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When Good Spammers Go Bad 305

Posted by Hemos
from the whip-lash-from-spammers dept.
pfleming writes "According to this blog article on BadTux by Eric Green, the constant harrassment of spammers has a price. You get a Cease and Desist letter- or more correctly, your ISP gets a C/D letter. But, if you're a hard core geek you just might get your site more notice as it gets mirrored out onto sympathetic hosts. Also mirrored in other locations."
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When Good Spammers Go Bad

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  • It was going ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rf0 (159958) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:45AM (#6489732) Homepage
    I was impressed with the article until I got to the comment "I mean, what do I care about what Windows losers get scammed out of?". Now I like Linux much as the next geek but thats just going to aliante people.

    M$ might be a monopoly but at least they have bought some form of consistency

    Rus
  • by xThinkx (680615) on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:53AM (#6489773) Homepage

    ... You know the rest of it. Just as comic book characters have such a code, it would appear that computer geeks need one too.

    It's obvious that the folks at evidence eliminator know a good bit about tech, and not enough about morality. A lot of other fine folks who run legit/non-shady companies have the same knowledge but don't use it to trick consumers into using their products (probably because they actually make something useful). Just because you have the power to do something doesn't mean you should use it. Imagine if the loyal slashdot crowd were to use our collective resources to advertise any one issue or cause.....

  • Lies! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baloo Ursidae (29355) <dead@address.com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:55AM (#6489783) Journal
    When good spammers go bad? Isn't that kind of pretentious thinking there are good spammers?
  • by Kyzia (544710) on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:55AM (#6489784) Homepage
    I was impressed with the article until I got to the comment "I mean, what do I care about what Windows losers get scammed out of?". Now I like Linux much as the next geek but thats just going to aliante people.

    Depends on how you choose to read it. Their software is targeted at Windows, and the people most likely to fall for their campaign could be considered 'losers', or 'less tech savvy', if you're feeling generous.

  • by IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:01AM (#6489817) Journal
    No doubt. Calling someone a loser because of what O/S they are running automatically *makes the caller* the loser. Thankfully I've never met anyone like that in the flesh - just on the wild expanses of the Internet. Everybody I've ever met runs whatever O/S they need to do the job, whether it's Linux, Windows, BSD, or whatever.

    That kind of shit is what makes Linux advocates all look insane and results in me having to explain that, no, not all Linux users are short-sighted, socially-inept zealots every time I bring Linux up at work. It's a lot easier to sell Linux to people without the idiotic pomposity.

  • The law is an ass (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jardel (682142) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:02AM (#6489821) Homepage
    That can work for either party, there's nothing new about people filing law suits in order to prevent someone from doing the right thing. It is important to remember however when dealing with such assholes that a letter from a lawyer is not as intimidating and many people think. Lawyers write letters which have little or not legal value all the time, I've received some myself when my old landlord and his wife got divorced and were fighting over who was the landowner. The letter itself wasn't worth the paper it was printed on, but it did have an official legal letterhead. Always make sure you know your legal rights and never trust the other guy's lawyer to tell them to you.
  • by Eric Green (627) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:28AM (#6489955) Homepage
    You're right, that was a bit over the top, and I'll take it out once I get the site back up (it's currently somewhat slashdotted -- GeekCode isn't exactly the fastest blogging software out there!).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:29AM (#6489960)
    Except they may not be the spammers but users whose systems were abused by spammers or users who inherited the IP address of a spammer. There is absolutely no excuse for striking back against computers on the other side of the world. You can ignore them, no questions asked, but if you have to cause them harm, do it through their upstream provider. They know the situation and can deal with the problem in a civilized manner. Most ISPs will warn YOU and then terminate YOUR account if they become aware of your vigilante "justice".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:33AM (#6489991)
    Asian ISPs don't give a shit what their customers do-- why do you think so much spam comes from there, fool?

    Vigilante justice is the way to go with them.
  • by HedsSpaz (143961) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:36AM (#6490012)
    You aren't actually crashing the "spammer's" box. You're crashing the box of some poor sucker who doesn't know enough to that he should have a firewall (software or hardware), between his computer and his cable/dsl modem. Meanwhile, the spammer just moves on to another of his pool of tens of thousands of broadband IP's which have computers attached to them EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.

