A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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February 9, 2006

Spammers pioneer 134-bit encryption

134bit encryption logoWhen you're out buying erectile dysfunction pills from a spammer's site, it's nice to know your order data is being protected with cutting edge technology. Right now, order forms at all your top spammer sites are secured with 134-bit encryption.

That's right. Spammers have raised the bar in online security, just as online pornographers pioneered streaming video. Today's leading bulk emailers realize that discriminating customers want the comfort that comes from knowing they've got a couple extra bits under their belt.

Now, don't be alarmed when you get to a spammer's order page and you don't see that cute little SSL padlock show up in your browser status line. Thing is, many browser makers, including Microsoft, have not yet upgraded their cipher strength to 134-bit technology. (Even if you're using Internet Explorer 6, you're currently stuck with just 128 bits.)

But if the site displays the "134bit encryption" logo, you can be confident your data is transmitted directly to the bank in a highly secure fashion. (Similarly, if the site displays the Better Business Bureau reliability seal, you know the operators are trustworthy. A Verisign logo should also be reassuring.)

Of course, 134-bit encryption isn't the end of the road. Innovative spammers will continue to push the envelope and embrace new technologies, such as SPF, in their relentless quest to make online shopping safer and more convenient.

Posted by brian at February 9, 2006 9:19 PM


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