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March 12, 2005

Is Your Zombie PC Hurling Racial Epithets?

Even when doing a quick scan of spam suspects, some words stick out like sore thumbs. And when the spew machine uses combinations of random words in the Subject lines, those words may appear out of nowhere.

Such was the case in a message I spotted from a medz spammer whose two-word subject included (I kid you not) the "n" word. Checking the header of the message, the entry point to the Internet appears to be a cable subscriber in the U.K. (the Newport area, I believe).

It's impossible to know if more than just the one message I saw had that word combination in it (there were no other reported sightings I could find). But I wonder if such a message had gotten into a litigious inbox, whether the zombie PC's owners or ISP could get into hot water, even if they were unaware of the material spewing from the out-of-control PC.

Wide awareness among non-techies that such abuse exists might be enough to get them to care enough to clean up their PCs. Getting the word out is the hardest part.

Posted on March 12, 2005 at 09:52 PM