebooks to keep them running?

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frg1 replied on Mon, Mar 31 2008 11:52 AM

i guess once there systems go down they will relize how annoying spam and virus really are and watch when they say minamil antivirus they will probably install norton

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Lev_Astov replied on Mon, Mar 31 2008 12:33 PM
That's actually a really interesting idea. I'm curious as to how they expect to get useful data from this. It certainly is possible that they are going for the effect frg1 described above.

><((((">Lev Astov

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