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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Bring the Fight to the Enemy

Together, we can destroy the spam industry:

In a novel if potentially controversial effort to fight spam, a firm called Blue Security this week begins distributing the beta of a free program that, once installed on your PC, makes it part of a community that works to cripple Web sites run by spammers.

"Most spam fighting tools that filter or block spam are never going to stop spammers from sending more spam," says Eran Reshef, founder and chief executive officer of Blue Security. He believes that fighting back by "inducing loss" against spammers is the only way to eventually stop spam.

Posted by CharLeBois on July 19, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink


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Where do I sign up?

Posted by: Matthew Vadum | 2005-07-19 7:44:40 PM

Spam is made from pork?

That’s right, folks – Frank sez it’s time to party like it’s 1099!

I think, in retaliation to the next terrorist attack, we should instead totally crash the party in Mecca. Terrorists kill people, then we get a party. Mecca is supposed to be for Muslims only, but we should flood it with Christians, Jews, Wiccans, and whoever else and have like some huge kegger. We won't do any permanent damage, but there will be tons of vomit and plastic cups smelling of Coors Light to clean up afterwards. Then the Muslims will be like, "We better do more to stop Muslim terrorists because we hate cleaning up after keggers!"

It's a workable idea, but it needs government funding. And the government has tons of money. They could give us millions for beer and it would be like nothing to them. And then we could have a huge sound system set up for music and Mecca would be the totally awesomest party ever!

It’s a compelling idea. I have this vision of that public square around the kabaa ending up looking like a cross between Delta House and day five of Woodstock. Hendrix would've looked awesome jamming on top of that big black outhouse thing covering the rock - particularly if he did his 47-minute version of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Hell, maybe we could get Madonna to do a set; that’d be sure to put Osama’s knickers in a twist.

Road trip!


Posted by: maz2 | 2005-07-19 7:59:27 PM

Maz2, you're on the edge, friend, push yer chair back from the keyboard and ponder a little, buckaroo.

That said, I'd like to sign up too! 8-}

I don't know how to write code or I'd have battled these E-vandals lond ago.

What's this 'fair warning' stuff? Rilly? Do the spammers imagine they're not parasites?

The proliferation of new tech like Blackberries have been retarded by spam.

Posted by: Speller | 2005-07-19 9:13:57 PM

thats some of the sweetest, coolest stuff I have read here in a year, oh so true to our beliefs and theirs !!

keep your Bob Marley mind a racin' there MAZZ

Posted by: BDT | 2005-07-19 11:47:00 PM

We'd have to cap the show with Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters.

Posted by: EBD | 2005-07-20 12:38:15 AM

These schemes are always cropping up, so much so that there's a form to critique them:

This solution is a

( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (x) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
(x) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
(x) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
( ) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
(x) The police will not put up with it
( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
(x) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(x) Laws expressly prohibiting it
( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
(x) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
(x) Asshats
(x) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
(x) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(x) Extreme profitability of spam
(x) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
(x) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
(x) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending email should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
(x) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my email
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

Posted by: Norman Lorrain | 2005-07-20 10:31:40 AM

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