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Millions Continue To Click On Spam

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-seriously-knock-it-off dept.

Spam 210

An anonymous reader writes "Even though over 80% of email users are aware of the existence of bots, tens of millions respond to spam in ways that could leave them vulnerable to a malware infection, according to a Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) survey. In the survey, half of users said they had opened spam, clicked on a link in spam, opened a spam attachment, replied or forwarded it — activities that leave consumers susceptible to fraud, phishing, identity theft, and infection. While most consumers said they were aware of the existence of bots, only one-third believed they were vulnerable to an infection."

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210 comments

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Click here! (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609984)

FIRST POST!! [hotsexyviagrapanaloons4u]

Re:Click here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610054)

panaloons?

Re:Click here! (2, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610200)

No, that parses to "hots ex y via gra pan a loon s 4u"

In other words, previously-married people with y chromosome will have their temperatures increased via a grey pan full of loons, and it's all for you.

This is not the pr0n you're looking for, and if it is you are one sick bastard.

Re:Click here! (2, Funny)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610062)

Vigra wholesale 83% off dear customer. Everything 80% sale!

Worst Porn Spam Header Ever (1, Funny)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610166)

date: Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 6:22 PM
subject: Huge old mommy

Re:Click here! (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610392)

I resent the judgement that my clickable spam was "offtopic"..

can't win this battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31609986)

there will be no end of this, not until we let morons use computers

Re:can't win this battle (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610026)

there will be no end of this, not until we let morons use computers

I'm really not sure what to say to this...

Re:can't win this battle (4, Funny)

shaker-cat (1547407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610700)

apparently they allready are

Re:can't win this battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610206)

You must mean not while we let morons use computers. Or are you the moron and someone won't let you touch computers?

Re:can't win this battle (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610930)

Yes we can. Advertise cyanide capsules as v1agra and sell them via spam. Problem solved.

Re:can't win this battle (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611114)

I recognize the need for the rule of law. I know that vigilantism is wrong, that we should all adhere to the rules of a civilized society. I know that we should allow everyone their fair chance in a court of law, and that no man should be considered guilty until proof has been provided.

But you know what? Fuck that. Kill them all, now.

Old News (2, Insightful)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609992)

Humans will always be the weak link in security.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610034)

and like good System Administrators, we must remove that link...

Mwa ha ha ha!

Re:Old News (4, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610098)

"No, Mr. End User...I expect you to DIE."

Re:Old News (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610350)

And the big red fart button will be the wedge that slips through that chink.

Re:Old News (3, Funny)

vajorie (1307049) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610464)

Humans will always be the weak link in society.

Call the It Dept! (5, Insightful)

mewt (1057562) | more than 4 years ago | (#31609994)

And then they call the IT Dept. claiming that they did nothing..It's just started acting weird..all by itself.. I was just reading this cute mail I got about penises and viagra!

Re:Call the It Dept! (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610058)

Fucking tell me about it.

"I didn't do anything. I mean I was just online..er, using Limewire to get..music, and suddenly!"

Re:Call the It Dept! (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610970)

Not likely when IT will be making a short call to HR that will get you sent packing.

And in this particular case deservedly so.

Apart from wasting company time, filesharing can expose the company to legal liability...perhaps even more so that privately since the RIAA will probably drool more at the corporate treasury than Joe Sixpack's own wallet.

dude (1)

w00tsauce (1482311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610000)

I didn't even know you could enlarge your penis?! SWEET!!!! no more laughing at me in the locker room

Re:dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610182)

If you get an erection in the locker room, they'll do more than laugh at you.

Users. (4, Interesting)

skgrey (1412883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610036)

Users are ignorant to computers. Users have always been ignorant. We can do whatever we can to protect them, either through education, security, antivirus, and anti-malware, but the problem is they aren't geeky tech-people that keep us and like this stuff enough to learn it.

How about we just have a TV show or a movie they want to watch, but teaches them? We could make it a romantic comedy for the ladies or a war movie for the guys, but insert in proper computer use and warnings about spam, viruses, phishing, fraud, etc. We need some kind of mass media to actually teach the masses, and it needs to be a regular interval to keep up with the problems.

Re:Users. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610142)

im picturing "America F*ck Yeah!" song with the text "Don't be stupid... stupid" below it

Re:Users. (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610184)

There have already been numerous movies made featuring $COMPUTER_TECHNOLOGY being used in ways that generally ruin the lives of the protagonists. Yet strangely, I don't see any improvement in the habits or knowledge of the average computer user.

