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Today in “We Told You So”: Ping Riddled with Spam

A day after Ping, Apple's music-only social network, launched, it's already plagued with things unrelated to music, namely spam.

Though Ping has a fairly easy feature to report offensive content, Apple seemed to forget that this is the Internet. Like I mentioned, there really didn't seem to be a way to enforce the music-only barrier of Ping, which has already been breached by run-of-the-mill internet spammers who got the ball rolling with the infamous "free iPhone" spam.

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Spammers Hire CAPTCHA Solvers for Dirt Cheap

CAPTCHA, or those boxes of distorted text that appear on many websites before you perform key functions like commenting or editing wikis, may be annoying for users to deal with, but they're a partial shield against a web dominated by spam. As their full name -- "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart" -- implies, they're still pretty good at evading solution by bots. Here's the problem: Humans can still solve them for nefarious ends, and many spammers have discovered that there's a labor market of people who are willing to do so for dirt cheap.

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Geekolinks: 7/26

Today in History: The First Spam Email Ever Sent

On May 3, 1978, the Internet witnessed a glorious and not particularly welcome birth: The first ever spam email. Gary Thuerk, a marketer for the Digital Equipment Corporation, blasted out his message to 400 of the 2600 people on ARPAnet, the DARPA-funded so-called "first Internet." Naturally: He was selling something. (Computers, or more specifically, information about open houses where people could check out the computers.) He annoyed a lot of people. And he also had some success, with a few recipients interested in what he was pushing. And thus, spam was born.

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Google Buzz: Already Filling up with Spam

Just a week after its launch, Google Buzz is already being inundated with spam, web security outfit Websense reports. After a mere two days, the company detected Buzzing spammers (or spamming Buzzers, take your pick): "in an indictment of how rapidly spammers are learning to abuse social networks, it took only two days before they started to hit Google Buzz."

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Fire with Fire: Researchers Block Spam Using Spammy Botnets

Just as former bank robbers are the best at stopping current bank robbers and venom can be thwarted by antivenom from the same snake, so, apparently, are the botnets that spew out billions of spam messages each day useful for stopping new spam in its tracks. Researchers at Berkeley's International Science Institute have found that by capturing an infected bot and analyzing the template it uses to blast out its infernal payload, they can accurately predict and filter out the kinds of spam messages that botnets will send out -- all without accidentally capturing legitimate e-mail.

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