US Fails to Protect Against the Living Dead & Other Dangers

The week of August 7th, 2008 the amount of malicious spam a single computer user received finally overtook health and product spam. Meant to exploit holes in your operating system, get credit card information from you, or simply just to copy your contact list, spam emails have become more than just a nuisance for the States, they have become outright dangerous.

Unfortunately, our government has not made a substantial leap to protect its citizens from this danger that is lurking in our homes and offices.

The Center for American Progress and the Center for Democracy and Technology have released a report which shows in 2007 "the FTC reported 221,226 internet-related fraud complaints, up from almost 16,000 in 2006 and more than 24,000 from 2005." With these numbers so drastically high, and probably even higher than stated as many computer users don't report all of the malware they receive via email, why don't we hear about our states taking more action against spammers?

States generally have brought charges against those who they find are seeking personal data or cases where it involves pornography, but for cases involving spyware, adware and other types of phishing the Cyber-crime Newsletter released bi-monthly by the National Association of Attorneys General highlighted only 14 cases in which individuals or groups were brought before the states.

One of the reasons it may be so hard for states to bring charges against users that help promote this dangerous spam, is because so many aren't aware their computers are zombies and have been turned into spamming machines. Panda Security, has just reported that on average, during the second quarter of 2008, there were more than 10 million zombie computers worldwide spewing spam emails to others and ultimately a computer user can't be held responsible for something they didn't even know that was occurring. Most states are generally unorganized when it comes to cyber crimes at these levels and don't have the knowledge or resources to begin a program which actively seeks to prosecute those involved with crimes linked to spam.

It's unfortunate, but even knowing how many millions are affected by phishing and spam each year, states simply aren't equipped in man power or financial resources. With no changes expected in the near future, computer and data safety will be left up to the average computer user who will need to further educate themselves about the latest viruses and scams to protect themselves from the millions of living dead computers and other online dangers that are facing them each time they login to check their email.

Link: Panda Security
Download: Online Consumers at Risk and the Role of State Attorneys General - Full Report PDF

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18 Comments

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I keep getting these spam emails that claim to be the Microsoft Lottery/Sweepstakes or National Lottery. The ****er is I have never given this email address out to anyone, only thing I've used it for was to sign up at legit forums who I know wouldn't give out users emails.

People complaining that the US government didn't protect them enough should move to China, and hopefully the rest of us will never see your posts here as long as you stay and enjoy the government's protection there.

I agree with previous posters. We do NOT want the government involved. These guys can't even balance a checkbook, I don't want them involved in my email. Legislation won't fix the problem any more than making drugs illegal solved the drug problem. If people wouldn't open these things, then they would stop sending them. The only reason they do it is because they make money. There is plenty of very good software out there to filter out SPAM effectively. I would personally rather handle it myself than depend on the government OR my ISP to do a poor job of it. As far as the general public, if you can't spend a few minutes learning about the risks and responsibilities of having a computer connected to the Internet and having an email address, then you probably shouldn't have either.
Americans (of which I am one) are the laziest people on the planet. Nothing is our fault or responsibility. We blame the government for not protecting us from ourselves, then we complain that they tax us to death. Well, cut out all the useless government programs that treat us like children and redistribute the wealth in a very socialist like way and taxes could be cut to nothing.

but but but, i wanted to see web cam girls live! i was told to just download this player to play it! Its not my fault! :disappointed:

no1 is forcing you to open unknown e-mails and other things ... and besides, it is your resonsibility not to get a virus .. and if you to it is your own fault

Do you want the government to even take greater lengths and lose your privacy? It would be hard to track down phishers and spammers as most trojans will make your system a zombie and you'll be sending spam without knowing it. People will be sued for not even knowing they were sending spam messages.

Remember these are novice users who don't know how to use a computer properly. Look at ISPs who offer antivirus products to the unknowing and still do not know how to scan their system thinking well we got an antivirus program thus we are safe.

Best security method? Get Linux less chance of something going wrong there or a Mac.

(gnuman said @ #3)
Do you want the government to even take greater lengths and lose your privacy? It would be hard to track down phishers and spammers as most trojans will make your system a zombie and you'll be sending spam without knowing it. People will be sued for not even knowing they were sending spam messages.

Remember these are novice users who don't know how to use a computer properly. Look at ISPs who offer antivirus products to the unknowing and still do not know how to scan their system thinking well we got an antivirus program thus we are safe.

Best security method? Get Linux less chance of something going wrong there or a Mac.


bull**** and you know it, 90% of those malicious spam mails are phishing attacks that go like "Hi, i'm your bank, give me all your details because we have lost them". As long as there are users stupid enough to fall for this the world is doomed.

correction:

(gnuman said @ #3)
Best security method? Use your brain when using a computer.


it doesnt matter which brand or type of computer you use, it all has flaws, all you can do is be cautious. If not, then want some candy?