Re:Users. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610198)

And to think, users were once considered gods and creators. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Users. (3, Funny)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610490)

...in fiction.

Re:Users. (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610240)

The computer industry is largely to blame for user's attitudes; they've spent years convincing everyone that computers would make their lives easier and do everything for them without requiring any specialist knowledge and we all know that's bollocks.

We simply wouldn't accept it if the same proportion of people who outright refuse to even try and understand the basics of the IT tasks they perform every day did the same thing with cars or washing machines or lawn mowers. The roads would be carnage - tens of thousands of drivers refusing to learn how to use the stearing wheel or brakes because they "Just want it to take me to the shops, I dont' care how it works".

I really don't think there's any short-term solution to the problem.

Re:Users. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610292)

I really don't think there's any short-term solution to the problem.

I agree, but I think the long-term solution will happen on its own. As more and more people who grew up with the internet get older, less and less computer illiterate people will be out there...eventually, there won't be anyone left who lived in a pre-internet world.

It would be interesting to see what age demographic is currently most likely to click on spam links...

Re:Users. (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610474)

Don't make the mistake of conflating young people who are comfortable using computers with people who are genuinely computer literate.

My brother is comfortable using a computer; he's on the facebook and twitter & youtube and whathaveyou, but he certainly isn't what I would call computer literate. Anything outside of his "routine" uses will usually result in a phonecall to me asking how to do it. He does at least tend to retain that information for a little longer than, say my mum does, but that doesn't mean he understands it well enough to apply that knowledge to new situations in a logical way.

Re:Users. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610502)

Sorry...I meant "computer literate" to mean "not stupid enough to click on obvious spam or phishing links"...just used the wrong phrase is all.

Re:Users. (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610786)

It's hard to learn that except by experience. I mean, I learned that lesson when I was like 12, but many people don't learn it. Teaching is necessary.

Re:Users. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610558)

> The roads would be carnage - tens of thousands of drivers refusing to learn how to use the stearing wheel or brakes because they "Just want it to take me to the shops, I dont' care how it works".
Well isn't it exactly what is happening ?
> There were about 2.9 million injury cases and 42636 car accident deaths. ... (some car lawyer site...)

Re:Users. (1)

Cousarr (1117563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610976)

I'd say learning to use the steering wheel is equivalent to learning to use the mouse. As neither the car nor the computer are going to do anything useful without this knowledge. Learning to use the brakes however, is a fairly good analogy.

Someone operating a motor vehicle who does not know how to use the brakes will operate his or her machine at high speed, wondering why it is not operating faster, careen around the road system posing a danger to themselves and others and will only stop when slamming into something and at the very least heavily damaging their machine.

Someone who is not willing to understand what vectors malware uses to infect a machine will typically operate his or her machine at what is for them high speed, wondering why it is not operating faster, careen around the internet from page to page posing a danger to themselves and others and will only stop when receiving such a terrible infection as to bring the machine to its knees requiring either a format or someone very knowledgeable about malware to clean it up.

Re:Users. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611006)

Bingo! I can't count the number of times I have heard someone claim that they didn't understand, and it was ok because they are not "computer" people, when the thing they did was not really "computer" related. Things like, not turning a computer on, and wondering why it isn't working. That isn't a "computer" problem. That is an "Electricity" problem.

Re:Users. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610420)

Actually we should just make buying from spammer, and letting your computer be infected a punishable misdemeanour.
Virus, Trojans, etc..

First infection: 50$
Second infection: 200$
Third infection: 500$ and you have to learn Linux :-)

Spam

First time: 50$
Second time: 500$
Third time: civil bankruptcy

 

Re:Users. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610982)

Third infection: 500$ and you have to learn Linux :-)

Might work for a lot of the world, but in the USA cruel and unusual punishments are illegal.

Re:Users. (4, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610852)

How about we just have a TV show or a movie they want to watch, but teaches them?

