Is the latest Gmail flaw a big deal?

Is the latest Gmail flaw a big deal?

Summary: I really can't decide how concerned to be about the latest flaw discovered in Gmail that allows spammers to sniff out a Gmail address and pound away with incomprehensibly stupid offers no sane person would respond to. On the one hand, it's troubling that a vulnerability like this exists and has escaped notice except by the spammers.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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I really can't decide how concerned to be about the latest flaw discovered in Gmail that allows spammers to sniff out a Gmail address and pound away with incomprehensibly stupid offers no sane person would respond to. On the one hand, it's troubling that a vulnerability like this exists and has escaped notice except by the spammers who have, I suspect, been exploiting this for quite some time based on the escalation in spam I've seen in my own account and that others have documented. On the other, Gmail does do a good job of catching virtually all of the spam that does arrive at my address and doesn't count it gainst my generous storage quota. So what's the big deal?

There's quite a bit of conversation taking place in blogspace about Google's recent woes and this latest problem. The consensus is that Google will address this quickly enough and close the hole that allows this exploit. But the damage is already done. Thousands (millions?) of Gmail addresses are now compromised and given the virus-like behavior of spammers sharing their ill-gotten gains. So the onslaught is only likely to escalate as the list of purloined addresses makes the rounds.

What do you think? Just another example of the inherent issues related to complex code? No big deal? Or cause for concern as Google continues to position their wares as viable alternatives, even on a "casual basis" for standards from Microsoft, IBM, and others for business use?

Topic: Tech Industry

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8 comments
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  • no spam to my Gmail

    I've had the same Gmail address for about a year, I still have received virtually no spam at all.

    Kevin
    irontest@...
  • Gmail spam

    I'm with Kevin on this. I have had my gmail account for over a year and have had very little spam on it.
    MountainSpirit
  • Mail security

    I use a few gmail adresses for various subjects and one of them was hicaked by somebody. I cntacted Google and gave all the details, they did returned the mail address back to me.

    I do recieve spam on my email addresses I use havily. SInce the event, I lost more then half of my confidence that any online free emails can actually rovide a good reliable mailbox. They need to better then now to secure mail boxes and privacy.
    isa@...
  • No gmail spam

    I get very little spam in my gmail account. May be google has a filter I don't known about. My Yahoo mail account gets 200 per day but has a filter that gets 99.99% of them.
    h286hacker
  • I agree with Marc

    I agree with you that the volume of spam isn't important since the filter catches it all. I may have seen an increase of 10% in the past few weeks, but only because I looked.

    What troubles me more is the spam getting through my company's filter. I'm not getting roughly 25 emails a day through an incredible stupid filter. I can see they're spam from the subject contents.

    BTW, I never have gotten a false positive in my gmail spam filter except one time when the beta was very new.
    pcassel
    • SPAM OK or NOT-OK

      Spam filters may filter out spam,
      then on the otherhand, a "friendly" email (from client or friend) is identified as SPAM.

      On average, I well get over 200 email a day of which SPAM ranges from 65-to-95%.

      GMail is fairly new to me (used Outlook Express for years + tried various SPAM filters), the current one installed is Mailwash.
      The advantage of using Gmail et al is the convenience of communicating via most web sites.
      info@...
  • I get a lot of spam...

    ...but it's my own fault for assuming that I could actually get a free printer if I only filled out a form. Of course the offers went on and on. So much so that I gave up on filling in forms and turning down offers. Of course all that did was put my email address on a widely distributed list and, of course, I never got the printer.
    LBean
    • true

      yeah i get lots of spam too. i tried to get so many of those offers its not funny. i tried fooling their system by visiting the sign up page but then closing it. didnt work. i tried getting an xbox360, ipod video, mac mini, imac, ps2, ps3. and a while ago, i was trying to get an ipod mini. now i get really gross emails, but those are being replaced by the blasted "postmaster" messages.
      digitnsm