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Study Links Storm Botnet's Growth To Illegal Drugs

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the nobody-saw-that-one-coming dept.

Security 207

talkinsecurity writes "Researchers at IronPort today published a study which claims to have found the 'smoking gun' that links the rapid growth of the Storm botnet to spammers that sell prescription drugs illegally over the Internet. The study shows that more than 80 percent of Storm-generated spam is advertising online pharmacy brands, and further investigation showed that spam templates, credit card processing, product fulfillment and customer support are all being provided by a 'Russian criminal organization' that operates in conjunction with Storm. This criminal organization recruits botnet spamming partners to advertise their illegal pharmacy Websites, which receive a 40 percent commission on sales orders. IronPort went as far as to do pharmacological testing on the products, and found that two-thirds of the drugs contained the wrong dosage of the active ingredient, and the rest were placebos."

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It's True (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749501)

Study Links Storm Botnet's Growth To Illegal Drugs
When I'm hepped up on goofballs I will install anything on my computer. "MsBlastWorm32BotNetMegaD.exe" attachment from my bro out in Cali? Let's fire 'er up!

And you don't even want to see my home directory when I'm freebasing Wormwood. Let's just say it's a good thing it's on a totally separate hard drive when I'm riding the green worm.

Re:It's True (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749925)

what a horrible headline.

we have enough problems with people confusing hackers with crackers (etc); we have the ever-present 'war on drugs' (that will NEVER end; see the book '1984' and its view on why a continual war on 'something' is always good for the gov.).

but this is NOT about 'illegal drugs'; its about the LEGAL ones that do many of the same things the 'illegal ones' do but have congress supporting them. the problem is, the 'legal drugs' are outrageously priced (compared to the true selling price that the rest of the world tends to get) and so OF COURSE people on limited income (that's most of us, btw) can't afford the artificially high (heh) drug prices.

THAT is the problem to solve. make drugs affordable and there will be NO MORE 'online pharms'.

but why *solve* the root-cause problem? its not the american way anymore (sadly) ;(

at any rate, this is not about 'illegal drugs'. what they are selling may or may not be quality; but the compounds you are buying are NOT illegal!

for once, lets tie spam to the LEGAL otc drugs. tell it how it is - that by the large-scale addiction we create on so-called legal drugs, we have forced people to go around the very expensive system and find other ways to get their 'legal fix'.

you have to look at the magnitude of how evil the 2 sides are. arguably if the health care system was WORKING, we wouldn't have a market for 'affordable' prescription drugs.

fix the real problem and the ancillary one will fix itself.

Re:It's True (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750809)

Yes, most everything we get prescribed we could grow illegally or legally at home, but THEY don't want you to know. With the opium poppy, lemon mold, and handful of other plants you would have most prescription drugs covered. Many of the newer patented drugs come from plants as well.
But the governments all over the world have made cultivation of those life-saving plants illegal and they exterminate the poor plants even in countries where they are native to.
The only explanation is that all countries get a lot of money from drug dealers. Either that or the people governing us are complete retards.

Re:It's True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751993)

I prefer to buy my drugs at a place down the street - it helps the local economy.

- Tatum O'Neal

Re:It's True (4, Interesting)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750873)

Too bad I don't have points to mod you up. Instead, I offer this recent story from the Baltimore Sun [baltimoresun.com] about a trial that's going on right now. These folks started out with a legitimate professional pharmacy delivering prescriptions to local nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. The online drugs marked proved to be too lucrative, the drug of choice was hydrocodone. They're also in trouble over a lot of subsidiary issues like tax evasion. The genuine irony of this piece is behind the scenes. I recalled reading the article but not the exact date, so I used the Sun's search box with "internet drugs trial." The results came back just fine--along with a paid advert for "Canadian Online Pharmacy."

The people to be pitied in all this aren't the ones abusing pain meds. It's the middle-aged suddenly unemployed guy who takes meds for hypertension or the elderly person who's in the notorious "hole" in the middle of the Medicare drug benefit or the financially struggling young couple with a child who needs some lifesaving drug or other. Or, perhaps, the employed person whose health care benefit has shriveled to nothing.