    So congratualtions, you have successfully made some poor guy's day miserable because his box keeps rebooting and he hasn't an fscking clue why, and you have done exactly nothing to hinder the spammers. Keep up the great work!
  • Re:Open source? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:10AM (#6490157) Homepage
    For most systems in Linux I've seen the default is to be running in PIO mode for all drives. I had to write a startup script to hdparm my drives [not too hard].

    maybe someone should mod the ide/ata drivers to check if udma is available at boot time and enable it? Then put that in 2.4.22. Ya... that would be good...

    Tom
  • by Artifex (18308) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:17AM (#6490200) Journal

    Blocking pseudorandom DSL IPs is about as (in)effective an antispam measure as nuking the machines. You just want to vent your anger.


    It's his network, he can do what he wants inside it, constrained only by whether he's providing transit for anyone else who may take issue with it.

    His list falls under the category of advice garnered from personal experience - it may not work for you, it may be biased, but it seemed to work for him and it's offered for free.

    Blocking Asian IP blocks in particular is a great way to pressure their ISPs. They face a huge crunch in IP availability right now, and unless a lot of space gets reallocated, they will be hurting for IPs until IPv6. Asian ISPs will figure out soon enough that they have to start paying attention to spam complaints, or face their routability for their good customers going away.

    The internet routes around damage. Spammers are diminishing the common medium at least as much as packet loss. Route around them!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:24AM (#6490263)
    You suck, because you are using a browser that allows pop-up ads. You're probably using Internet Explorer, you loser.

    I hate you.
  • by SirLanse (625210) <swwg69.yahoo@com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:56AM (#6490471)
    That is like going after gun/car makers.
    It is the clients that should be put out of business. You hire a spammer, the world hates you. If no one pays the spammer stops spamming. /. the clients, and don't buy any products.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:14AM (#6490603)
    > Check to see what netblock the dsl line is in and let the provider
    > know instead.

    Report a SPAM incident to an asian ISP? Are you new here? They just don't give a shit.
  • by caveat (26803) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:35AM (#6490762)
    Ohhh, I get it, if it's a ./'er doing it to a spammer, it's not just OK, it's great and laudable and perfectly ethical, but if it's the RIAA doing it to a ./'er it's the worst action since the Holocaust and a huge breah of all we hold moral and proper. You people scare me sometimes.
  • by miu (626917) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:35AM (#6490765) Homepage Journal
    Threatened? I'm guessing that it was probably at work by a fat ass IT bufoon - those people are unstable.
  • by theLOUDroom (556455) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:36AM (#6490768)
    You do realize that this is illegal and you can be prosecuted?

    First off: It is possibly illegal.

    Are you familiar with the computer crime laws in most Asian countries? Do they exist? Do you know if they protect computers with no passwords? Many computer crime laws offer very little protection for computers on public networks, if the owner doesn't bother to protect them himself.

    Second: Most spam is blatantly fraudulent. Let say I'm getting 419 scam emails from somewhere actually inside the US. The second they file a complaint against me, I can go after them for fraud. Put simply: Spammers don't want you to know who they are. They can't file a complaint, our you could go after them for fraud.

    Third: How is someone in Singapore going to prosecute him? Is the US going to extradite him for crashing a computer that was sending fraudulent email to the US? Or are they going to say: "Hey why don't you come set foot on US soil and then we'll talk about it?"

    Fourth: Let's say this computer does belong to an "innocent" (read negligent) bystander. Crashing his computer might actually get him to fix the problem/alert him that someone else is controlling it.


    This isn't something I'd be likely to do myself, but I'm not going to start yelling "Hey, that's illegal!" without thinking about it. Morally, I don't see very much wrong with what he's doing. Legally, he's on shaky ground, but he could, possibly be in the clear.
  • by 49152 (690909) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:39AM (#6490833)
    Very true.

    However they might take you to court even if they have a weak case and it might cost you a lot of money to win the case. Perhaps money you dont have.

    There is lot of examples of ordinary people folding very quickly when getting a cease or desist letter from an corporate lawyer just because defending yourself in a court of law can be very expensive even if you win.
  • by Snooweatinganima (168199) on Monday July 21, 2003 @11:03AM (#6491040) Homepage
    Well, has anyone actually read the comments on K5? I admit it left my eyes open in a bewildered gaze to see that nearly all of them were actually bashing Mr. Green for what he has done. Are K5 users even more nuts that your average /. Troll? Can't they stand a statement like "windows losers" anymore?
  • by JesterXXV (680142) <<jtradke> <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday July 21, 2003 @11:11AM (#6491097)
    Wow...IANAL, but this seems like outright libel to me. Sounds like he could sue them.

    libel n.
    a. A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.
    b. The act of presenting such material to the public.