Great idea. Here is a sample from the new soap opera, "One Operating System to Run"

"Madeline, we can't keep seeing each other like this."
"It's your wife, isn't it?"
"No, she doesn't care. She hasn't since the accident. It is...I can't say it..."
"Tell me Steven! Tell me!"
"Fine, it is your hard drive, it is a mess."
"What? How can you say that?"
"Admit it Madeline! Not only is it heavily fragmented but it is full of bloated logs, unneeded installation downloads, duplicate mp3's, old temp files, core dumps, I could go on."
"Oh Steven, it's true! It's true! Please help me! I love you! I want to change!"
"Ok, just go to www.diskcleaner.com and download..."

Re:Users. (1)

rockbottoms (1393173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610876)

A romantic comedy? How about "You've Got Mail 2: Don't Open It!"

In completely unrelated news.... (5, Funny)

IWaSBoRG (992305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610040)

Millions of computer users are idiots.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (3, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610088)

I am incredulous that "80%" of people are aware of botnets. I call B.S. on that figure. Most people think "the internet" is a utopia where nothing can go wrong.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611020)

Seriously? Do you not have TV news in your country? The BBC and mainstream newspapers in the UK have run lots of stories about botnets.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610144)

Millions of people are idiots.

Fixed that for you.

Before the advent of computers, we used to say, "There's a sucker born every minute." Though I'm sure this estimate was off by an order of magnitude.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610208)

Billions of people are idiots.

Fixed that for you.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610520)

Milliards of people are idiots.

Fixed that for you.

Fixed that for you as well.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610530)

To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem. - Douglas Adams

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610316)

Millions of computer users are idiots.

Ignorant != stupid. The difference is, there's a cure for ignorance, none for stupidity. But everyone is ignorant. I know about as much about running a bar and construction company as Mike knows about running a computer. I have as little interest in learning about construction as he does about running a computer -- little to none. I just want a house to live in, he just wants his computer to work.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610454)

But where's the mean-spirited fun in dumping all over ordinary people in that?

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610644)

Yet you know that if your roof leaks you can either look at the tiles and try to patch it yourself, or you call a professional to do it for you. You know that if your house is dirty, you must clean it. You know that if you get bugs, you must call an exterminator to get rid of them.

You know that if you buy a house, you must be ready to maintain it if you don't want it to fall apart. The same SHOULD be said of computer owners, yet this is not the case.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611012)

That's because personal computers are low-cost consumer goods. You can buy a decent one for a couple hundred bucks and it quickly devalues. When it breaks, it might be more cost-effective to just buy a new one than to get it fixed. Now compare that to your house. It takes years to pay off, and its value remains relatively constant. When it breaks, you get it fixed! You can't afford a new house!

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610486)

Most people in the world are ignorant fools, most people in the world behave like idiots at one time or another, unfortunately it is what it is, intelligence is not prerequisite to survival apparently. Also it is probably true that a very large percentage of the population will also do pretty much anything for a buck, combining these facts together and you get a pretty sad place to live in.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610624)

This just shows that 80% of the population are idiots...and they VOTE!

Hopefully they can't find the voting location either.

Re:In completely unrelated news.... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610676)

Also in unrelated news, millions now are st0ng-er in bed! They l0St w3ight now! And they are getting huge discounts on pfizer and v1@gra!

REALLY!@?!? (1)

Mekkah (1651935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610044)

is this why my mom keeps sending me letters from an African Prince with millions?

Re:REALLY!@?!? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610410)

Bang on the roof with a broom and Yell "Mom! stop sending me SPAM!"

Re:REALLY!@?!? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610604)

But then how would he get fed?

Smart software (2, Interesting)

Elledan (582730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610050)

I propose we link spam filters into some kind of device which shocks the user if a link is clicked or attachment opened in a spam message. Maybe it'll make them finally learn not to open those things, much like how one teaches stubborn dogs not to pee against the couch.

Re:Smart software (1)

im_rotting (543266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610080)

I think the Simpsons showed us that that won't work either.

Re:Smart software (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610116)

I propose we link spam filters to the users bank account, so if they click a link or open an attachment they are automatically fined $5. The money collected could be split evenly between the SFLC and Sourceforge.

You can't cure stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610072)

nm

Re:You can't cure stupid... (2, Insightful)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610220)

Re:You can't cure stupid...

You can, but all cures are lethal.

Re:You can't cure stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610376)

You can't cure stupid...

You can, but all cures are lethal.

