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Spam Education IT

University Of Calgary To Offer Course On Spam 283

Posted by timothy
from the tastes-like-long-pig-or-short-moose dept.
jrcsnet writes "CBC is reporting that the University of Calgary is going to be adding yet another controversial course (The first, on computer viruses, was covered on Slashdot a while back). According to the article, 'Students will be taught how to write programs that create e-mail spam as well as spy software.' While there must be some benefit for everyone else by creating programs to work against these nuisances, is it worth the risk to the rest of us or even to the potential careers of the graduates of the course?"
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University Of Calgary To Offer Course On Spam

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  • Suspects (Score:5, Funny)

    by fembots (753724) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:37PM (#11587452) Homepage
    One day when spam is truly prosecutable, these graduates might find themselves the first to be questioned :)

    What's next? A course on editing child porn photos digitally?
    • Next up... (Score:5, Funny)

      by wasted (94866) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:45PM (#11587508)
      What's next? A course on editing child porn photos digitally?

      Next are courses on Recreational Pharmaceutical Agriculture, Distribution, and Marketing.
    • No, of course not. That would be illegal. Can't be giving courses on illegal things. Just things that are frowned upon.

      The next courses will be "Adultery 101" and "How to Abuse your Employees Within the Letter of the Law 203"

    • Re:Suspects (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I understand that most people don't like this at all. But I myself find this a very usefull method.

      I have myself learned how to hack into computers. I know how damn easy it is, if you make just a few little mistakes when securing your computer. Because I know that, I try to avoid those mistakes very much.

      Making a program that sends spam is easy. Anyone with programming skills can do it. But if you actually do it, you will have to fight with the same problems that spammer do, and by doing that, you will le
  • Sweet (Score:2, Funny)

    I say we just nuke every spammer we find.
    • by Zemran (3101)
      And if you want to find them you now know where to look :) So this course is a good thing really.
  • Alberta (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sophrosyne (630428) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:39PM (#11587466) Homepage
    For you Americans... Alberta is basically all of your middle states combined. Lots of Right-Wing rednecks with oil.
    • You know, I was raised in Manitoba/Ontatio, and for all of my life I've been hearing the stereotype perpetuated by the parent. I just moved here (Calgary) a few months back, and I have to tell you, this province is anything but. Maybe it's the hippie influence from BC, maybe it's just that most Canadians don't really travel anywhere, and get 99% of their information from the Toronto-centric CBC.

      If this province is right-wing, well at least they've done right-wing "right" (ie: correctly). The taxes here are
      • I'm also Calgarian and I gotta disagree.

        Klein is running public services into the ground despite the fact that our provincial debt is completely gone (so this giant surplus can actually go towards services again). I suspect he's doing this so he can save the day by privatising them.

        Also, while young people are often liberal, I see religious nuts that are as bad as when I lived in Houston.
      • Why? Oil money.

        Used to be if you wanted to sell a(n interesting) car in Canada you'd sell it in the US to get the most $. These days you sell it in Calgary.

    • It's just as well... if a liberal province/state ever got any money, the universe would implode in on itself. The provincial government is okay, because the idea of a left-leaning government with all the oil revenue scares me... we've finally got our province back in order financially. It's basically the religion and... well, the religion and the stuff it causes that concerns me. Why does oil always come with religious nuts? Can someone explain that one to me?
  • by codesurfer (786910) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:42PM (#11587485)
    Fantastic...a curriculum has finally been designed that will allow students to pay their own way through university, creating and running spam generators!

    It's things like this that keep the word 'almost' in my motto 'I'm almost always proud to be Canadian'.
    • FREE VIAGRA! Click here.

      [reply]

      Dude, you're supposed to spam people OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL, YOU MORON!

      (Click)

      Message sent.
    • It's things like this that keep the word 'almost' in my motto 'I'm almost always proud to be Canadian'.

      I presume another of the things is that your government enshrines the right of couples to use Sharia law to solve divorce arbitrations when all parties agree?
  • Greed (Score:2, Funny)

    by mboverload (657893)
    Are the administrators there stupid, or just REALLY that greedy?
    • As a comp sci student at the University of Calgary, I can unequivicably say "yes".

      Though I doubt the administration has anything to do with it. It's a very high level course with small size, the kind that's typically snapped up by undergrads in their last year, and it requires permission to enrol. The faculty doesn't like courses like that.

