Canada class teaching students how to create spam programs

Posted on February 8, 2005

Spam is annoying, and like the old saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them.

Seriously, I doubt that's why the University of Calgary is offering a course in how to create email spam and spyware. A lot of people will think that, but there are valid reasons to have a class like this.

First, it's much easier to write programs to combat things once you know how they work. John Aycock, who teaches the course, said once they have mastered how these systems work, they can then begin to understand how to defeat them.

Second, it's an important aspect of the Internet today, to understand the basic operation of spam programs so people other than spammers will be knowledgeable about their existence.

It would be great is spammers left the rest of the world alone, or found a more useful job. Then again, maybe some of them could use their intelligence about computer systems and become professors. Well, maybe that's a stretch.