Unholy matrimony: spam and virus

Tuesday, 12 August 2003, 4:18 PM EST

In June, half of all e-mail was spam -- those annoying unsolicited messages that hawk everything from porn and Viagra to mortgage-refinancing deals and weight-loss patches. But if you think spam is out of control, prepare yourself. It could get a lot worse.

Over the past few months, e-mail security companies have seen mounting evidence that spammers are using virus-writing techniques to assure that their sales pitches get through. At the same time, intrepid virus writers have latched onto spammers' trusty mass-mailing techniques in an effort to wreak widespread digital mayhem. "What we're seeing is the convergence of the spammer and the malicious code writer," says David Perry, global director of education at antivirus company Trend Micro.

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