      Instead, they like to make it easy for large numbers of undergrads in earlier years to get into easy courses with lots of group work (so they don't all have to know wha
  • Soo.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Infinityis (807294) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:44PM (#11587496) Homepage
    Does this mean I can start to expect spam advertising that I can now get a non-accredited degree on how to spam others?

    Either this is some kinda freaky pyramid scheme or I just entered the Twilight Zone...

  • Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shadowmatter (734276) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:45PM (#11587507)
    Wouldn't it be more productive to study ways to combat spam? From simple Bayesian techniques [paulgraham.com] to graph theoretic methods [arxiv.org]? That would teach you a lot of theory and principles you could apply to other courses as well. Right now, it just sounds like they're just doing this for attention...

    - sm
    • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RockClimb (235954) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @12:20AM (#11587690)
      "Wouldn't it be more productive to study ways to combat spam?"

      I agree, but the truth of the matter is, there is money being made in spam. Nevermind the fact that 99+% of the people being spammed hate it and hate the spammers. Now if I were an alumni of this University, they could kiss my shiney white backside before I would ever give them another dime.

      Now the story does say "The aim is to develop new ways to fight these online nuisances." I read this and I see a whole new problem.... They write the spamming software and sell it, then write the anti-spamming software and sell it. This course will do nothing more than make problems worse.

      When I see things like this course being offered, and things like this story [telegraph.co.uk], I no longer belive that what is right matters, it's all about the money or just being plain annoying to as many people as possible . I for one will not shed a tear if the University of Calgary burns to the ground for this as long as no one is hurt (no, I'm not saying it should be torched). What ever happened to doing things to help yourself and/or others?

      Spammers remind me of the kid(s) in school who everyone ignored or avoided, only now they have found a way to make people pay attention to them, and they're getting even. I just wish I could burn my email addresses. :)
      • When I see things like this course being offered, and things like this story, I no longer belive that what is right matters, it's all about the money or just being plain annoying to as many people as possible.

        You are just coming to this realization now? Wake up and smell the stock options, man. It's been that way for at least 30 years.

      • jeez dude, what's with all the burning?
      • if you _really_ want to spam it's not a problem to research these things by yourself.

        however.. if you're(a normal person and) not into it you'll NEVER EVER start to think of these ways how the spam gets through the filters.

        as such it might really be good in that the students after this know when they enter the working life what the spam is really about and how it gets through to your mailserver so that they don't just waste a wad of cash on the first miracle cure for it that they find with google.
    • Re:Uhhh... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mia'cova (691309)
      Those topics are covered in machine learning courses actually. Pretty well every curriculum I've seen has this sort of material in it. I've taken one such course and found it extremely interesting. The material is so incredibly useful though that I don't think anyone would call it a course on anti-spam. The fact is that these learning techniques have far-reaching benefits beyond classifying email.

      But the really interesting stuff I think is mostly left for grad students who specialize a little in the topic.
    • Re:Uhhh... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cryptnotic (154382) *
      Wouldn't it be more productive to study ways to combat spam? From simple Bayesian techniques to graph theoretic methods? That would teach you a lot of theory and principles you could apply to other courses as well. Right now, it just sounds like they're just doing this for attention...

      This may be from the same line of university thought that decided it was a good idea to study LSD by taking LSD repeatedly and writing about it. Hopefullly they won't start "studying" mass murder or genocide.
  • Uh Oh. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Alien Venom (634222) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:46PM (#11587510) Homepage
    From: http://www.ucalgary.ca/it/self_help/email/spam/ [ucalgary.ca]

    "The University of Calgary's Computing Policy prohibits U of C users from spamming others. If you receive spam that originated at the University of Calgary, please report it to abuse@ucalgary.ca."

    I wonder if someone should inform the IT department.
  • by same_old_story (833424) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:47PM (#11587516)
    win32Api I and win32api II
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:48PM (#11587526) Homepage
    I happen to chat online occasionally with people who run blogspammer software, and their response to the rel="nofollow" thing to combat blog spam was, "That's history. We're already on to the next thing."

