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The Spam War - The story of a cafe owner..

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posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 05:05 PM

Here's a story about a cafe owner catching a spammer. It's a long read, but if you read it all it really opens your eyes to the massive scale of spamming.

Heres and exerpt from the long read:

Then, he spent a bit of time on Don't
you just love the fake google-textads? He logged into next,
using the email address kendoda at Whatever hash they use
for passwords was aaka7zxkcNo. Then, he logged into his yahoo mail
account. This was probably to check the account that in which he
receives those mails. It looks like the rest happened over SSL.

Then it started. The screen started showing an awful lot of smtp traffic
heading out onto the net. I knew that I had to let it go, even if it
meant another 48 hours of being blacklisted. If it meant he could be
convicted of committing a crime, then I figured it was worth the price.
I hope those who received the mail also feel that way. (sorry :-/)

Before I phoned my contact in the Gardai, I had to make sure that he was
actually sending out his vile wares. I scped the partial dumpfile onto
my laptop, and opened it up in ethereal. Guess what?

The fact that a spammer can log into a website that redirects him to a server that has a program that will send out thousands of emails in a matter of minutes is astounding.

The early problems spammers had was finding a source to send the spam from. If a source, (or connection, ip, ect) is found or reported to be sending massive amounts of email, its flagged and blacklisted on a group of networks. The blacklisted networks will stop recieving and data from that host for 48 hours. Meaning the spammer couldnt spam again for 48 hours from his original address. Also meaning say if blacklists you for sending its host 40,000 emails in the past 4 minutes, you wont be able to send out any email from yahoo that may be legit or perform yahoo searches, yahoo chat, ect. And since most cafe's run off one network, all the computers in the cafe wont be able to send/recieve email from yahoo... for the next 48 hours.

Now if you had a website and a nifty program setup to send email all from source code, and loaded up a freshly purchased list of (stolen) email addresses, and accessed and executed this nifty program from say.. oh.. any local cafe/library/college/public access.. you've opened a potential to spam not every 48 hours, but several times a day from different locations throughout the world....

How big is the spam war? Who knows. But every single one of you that has your email crammed with dozens of spam daily can thank these guys for shutting down cafe's and universities world wide.

Oh, and quick warning.. don't click the "Do not send me anymore emails" link on your junkmail. All that does is re-add your name to the top of the email lists marked as an "Active" account... meaning more spam. The best thing to do is either change your address and don't ever type it when prompted (unless you know/trust the site content), or ignore it for a long time and it will eventually be tagged and Inactive account... After 6 months..

Discuss the Spam war.. is there anyway to stop it? Is there anyway to catch these criminals without breaking current Internet laws (if you read the laws, you'll actually know what the cafe owner did was illegal, and will ultimatly lead to this spammers release...)... Are these spammers making massive amounts of money unchecked!? Are the spammers apart of a larger more complex web of 'spamming corporation' much like the drug war?

Related Articles:
Can A Bounty System Cure Spam?
The End of Email Cometh?
Using AI for Spam Filtering (w/ Source Code)
UN Takes Aim At Spam Epidemic
Slashdot's Archives of 'Spam Spammer' search results..

Welcome to the Wild, Wild, West al la Internet.


posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 05:10 PM
Also want to add that computer viruses like this one:

are opening even thousands more potential sources. Opening floodgates of connection sources that can all be accessed simutanously using a much alike program, that will unknowningly and unwillfully cause thousands of home pc owners to send massive email spam.

Yes... if you get infected with this virus, you too could be a spammer!

[edit on 23-7-2004 by rwsdakota]

posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 03:45 PM
Meh, though this topic would spark a good convo..


posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 03:07 AM
Well, let's put one good security rule.
If you have ADSL connection it's good to use NAT (routing) in ADSL modem because it stops MSBlaster and other viruses spreading with that technique.
That combined with firewall and anti-virus programs and using other than Microsoft's browser and E-mail programs is pretty good protection.
But of course user clicking every "install me" and "open me" link negates all these effectively!

And if I could decide spammers and their financial backers would be used as labrats for studying Ebola-virus.
(that way they would at least profit mankind some way)

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