  • by Snooweatinganima (168199) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:11PM (#6491626) Homepage
    c'mon, read between the lines. Mr. Green did not mindlessly bash windows users, he used these words in a funny reference as to why he's running his website (read his comments). The selfrighteous fury that some (if not most) of the K5 users show up with just does not compute. After all, he's going for spammers, not for them.
  • Re:site text (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:42PM (#6491931) Homepage Journal
    WTF is this, "uninterested in Windows" bullshit? Software is what computer users are most interested in, or should be. And an OS is just a platform to run it on. So how can a person become "uninterested" in software, just because it's right now only working on a different platform?

    Take this out a level. An internet service provider is just a platform for going online. But we aren't "uninterested" in other providers. Hell no -- we all get super excited every time a new option comes to our area. Hell, I'm on a waiting list with three DSL providers that will NEVER come to my area. Because I'm interested, even if I can't or don't use the provider. It represents an option and as a guy striving to be Informed, I wanna know.

    If new software comes out, and it's windows only, Linux geeks EVERYWHERE ask "when is it coming to Linux?" Because they are INTERESTED. They may not install a new OS, but they're definitely intrigued. And if it never comes out, you can guarantee somebody will try and clone the functionality of it. Linux people are SO interested in some pieces of Windows software that they will spend THOUSANDS of man hours making Linux work similarly.

    And this guy most certainly is not "uninterested" in the product in question. He emailed the president, put up a web page, and fought them tooth and nail. That's not ennui. That's PASSION. Perhaps this should have read "Eric Green is so PASSIONATELY AGAINST Windows software that he considers the mere mention of it to be an affront to his personal philosophy, and will take every action possible to prevent its discussion in his presence."

    I mean, geez. I'm uninterested in the stock market, but I don't feel the need to berate penny stock spammers. I just delete their messages.
  • by Anonym1ty (534715) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:10PM (#6492180) Homepage Journal

    It might also reboot a critical system belonging to a small business in a much harsher world than you or I will ever visit, and destroy a family's livelihood as a result.

    I've thought about it and I don't buy your argument. Considering the Wild West attitude of the way things currently are on the internet, I'm sorry but I think Vigilante Justice is not only warrented it's also needed.

    You can yell and screem about it all you want, but your argument does not mesh with the way the world is now.

    In a world where every criminal has guns, you don't take guns away from the law abiding citizens -else you end up with dead citizens and warlaords over throwing your government. - same is true for the internet.

    ...And besides "everybody hates America" is a crock. Those who hate America, hate it because it's so great and usually right.

    In this case the vigilanteism you are so afraid of may be the only means to get countries to enact the very laws you advocate. Think about it! If there's no reason for these countries to enact these laws, why will they?

    Becareful what you wish for, you're probably going to get it! How would you like to be torn out of your home country and sued by an international organization which holds different values and morals than you? For an infringement that neither you, your government or most sane governments would call an offense? -- They've put Syria on the UN human rights panel That ought to put some fear in you.

    People with mission critical systems that could wipe out their finances should not put them on the internet. People are stupid and those who do things like that do get what they get. Yes it is sad and unfortunate, but so is loosing all of your money you had in cash stuck under your mattress whne your house burns down.

  • Re:Scientologists! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:43PM (#6492599)
    Nah.

    The Spammers are smarter than the Scientologists.

    Even a first-year engineering student can tell the Scientologist apparatus doesn't work.

    And even the most basic spammer has at least the intelligence of a first-year engineering student.

    The Scientologists, on the other hand, have just enough working brain cells left to go out and buy Battlefield Earth, and return it, and buy it again, and return it, and buy it again, and return it. Kinda like they do with DianeTechs, the "technology" he couldn't find a better name for than to use his daughter's.
  • You missed it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kelz (611260) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:54AM (#6496974)
    Stop flaming for a few minutes and get past the second paragraph of the article, and you'll see that it has nothing to do with your OS war.

    This has nothing to do with windows/linux, its just an account of what this guy went through with an unscrulpulous company, likely headed by one person. Next time read the article instead of taking one line and blowing it out of proportion just to get your insightful points.

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