    I don't know how much of that is bullshit, and how much is true, but I think that it's important to always be looking for the new potential ways to get spam through so defenses can be prepared before the deluge.
    • I thought that whole rel="nofollow" thing was just a really bad idea in the first place. There are some really important links placed on blog replies, and I'd hate to see them all get discounted because some blogs get spammed. It's like rejecting all your email on the basis that 10% of it is spam.
  • is it worth the risk ... to the potential careers of the graduates of the course?

    They're the ones who choose to take the course.

    • by evn (686927) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @12:12AM (#11587656)

      The whole point of going to University is to learn how to think, not what to think. I would hope that any University computer science major would be able to figure out how to make a basic network application (like a mass-mailer) by reading the RFCs and API documentation for their platform of choice. I can program a word processor even though I never took "Word Processor Coding 204" and "Text Editor Development 189". Maybe these courses will not only teach how to write a piece of crap-ware but also how to exert a little self-discipline and ethics when they're making all those semi-colons and curly brackets.

      These courses actually look interesting and I'm considering taking some courses part-time to work towards my masters there just because they're offering a little variety.

  • To catch a thief... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SarahKatt (856591) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {harastakatilol}> on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:49PM (#11587536)
    This kind of information is avilable anywhere really. You could run a google search and get a tutorial on creating a spam cannon server. If someone wants to become a spammer, they can do it without the class.

    The attractive aspect here is that these students will know the tricks of the trade when it comes to spamming, and you know what they say: It takes a thief to catch a thief.

    Would I pay the 300USD pricetag (Which is the going rate for a 3 hour course at my school, plus books) to take this class? No. But the same is said by many students about Archery, Chess, Basket Weaving and many other classes that are seen as electives.
  • by hsmith (818216) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:50PM (#11587540)
    Where you were taught theory and higher level thought about subjects. Now we are having people go to college for the pure reason to get a job when they graduate.

    What has happened to education?
    • "What has happened to education?"

      The reality that students don't want to get themselves into ungodly amounts of debt without more of a guarantee of getting a job. Because to many people, college IS about getting a job.

      But I have to tell you, as someone in a more "reality" based program that strive to give real world experience, I have found it unbelievably insightful and useful. Not only that, but they manage to throw in a lot of courses that ARE about theory and higher level thought. When you combine t

    • Maybe I'm just a dirty Marxist(but not a communist/stalinist) but this just seems one more aspect of the commodification of our culture.

      The primary factor for motivation in our society is competition. Learning theory and high level thought will probably allow a graduate to make significant contributions to society for the next twenty years, but the person learning the practice will make a much bigger impact this year, which will directly effect stock markets (a.k.a. competitive markets).

      Capitalism is p
    • Not everyone cares about why. Most people are perfectly fine enjoying their hobbies and going on vacation every other quarter. The average college student is about "enjoying life" and "having fun while I still can." They find the degree and courses that suit them and make the most out of their time in college. It is their unalienable right to pursue whatever makes their lives complete.

      Then there are those of us who wonder about the stars and question nature. These inquisitive types find the courses that su
  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <(ten.suomafni) (ta) (smt)> on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:50PM (#11587543) Homepage

    According to TFA,

    some companies have said they're not going to hire his graduates because they don't like the perception of having someone on board who has written viruses.

    Some companies are run by idiots.

    How are people supposed to write security software if they don't know malware works? And how can one really learn how malware works without writing some?

    When I worked on a firewall project years ago, I wrote some code to test it versus SYN floods. Where we supposed to just do a theoretic analysis and say "sure, it's safe against this attack"?

    When I'm not hacking, among the other things I do is teach karate. That includes playing the attacker sometime for my students to defend. And sometimes they play the attacker for other students. It's the only way to learn.

    (Of course in both hacking and budo there are legitimate safety issues. While there aren't enough details in TFA to say for sure, it sounds like they've addressed them.)

  • where can I sign up? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by osssmkatz (734824)
    Let's see.. I learn about: * The SMTP protocol. * How to telnet in to an SMTP server * How it will accept any input as to who I am without checking it, and send mail. * How to write a shell script to automate the above Oh wait.. I can already do that. This better be a 1 credit course. But seriously, it gives these students information about why we have a spam problem, and vital background information so that they can fix it. These students are e-mail users themselves (most spammers aren't, and the one I
    • by pe1chl (90186)
      Maybe it will start them thinking about a better protocol than SMTP?
      They can investigate the history of SMTP, its assumptions w.r.t. mutual trust, where that went wrong, and how a new protocol should be designed so that it is not so easy anymore to hide the origin of mail.
  • Talk about paranoia (Score:4, Informative)

    by PxM (855264) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:51PM (#11587552)
    Aycock acknowledges there is a potential for viruses and other malicious software to spread outside the classroom.