I am fascinated by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:You can't cure stupid... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610636)

I, for one, welcome our stupid-people killing overlo... hey, who are you guys? Where in the hell did you come from? What's the gun for? NO! STOP! NNOOOOO[BANG]

BUT THERE IS MORE! (0, Flamebait)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610086)

I continue to complain "SLOW NEWS DAY!" like that makes any differnece.

On the other hand, taco can post a "new" story pointing out this comment: "oldhack continues to complain."

Sounds interesting (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610122)

I'm sure they're only clicking because the link sounds interesting [youtube.com] , completely ignoring their safety because they're not paranoid like us /.'ers.

Re:Sounds interesting (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610440)

Damn that should be a new RickRoll ;)

Re:Sounds interesting (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610510)

It isn't paranoia when the bastards really are out to get you. The ignorant, the stupid, and the clueless just don't understand that there ARE ten million parasites and predators waiting to suck their life's blood from them.

we need to take advantage of this.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610128)

Congratulations!!!

Your name has been picked. You have just won millions of dollars worth of software. You are also granted the permission to give this software to all of your friends and family.

  Click on this link to claim your prize...

CLICK HERE TO GET FREE SOFTWARE! [ubuntu.com]

These users (4, Insightful)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610164)

They're probably the users who believe that computers run off magic. For any above-absolute-beginner, common sense should kick in naturally.

This goes to show the level of incompetence, and talking from experience too:

Me: "Okay you're logged into the system?"
Cust: "Uh-yes"
Me: Click on the Reports menu item"
Cust: (silence) I don't see it.
Me: "Any errors pop up recently?" ...(proceed a barrage of troubleshooting)...
Me: "What DO you see?"
Cust: "Just a white page with an image, that says 'Google'"

Absolutely. (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610406)

The other day I was walking my mother through launching Windows Live Messenger, so we could video-chat and she could see the kids.

Here was the conversation:

Me: "Click on the icon on your start bar that looks like a little man."
Her: "I don't see it."
Me: "It's on your start bar."
Her: "Ok, I see All Programs..."
Me: "No. Not under Start, it's on your START BAR."
Her: "I don't know what that is".
Me: "Where is your clock."
Her: "Uh....I don't know..."
Me: "It's either at the top right or bottom right of your screen."
Her: "OHHH! There it is! It's at the bottom right!"
Me: "Congratulations, now you know what a clock looks like. OK, next to the clock are a bunch of icons. Double-click on the one that looks like a little man."

This was literally the conversation I had not two nights ago.

With people of this level of computer competence, they are going to fall for anything and everything. There's just nothing you can do for them.

Re:Absolutely. (5, Insightful)

GvG (776789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610504)

In defense of your mother, I would have had no idea what to do if you told me to look at the start bar. Task bar, notification area, system tray, I'd have understood any of those, but "start bar" is completely new to me.

Re:Absolutely. (1)

hazah (807503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611180)

Then you are incompetent in simple English. It is the bar on which you find start. How is "bar" associated with "Start" confusing? What could someone possibly think when they hear that combination of words other than the frigging 'bar' on which you find 'start.'

Re:Absolutely. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611122)

It's one thing to have an ignorant user, but someone who is informed enough to know that the word "Start" means the next step to running a program is usually "All Programs" isn't completely ignorant. When you just completely make up terms like "Start Bar", that are named similarly to things that they already know, they'll just assume that is what you are referring to.

"Taskbar Notification Area" and "System Tray" are both perfectly acceptable, and non-ambiguous, terms to refer to the icon area that sits to the left of the clock in Windows. If you told me to go to the "Start Bar" I'd click the start menu, and I've been using computers since before MS-DOS came out.

When dealing with newbies, it's vitally important that you learn the proper terminology for stuff first, and teach them the proper terms. That way, when you tell them to google their problems later, they won't be confused by the real terms. And if you're going to make names up, at least make them unambiguous. Anything that begins with the word "Start" in Windows is going to automatically mean the button that has the word "Start" on it to most users. That's why nothing else in the Windows desktop has the word "Start" in its name. Microsoft was smart and picked very unambiguous names for everything on the desktop, and this terminology started in 1995.

Knowing computers for your own use is one thing, but a lot of the problems we have today is that people who don't know how to show others how to use them, and they end up trying to memorize ten terms for each thing when they talk to different people.

If you were teaching your kids how to drive, would you tell them to turn the car by turning the adjustment knob and stop the car by applying pressure to the stop bar? No. You'd use the terms "steering wheel" and "brake". Standard terminology is really important when learning a new skill.

