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Cisco backtracks on spam the spammers advice

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Cisco has admitted that it made a "serious error" by advising its customers that the best way to treat unsolicited email was to retaliate with abusive emails. In its publication The Easy Guide to Network Security, Cisco advised that dumping large useless files on spammers was equally as good, although this approach has been questioned by some experts. The blunder, originally spotted by one of our vulture-eyed readers, has left the networking giant wiping large globules of egg from its face. Following The Register story this week Cisco removed the publication from its Web site. For those who missed it, Cisco's advice read: "Spam is usually harmless, but it can be a nuisance, taking up time and storage space. The solution is to flame the perpetrators by sending them abusive messages, or to reply by dumping a very large and useless file on their Web server." This is no longer Cisco policy, it seems. A prepared statement issued today by Helen O'Hanlon, PR Manager UK, Cisco Systems, Inc., said: "There was a serious error in one section of the previous version of The Easy Guide to Network Security which has led to us recalling it. A new version is in the process of being prepared. The paragraph in question in no way represents the view of Cisco Systems and we apologise for this mistake." Ms O'Hanlon was not available for further comment by press time. Which is a shame, because we would like to know how such a "serious error" could happen in the first place. We'd also like to know how customers received this publication and how many will have to be pulped to get rid of the evidence. And I for one would really love to know how to deal with spammers... other than being abusive. ® Related Story Cisco tells spam victims to reply with abusive emails

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