Dropbox initiated the Space Race as a gesture of goodwill to students, and it's hard to fathom how or why people won't receive it in the same vein.
Automation, spoofing and security breaking tools are improving all the time. It's important that it's security researchers (and students) who are driving the arms race, not the criminal element.
But, it still doesn't change my opinion that it's cheating, and as user nthitz said, it's just a case of students being sore losers.
I'm representing another school in the Space Race, but I smiled when I visited dropbox.com/spacerace and saw MIT back at the top of the leaderboard (with less space racers than the previous leader). I couldn't wait to read how they did it. With a smaller student body, they needed to be clever to "win".
We're hoping for the best. Nobody intended to be destructive, it was just a fun project.
It's MIT and Dropbox... I'm sure internally MIT can handle a one thousand new mailing lists at any given occasion (until they are deleted), and I'm 100% sure Dropbox didn't even notice a blip on their network as a result.
And also MIT don't have to check for anything. They deleted everything when they were done.
I don't know why it was such a big deal for some MIT students to feel like they have to win the Spacerace either, but I did actually enjoy the article, although I'm not sure why the effort was made in the first place either.