Antivirus companies are big-time spammers

— 1:56 PM on January 29, 2004

In the wake of the MyDoom worm e-mail flood, these guys are accusing anti-virus companies of spamming us all. As you may know, I'm highly sympathetic to this point. As they put it:

If a piece of mail comes in with a known virus, trojan, worm or taboo attachment, it will stop the mail from reaching the intended recipient, notify the administrator, and either quarantine or delete the hostile content. Simple and effective. However, each of these companies also has their product mail the person who sent in the hostile content saying "You are infected" in so many words. While such intentions are noble, think about the reality of what is happening. For over three years, these worms that forge the "From:" address have been sending out millions of mail attempting to propogate themselves. For each of these mails that reach an Anti-Virus product or gateway, they get blocked and replied to.. based on that forged "From:" line. Result? Millions more e-mails are sent out to innocent people that never sent the mail in the first place.
...and that's in "the nice section" of the article. Gets better from there.

My favorite point made in the article:

Finally, since this spam doesn't give you a method for opting out of future mail, this violates the "CAN-SPAM Act of 2003" and should be reported accordingly. If our government is serious about spam, they will be aggressive in their pursuit of these million dollar companies that send out millions of spam a year.
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