Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spam and viruses: a symptom of drug prohibition?

Via Slashdot, evidence that computer viruses, spam, and prescription-less prescription drug sales are all intricately linked. Apparently, the Storm botnet – a network of computers infected with the Storm worm, whose spamming services are bought and sold on the black market – generates over $150 in revenue for its owners through online prescription drug sales. The Storm botnet is incredibly powerful, running on anywhere from 160,000 to 50 million infected computers (including, probably, your mom's), and is perhaps the origin of one-fifth of all the Internet's spam. The market for these drugs (mostly Viagra and similar drugs, with my own anecdotal evidence suggesting that painkillers and anti-anxiety meds are also advertised) through shady online operators exists only because of the restrictions placed on buying them in real life. So, next time you check your mail and you have more advertisements for c1a|is and \/1agra than real e-mails, blame the FDA.

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