Spam and Organized Crime

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Internet spam is nothing new. But in the last few months, the scourge of e-mail inboxes around the world has exploded, again.

"Call me", "Hey, Johnny", "Love Pills", "Big bucks", the subject lines are like bad haiku. But the story behind a new breed of superspam, "spam 2.0", is like a high-tech crime thriller. Russian gangsters, African scams, renegade Romanian geeks, and a huge price tag for the world.

Nine out ten e-mails are now said to be spam. Some harmless, except for the time they gobble up. Some will pick your pocket. Some can take over you computer and make it a zombie foot soldier in the global spam wars.

At risk? Money, privacy, and the very utility of the Internet.

This hour On Point: superspam, and the spam wars.


Brad Stone, Technology reporter, New York Times

Dan Druker , Vice President of Postini, a leading e-mail management company

Jeff Schiller, Network Manager, MIT, Security Architect

Lance Spitzner, Director, The Honeynet Project

This program aired on December 13, 2006.


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