Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sometimes bad things are good.

A belated Happy Birthday to spam, which celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this week. In this BBC Online article, it states that "spam has grown into an underground industry that sends out billions of messages every day."

Spam for products you have zero interest in are a nuisance, even worse are those that contain malware or phishing scams.

I have worked for a number of anti-virus / anti-spam / bandwidth monitoring clients and have been in numerous briefings where the company spokesperson discusses the profile of perpetrators of such activities. I have heard how they are cunning, devious and ever more sophisticated criminals who have a greater online arsenal to dupe unsuspecting consumers. No more are they the geeky, spotty teenager spamming from their bedroom.

These companies and executives hired my company (and me) to educate consumers and corporates on how to protect against spam, viruses, Trojan horses, DDoS attacks etc…but yet the 'underground industry' seems to be thriving.

Here is what got me:

Should I, whose job it was to educate people against the 'underground industry' and ultimately 'put them out of business', see myself as a failure since after 30 years it is doing better than ever?

Or, should I be glad that it is thriving, as without it, there would also be no need for anti-virus / anti-spam / bandwidth monitoring companies to hire the likes of me?

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