If opening spam is harmful, you're doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610186)

Under no circumstances should email programs open network connections to anything but the mail servers associated with the email account(s). No active ingredients (scripts) should ever be executed by an email program, neither natively nor in plugins. All requests for receive- or read-notifications should be silently ignored. Reading an email should simply have no effect beyond displaying the contents of the email on the screen. If that is not how your system is configured, you're doing it wrong.

Re:If opening spam is harmful, you're doing it wro (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611214)

... or you get a lot of email with embedded remote-linked images. Which, of course, most of us do.

I agree on the scripting/active content part, but it's not quite as simple as only opening network connections to the email server. HTML email means that your email client is really a web browser in disguise.

I click on spam... (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610202)

I click on spam occasionally when it has be obfuscated enough for me to believe that it might be a real message. I have even found a few real messages that looked like spam.

However, I run Linux so I don't worry about viruses, trojans, pedophiles and other malware.

Re:I click on spam... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610258)

I click on spam occasionally when it has be obfuscated enough for me to believe that it might be a real message. I have even found a few real messages that looked like spam.

This is one of the reasons I LOVE the default email client on my HTC Ozone...if there are links included in an email, it will show the display text and then in it will show where the link actually goes. The number of "OMG YOUR CREDIT CARD HAS BEEN HAX0R3D" emails I get that go somewhere like "freecoupondeals.com" is insane.

Re:I click on spam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610386)

adada

Re:I click on spam... (2, Insightful)

LordAzuzu (1701760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610444)

Running Linux doesn't make you safe at all, man.
Instead of clicking on links in message that "might be" real, have a look at the message source. Safer.

Re:I click on spam... (0)

mspohr (589790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610760)

There aren't any malware exploits for Linux in the wild so I don't have to worry.

Re:I click on spam... (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610670)

If you think you shouldn't be careful or practice security because you're on GNU/Linux, you're part of the problem.

Re:I click on spam... (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610684)

Newsflash: pedophiles are now classified as malware and will be quarantined. Gentleman, prepare your definitions!

Some spam messages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610218)

... look legitimate (from the subject) and you have to see if they are spam or real email. Some spam generators have been getting better.

Enter This Lottery NOW And Retire (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610286)

Please click here [foxnews.com] .

Good luck.

Yours In Astrakhan,
K. Trout

Re:Enter This Lottery NOW And Retire (2, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610546)

Foxnews? That's one of the worst online parasites!! They won't suck your bank account dry - instead, they hoover up your BRAINZ!!!

This was an e-mail survay ! (5, Informative)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610310)


From TF pdf, under methodology

"Survey participants are all members of Ipsos' opt-in consumer panels in each of the six markets and were invited to participate via email".

So, people who respond to spam also respond to bullshit surveys via email.
Who'd a thunk it ?

Whitehat spammers? (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610322)

How about some crusaders who mount spam campaigns that, when clicked, scare the holy living hell out of the recipient? Display your geo-location info and a big flashing progress meter that says, "withdrawing funds from your bank account...55%...100%...done" and then a dialog box pops up and says, "Why'd you click on a spam link, sucker? I'll be enjoying your money while I vacation in the Cayman Islands!" Of course no money would be stolen but it would at least give a few idiots the scare of their lives and get them to stop clicking on spam.

Re:Whitehat spammers? (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610680)

The primary thing stopping this would be the "Law of Unintended Consequences" AKA if I find my wife's great grandmother slumped dead over her keyboard and what is displaying on the screen is your message I'm so going to find you! by which I mean, enough survivors would call the FBI/police/AG that the law would hunt you down for making "terroristic threats". In other words, don't be stupid.

Re:Whitehat spammers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31611168)

Dead spam clicker, you consider that a problem? And judging from the huge amounts of spam out there I seriously doubt that any police, never mind the FBI, would do jack shit about it. Just relay it via Nigeria or Latvia.

Re:Whitehat spammers? (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610686)

How about some crusaders who mount spam campaigns that, when clicked, scare the holy living hell out of the recipient?

Because if you hit the wrong idiot with a weak heart and a litigious or determined-and-violent violent family who happen to be in, or have contacts in, your jurisdiction you have something on your hands that you'd rather not deal with. Some may even track you down just over the "sucker" thing: the uneducated don't tend to respond to an insult with a cunningly worded witty repost.

