Security Bites 106: McAfee plays with spam

Dave Marcus of McAfee Avert Labs talks with Robert Vamosi about a recent experiment to better understand spam.

McAfee released on Tuesday the results of a monthlong spam experiment. The security company provided 50 people worldwide with a clean laptop armed only with antivirus protection (no anti-spam protection) and a brand new domain for e-mail. McAfee then asked them to surf the Net and blog about their experiences.

Within the first 24 hours, the individuals received their first spam e-mail in the S.P.A.M. (Spammed Persistently All Month) Experiment.

Over the course of 30 days, McAfee's test subjects accumulated 104,000 spam e-mails, or roughly 70 spam messages per day per recipient. Put another way, 87 percent of all the e-mail captured on the test laptops was considered to be spam.

I spoke with Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications for McAfee Avert Labs, about the experiment and the results.
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About the author

    As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.

     

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