    He says that's why there are precautions, such as security cameras and a ban on all outside electronic equipment in the classroom.

    Each student signs a legal form that says a breach of the security means an automatic "F" and a potential criminal investigation.


    I guess they think that there is a high risk that a person will intentionally wreak havoc with the knowledge he learns in that class. Then again, this might just be a publicity thing for the class. I doubt that it's more dangerous than a class on computer security and virus/malware prevention in terms of the risk of damage being done.

    --
    Free iPod? Try a free Mac Mini [freeminimacs.com]
    Or a free Nintendo DS [freegamingsystems.com]
    Wired article as proof [wired.com]
  • by chia_monkey (593501) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:54PM (#11587571) Journal
    Hmmm...I guess the university simply spams people saying "enroll for our spamming class". Who else would want to sign up? Oh the cruel irony...
  • by Dylan Thomas (853299) <dylan@freespirits.org> on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:55PM (#11587573) Homepage Journal

    People are upset because a university is teaching courses on viruses and spam engines?

    You know, if I wanted to learn how to murder someone, probably the best thing I could do is train to be a cop. Or a forensics investigator. Or maybe even a doctor. That's where I'm most likely to learn the skills necessary to help me get away with murder.

    Problem is, those classes are also where I'm most likely to learn the skills necessary to prevent a murder, or to save a life, or to bring a murderer to justice.

    So what should we do: prohibit universities from teaching skills that might be put to bad use? What would that leave? Philosophy and creative writing?

    Sure, someone will argue: but spam engines don't have any good use! You can't save someone's life by learning how to write a spam engine! But I can guarantee you that most of the people who work to block spam engines and stop illegal spammers knows how those spam engines work. They learned it somewhere. Tell me why a university shouldn't be one of the places to acquire those skills.

    And certain people who design operating systems should probably take more of those courses in how viruses work. Might keep them from having to release new security patches every eleven days.

    • by fimbulvetr (598306) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @12:17AM (#11587677)
      So far, everyone has posted on how this is such a bad idea and every graduate is going to turn into a spammer.
      People, there's a forest in these trees!
      Listen, if I'm a programmer, and I took my normal devry programming course, I have no idea what a syn flood is, nor have they taught me anything to do with the basics of a buffer overflow.
      Classes taught to exploit these types of vulnerabilites assure that every student *knows in his/her soul* how things can be exploited. They know exactly how a stack can be overwritten, exactly where to find the return address to overwrite. With this information, and this *big picture* understanding, it will make the better coders in the long run.
      Compare most blackhats with most whitehats. What do you seen? You see blackhats with crazy abilities to not only forsee vulnerabilites, but also an intimate understanding of how to exploit them. Most whitehats are just people who know enough not to use insecure commands.

      Personally, I'm glad Mr. Venema knows more about average vulnerabilites than current Mr. Joe State University graduate, because he knows how things are exploited (Obviously. Look at TCT, Postfix, TCP Wrappers).

      If the average developer *knew* something about programming, maybe we'd actually be better off.
    • You know, if I wanted to learn how to murder someone, probably the best thing I could do is train to be a cop. Or a forensics investigator. Or maybe even a doctor. That's where I'm most likely to learn the skills necessary to help me get away with murder.

      There's a difference. None of those classes hand you a gun, show you the escape routes, and tell you where to aim.

      • Cop training wouldn't?

        Perhaps not the escape routes. But I'm sure it would teach HOW to escape in bad situations.
        • Very true. I can understand the motivation of the professor, but I think it would be a lot less controversial if you taught the theory of how spammers operate, rather than the actual process of spamming. For example, by having police aim at paper targets, rather than real people.
    • We had this same discussion in my 4th year computer security class. We talked a lot about security protocols, and their weaknesses, how they could be broken, and a lot of other things. My professor said it's just like teaching locksmithing. You have to teach people what's broken with the system and how the bad guys take advantage of it to have any hope of it ever being fixed.
  • by museumpeace (735109) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @12:00AM (#11587598) Journal
    programmers writing viruses and spamming tools as there are now if there were more good paying jobs for people who like to program? It doesn't matter what you teach people ...it matters what you pay them to do with their skill.
    • Do you think there would be so many programmers writing viruses and spamming tools as there are now if there were more good paying jobs for people who like to program? It doesn't matter what you teach people ...it matters what you pay them to do with their skill.

