Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/23/pc_spam_sickies/

PCs throw nine sickies a year

'I won't be in today - I got spammed last night'

By Lester Haines

Posted in Security, 23rd June 2004 11:20 GMT

British PCs are taking an average of nine sick days a year due to spam and viral attack, Yahoo! claims. This is two more days than the typical Brit spends at home as a result of illness/injury/Euro 2004-induced hangover.

Interestingly, six of these silicon sickies are due to spam, with just three days attributable to viruses. People too are wearying of the spam tsunami, with half of UK computer users claiming that confronting junk emails is more harrowing than sitting in rush-hour traffic gridlock.

Yahoo! surveyed 2,500 punters - half of whom said they'd asked their ISP to pull the finger out in addressing the spam issue. Rather bizarrely, roughly a third would be prepared to "make a drastic lifestyle change, such as exercising five times a week, if it meant an end to spam".

As far as we are aware, this is the first time that jogging and circuit training have been mooted as a solution to spam. And speaking of making the effort, SurfControl's marketing director, Martino Corbelli, reckons that it's the ISPs who should be moving their lardy arses off the sofa: "They never have done much about spam and all the indications are that they are lethargic about fighting the problem," he told the BBC. "They are not listening to their consumers and I can't see that changing."

Yahoo!'s report has been released to coincide with 'Global Anti Spam Day' - a title which rather has the feel of a triumph of hope over expectation. The survey does, nevertheless, highlight a few stats which prove how spam will, inevitably, bring down western civilisation.

For example:

There you have it. So, while the French do their bit to accelerate our descent into socio-economic anarchy, here is UK communications minister Stephen Timms' overview: "Nobody - be it government, industry or otherwise - can work alone to eliminate the problem overnight, if we are to have an impact on reducing it, the fight against spam demands international co-operation and collaborative campaigns. Yahoo!'s Global Anti Spam Day is exactly the sort of initiative that is critical in raising awareness amongst Web users."

Fair enough. We at El Reg will move immediately to berate our ISP on the lack of tangible anti-spam action. If, that is, our entire IT infrastructure is not at home in bed having over-indulged last night on Nigerian 419 solicitations. ®

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