And then you need to consider the "pro" spammers who, seeing your vigilante action as something that might impact their margins in the long run, may be inclined to use any spare resource present in the botnets they have some control over to DDoS the web server and any other service/account that is traceable back to you from there.

Gmail Spam Filter Rocks (1)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610492)

The best way to keep users from clicking on spam links to to keep that spam out of the user's mailbox in the first place. In our shops we run a mix of Exchange (with McAfee's spam product), old school POP3 (not sure what is running there), and Gmail premier. By far Google's spam filter (Postini) wins out over the other two.

...and in other news that is 100% true... (0, Troll)

Androclese (627848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610534)

- Water is wet!
- Grass is green!
- The Sky is Blue!
- Democrats passed a bill 55% of the American people didn't want!
- I will get mod'd down for stating 4 things that are 100% true!

Re:...and in other news that is 100% true... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610906)

Actually, about the last 2:
- The funny thing about the health care bill is that right after it passed, it only had 40% of the American people not wanting it.
- You haven't been modded down.

However, also to add to your list:
- The Pope is Catholic!
- Bears shit in the woods!

Re:...and in other news that is 100% true... (1)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610984)

I see what you did there... and it hurts my brain. It's too early.

Must... click... (1)

lazorz (1544583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610626)

I religiously click on spam, esp if it looks like malware or phishing... just to see where it takes me. It's even more fun if you find some funky scripts on the site! :D

It's a good thing. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610778)

It’s called “natural selection”. It’s a good thing. It gives the more intelligent an advantage that they deserve, while making it harder for the not so wise to live.
If we’d remove it, we’d only allow more idiots to live. And you know where that would lead to.
To the exact same thing that it lead, that you now don’t even have to get up all day long, or face any challenge at all in your padded XXXXXXL suit, and demand that lifestyle as a “right”, while being able to watch the stupid shit that runs on TV, without making any single thought for yourself.

If any, if we want us to advance, we should make it harder.
Ok, that sounds like a misunderstanding hazard. Let me rephrase it:
There is a mechanism in life, where the amount of motivation is based on how close the abilities and the difficulty of the challenges are. If they match up nearly perfect, you get a genius. (Ok, it’s one factor. The main factor.)
And more motivation leads to more challenges which leads to more learning.
Now you can fall off that fine line on both sides. On the “too hard” side, you get frustrated. And on the “too easy” side, you get bored. (This is a the basic mechanism used to make any game fun.)
But this is not just one global value. But one for every aspect of your life.
So you can obviously have a too hard life in some aspects, and a too easy one in others.

E.g. in a slum in some poor African country’s main capital, it will be frustratingly hard, and that slows down advancement.
But in our “western” world, most of our life is so easy, that we are bored all the time. Which, by the laws of efficiency, means that we can scale down our abilities, and go backwards, until it becomes hard enough to be motivating again. But since we constantly make our lives easier, we counteract the natural force of advancement, and just bop a bit up and down around that sweet spot.

And this is what I meant up there with “harder”.

It would make more sense, to make our life more efficient, instead of just easier.
Because we should get better and better, at keeping the difficulty of our challenges closer and closer to the sweet spot of perfect motivation. :)

In a related story (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31610880)

Modern civilization allows idiots to reproduce.

Millions report ham as spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31610948)

On the other side of the table, legitimate mailing lists are having more and more trouble working because millions report emails as spam.
I run a medium sized mailing list which implements most security measures you can think of : confirmed opt-in, simplified unsubscription, such as header shortcuts and "1-click unsubcription", SPF and DKIM, bounce management and so on and yet on average between 1 and 5 subscribers out of 1 000, reports our email as spam, which -I suppose- is mistaken for "I want to unsubscribe from this mailing list".
The lesson I learned is that you have to account for damage caused by stupid users when you reach a significant amount of people.

Perfectly reasonable end-user expectation (1)

ReedYoung (1282222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611018)

Less than half of the consumers surveyed saw themselves as the entity who should be most responsible for stopping the spread of viruses.

Traditionally, the party who pays for a thing expects that the party that has been paid has made the thing usable, and not booby-trapped.

Forward IT! (2, Insightful)

Tobenisstinky (853306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31611076)

"continue to....forward it"!!!?!?!?!?!

FORWARD IT?!!

* apocalyptic seizure *

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