      *Perhaps* there would be fewer, but many criminals (spammers, etc, included) are malcontents becuase they are malcontents. Even if there was 110% employment for programmers, there would still be these criminals. You don't have to go futher than

    • The group of people who write the more competent spamming tools are quite small, and their software is borrowed and stolen by others to use. Better paying jobs for competent programmers would have only a small effect on overall spam, since it takes only a few competently written tools to flood the world's email systems. Changing the email systems and the policies to prevent the abuse is the issue, not the software.
  • by jxyama (821091) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @12:07AM (#11587635)
    $pAM 1O1?
  • zerg (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord Omlette (124579) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @12:09AM (#11587643) Homepage
    Can you imagine going to a doctor who's never studied viruses? Knowing how easy it would be for a contagion to spread across the globe and wipe everyone out, do you think it's a good idea for money-hungry corporations to be playing around w/ virus strains in their labs? Would you support sending American troops to Iraq w/out showing them how easy it is to build an Improvised Explosive Device out of pretty much anything that needs batteries?

    Yeah, I didn't think so.

    Every single computer scientist in training should have a fundamental understanding of computer security. And if learning means doing, then computer scientists should be taught how to write viruses, send spam and remotely 0wn b0xes. And don't let them graduate if they can't.
    • Every single computer scientist in training should have a fundamental understanding of computer security. And if learning means doing, then computer scientists should be taught how to write viruses, send spam and remotely 0wn b0xes. And don't let them graduate if they can't.

      Amen to that. I took a "network troubleshooting" class which was part of the final semester at a Cisco Academy. Along the way, we learned how to recover passwords from a router or switch that we otherwise had lost access too. As a con

  • First, I don't really mind the idea. I think it's probably a good one.

    But one thing I find amusing is the idea of keeping physical securit to the site. Surely if we've learned one thing recently, it's the value of knowledge. Keeping them from taking a floppy disc hope isn't going to make a lick of difference here. Except that, I guess, it might give the university some distance if a criminal investigation against one of the students is launched.

  • I dunno, Calgary Alberta is where all the Canadian oil biz people work, and teach new generations of students to pump Greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. What's a little spam destroying the Internet compared to a lot of CO2 destroying the species?
  • Know Thy Enemy

    -Charles
  • by Werrismys (764601) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @12:41AM (#11587778)
    All you need is one boring afternoon.
    Writing mass-mailer SMTP client is trivial.

    You don't actually need to do anything, there are excellent SMTP components in all frameworks. You just need to write code to randomize subjects, attachment names, seemingly plausible content, and scan the Winblows machine in question for address books. The couple of most common formats will do.

    Then the part about getting it to run.. for my hypothetical win32.Goatse email worm that changes the background image to hello.jpg I would not even have to resort to holes in outlook or anything. Just send the executable. In a perfect world mail servers would drop win32 executables automatically, but this is not widespread policy.

    Let it pop up a requester: 'This attachment is executable content. Are you sure you want to run it?' [Yes]/No

    'To provide better support to the goatse community, do you want to send unsolicidated email?' [Yes]/No

    'Do you want to install desktop shortcuts?' [Yes]/No

    'Do you want goatseMailer to run automatically upon Windows startup?' [Yes]/No

    If this was launched late sunday evening, the number of goatse'd background imaged would reach thousands easily. Windows users ARE that stupid.

    • In a perfect world mail servers would drop win32 executables automatically, but this is not widespread policy.

      Any idea why? For more than 5 years (since happy99.exe was mailed around) we have been blocking all executables on the mailserver at work, and it has rarely caused any problem. In those years it sometimes happened users mailed "funny stuff" around that was made as a self-running flash animation, but this has all been replaced by powerpoint slideshows now. Apparently everyone now has a (pirate)
  • Is there a mailing list somewhere??
  • That sounds like typical Socialist mentality to me.

    It is really sad that "socialists" think it is OK to keep knowledge hidden because they think it is the _knowledge_ that is bad.

