E-mail firm baits hackers with security challenge

British e-mail firm Avecho has offered a £10,000 ($18,056) award to anyone who can deliver a virus past its GlassWall filtering product. To participate contestants must sign up for an Avecho e-mail account and then either deliver a virus to or from the e-mail address. While Avecho is the only party able to see traffic on its network, vice president of international marketing Mark Elliot says the company would like to hire a third party to judge the contest, but no one has come forward to accept the role. Avecho has refused to release details about how its GlassWare works, saying it wants to keep it secret because it cannot patent the product. Past hacking challenges have been a source of embarrassment for the companies that issue them: Argus System refused to pay a Polish hacking group that managed to crack its Pit Bull server, while in 2002 Korean Digital Works suffered a take over on its contest registration server, allowing the hackers to control who could compete for its $100,000 prize.


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