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Hoosiers and Identity Theft

Indiana University is adding its computing muscle to the fight for cybersecurity by studying the means through which spammers obtain personal e-mail addresses. IU professor Minaxi Gupta said IU’s computer science department recently baited spammers with fake e-mail addresses on a number of popular websites.

“We basically posted bait e-mail addresses on Indiana University Computer Science Department website, popular blogs, Washington Post, New York Times, and really places where a human being wouldn’t find them because they weren’t really visible on the screen,” Gupta said. “It turns out these spammers crawl the web all the time.”

Within 55 minutes of setting the trap, the researchers received their first spam. Speaking on WFIU’s Noon Edition, Gupta warned it’s important to be cautious about those to whom you give your e-mail address. She said many companies have partnership agreements and will share your e-mail with other organizations.

You can listen to this discussion and more at the top of the page.

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