    Well, I am here to tell you that it is not the knowledge. What if I were to post right now how to make a _very_ simple explosive. Would that mean that anyone that read this post would be "bad" or "potentially bad"?

    To all you socialists out there... repeat after me
    IT IS NOT KNOWLEDGE THAT MAKES SOMETHING BAD! IT IS THE PER

    • Where are you getting this idea that socialists think information is dangerous? Isn't it you capitalist yanks that are enthusiastically taking away people's basic civil rights and trying to find ways to make "unwanted" information criminal?

      Labelling someone a socialist and attacking them on that level doesn't work as well as it used to.
  • Note on Calgary (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday February 06, 2005 @01:08AM (#11587880) Homepage Journal
    The University of Calgary was the first to standarize a library of text files to test compression programs. It's known as the Calgary Corpus [data-compression.info].

    Given this, I'd say that Calgary always keeps ahead of other universities in innovation. And certainly we want virus and spam writers on OUR SIDE. i.e. College graduates (versus socially-inadapted anarchists and script-kiddies). Who knows if one of these guys will later make the ultimate anti-spam tool? Remember that the Reed College [wikipedia.org] graduate, Peter Norton [wikipedia.org], became so famous for his Antivirus tool.
    • The University of Calgary has great research but the undergrad program for comp sci sucks, and continues to deteriorate.

      Basically, they're increasing group work so it's easy for people that don't know what they're doing to coast, and they're making core requirements easier to meet.
  • So how are they going to advertise for the course? Perhaps they'll spam us with offers like:

    "g3t uR d3gr33 N0W!!! f1nd 0ut h0w t0 3arn $$$$ by s3nding SPAM!!!"

  • "It will be similar to an existing course where students learn how to create computer viruses. The aim is to develop new ways to fight these online nuisances."

    The sky isn't falling, Chicken Little.

    If you don't understand how something like spam begins and propagates, how are you supposed to fight it? Nothing to see here, move along.
  • Ethics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @01:35AM (#11587984)
    Hopefully, the school's CS degree program also has a hefty ethics course requirement.

  • One must study viruses, how they work, and how they are written, in order to work on antiviruses. One must study spam, including how to do it, in order to work on ways to combat it. I don't understand how some people here seriously think this will lead these kids directly into the "dark side" once they graduate. They sound just like the idiots who were totally against sex education in school. Education is the best way to combat many things. Sure, maybe one student among many will dream up a new, more malici
  • Thy Enemy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Sunday February 06, 2005 @01:51AM (#11588038) Journal
    To defeat your enemy, you must know your enemy.

    It's the same philosphy that all the computer hacking / security courses I took in college followed. If you're going to be a system administrator, you HAVE to know how people are going to try to break into your system, so you can prevent it.

    The responsibilty of schools are to teach. It's the responsibility of the student to use the knowledge responsibly.

    How much lethal knowledge do you think your average doctor (MD) has?

  • by bobbagum (556152) <bobbagum@gmail.com> on Sunday February 06, 2005 @02:02AM (#11588066) Homepage

    What skills have you got?

    ...Spam

  • by stewby18 (594952) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @03:36AM (#11588366)

    While there must be some benefit for everyone else by creating programs to work against these nuisances, is it worth the risk to the rest of us or even to the potential careers of the graduates of the course?

    No, it's not worth the risk. Any knowledge that could be used for evil must be supressed. Knowledge is bad.

    Seriously, what kind of question is that? Are you suggesting that ignorance is the best approach to combating spam? Should we stop teaching say, chemistry, so there's no chance people will learn to make dangerous chemicals? I learned to make thermite in high school, after all. "It might be risky, we'd better not teach it" is a quick road to never teaching anything.

  • Professor (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ptarjan (593901)
    For the record. I'm a CPSC student at the University of Calgary and I'm very proud that my university has made slashdot TWICE in the past year, all due to Dr. Aycock but that is ok. Unfortunately, that is the only accomplishment this fine institution has had. :P

    Here is the profs webpage [ucalgary.ca] and the link to his new course [ucalgary.ca].

    The prof is a pretty cool guy but his jokes are AWEFUL! (If you are reading this Dr. Aycock, I'm just kidding. :P)

  • is it worth the risk to the rest of us or even to the potential careers of the graduates of the course?

    No. Some graduates will consider career in local police/FBI/CIA/NSA/HFD/RIAA interesting.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.

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