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The Economics of Spam: Informative Video

September 20th, 2007

Approximately one month ago Professor Ross Anderson, one of the world’s top researchers in the field of computer security, gave a very informative lecture for the University of Cambridge on the topics of spamming, scamming, phishing, and other Internet-based activities that he places under the category of “wickedness”. This video of his lecture delves into some of the details of how spammers and scammers operate, with a focus on how we can accurately detect their activities.

The topics covered range from the usual phishing spam-and-scams to fake escrow and banking sites to what he calls “postmodern Ponzi schemes”, known to most of us in the Internet marketing world as HYIP. Professor Anderson describes the ongoing struggle between the various types of scammers and the (mostly futile) attempts by governments, financial institutions, and computer security professionals to thwart their operations.

The video is one hour long and is presented in a fairly academic style, so if you are normally an impatient or easily bored type of person, you may not find it particularly entertaining. However, if you have any interest in the rapidly converging fields of economics, computer security, and good old-fashioned spam, you might want to watch this one whenever you have enough time.

Besides Ross Anderson who was cited above, other contributors to this video include Richard Clayton, Tyler Moore, Stephen Murdoch, and Shishir Nagaraja.


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