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Is the latest Gmail flaw a big deal?

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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Written by Marc Orchant on

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?

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