So shop at Walmart (3, Informative)

DnemoniX (31461) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751443)

Just a heads up, but there are now roughly 416 generic prescription drugs available to you for only $4 at Walmart and several other chains are joining this trend. Several are also available in 90 day supplies for $10. This pricing is available to anyone regardless of having insurance or not. $4 that is it. The list of meds now also includes birth control and some breast cancer medications. So your theory on why people circumvent the system is seriously flawed.

The real draw to these online pharmacies are the drugs like Viagra and Cialis which are not available in a generic formula. What drives these sales is not the cost it is the embarrassment. Men do not want to go ask the family doctor for E.D. meds they would rather risk going online, picking some up in Mexico or going without. Interestingly enough their Dentist buddy or their vet could just as easily write them a script for any of the above legally.

Prescription and danger (2, Interesting)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752421)

There's also the problem when the doctor refuses to write a prescription for obvious reasons of addiction.

The addict may be shopping around for several physician in order to have enough prescriptions from all of them for his habit but spacing enough time between consultation at each one not to raise suspicions.

This strategy could work, but is tedious and costly. Getting those drugs on-line simplifies the process and cuts the doctor's cost out of the equation.

Interestingly enough their Dentist buddy or their vet could just as easily write them a script for any of the above legally.
What ? In the USA vets and dentist have the right to prescribe ED meds ?!?!?

Re:It's True (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751575)

While I am in total agreement with your sentiment, I would point out one small nit:

what they are selling may or may not be quality;

The last sentence of the summary would seem to suggest that what they sell is *not* quality. So a more accurate description would be "illegally counterfeit or substandard pharmaceuticals". Of course, that probably isn't as effective at pushing the buttons of soccer moms as "illegal drugs".

Re:It's True (2, Insightful)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751643)

Drug prices are expensive because it costs nearly 1 billion dollars to create one new drug. Each pharmaceutical must spend a billion dollars to push out ONE drug. This is why AIDS medications and others are so expensive. There are so little with this disease that it's hard to make 1 billion dollars back in the scope of the patent. Health care has nothing to do with how expensive drugs are, the FDA actually does. They require such stringent research on medications (this includes years of human trials) that it's literally impossible to create a new cheap drug.

Re:It's True (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752291)

There are so little with this disease who can afford the treatment that it's hard to make 1 billion dollars back in the scope of the patent.
Fixed that for you. Don't forget Africa.

Re:It's True (2, Informative)

Buran (150348) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752321)

And yet, if you live in Canada or elsewhere you get the same drug for far less. We're being ripped off by drug makers that game our crappy health care system. But thanks for trying.

Re:It's True (2, Insightful)

limaxray (1292094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752401)

It's good to see someone understands why drugs cost what they do. While a billion dollars per drug may be a bit on the high side, it is not an exaggeration as bringing drugs to market in the US is INSANELY expensive. FDA requires very strict processes that take years to approve a new drug.

This is further compounded by the fact that the amount of time a company has to earn a return on their investment is limited by the life of their patent. Once a patent expires, the drug goes generic and the company that originally produced it will never be able to compete with all the generic companies that do nothing more than synthesize low cost drugs. Furthermore, the life time of the patent includes the FDA approval process, so it's not unheard of for a drug to only have a few years remaining on its patent by the time it is approved.

Finally, one needs to understand that for every popular allergy or ED medication that brings in big bucks, there are a number of not so common drugs that barely bring in anything. In fact, most major pharma companies produce a number of drugs that treat some disease that is so rare that they actually lose money on them. But hey, it's cool, hip, and trendy these days to ignore how things work and just blame everything on the evil elite few.

They are illegal (2, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752147)

Selling placebos as the real thing, or drugs that may contain the real thing (but in doses that are dangerous) is still illegal.

While the actual pills may not contain a substance that is "illegal", the manner in which they are presented is. Kinda like how alcohol is legal, but it can only be sold under certain conditions (and not to minors, etc).

o rly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750035)

IronPort went as far as to do pharmacological testing on the products, and found that two-thirds of the drugs contained the wrong dosage of the active ingredient, and the rest were placebos.

I wonder if the popularity of this distributor is an indicator of problems with the legal drug industry? If these drugs were more available and affordable (i.e., fewer patent-enforced limitations on supply artificially driving the prices up), maybe people wouldn't be turning to criminal organizations to buy them.

I would go further to suggest that the law-abiding investigative and enforcement agencies may have an incentive to convince people that the illegal products are ultimately undesirable, whether they are or not. In other words, even if the illegal drugs were all of good quality and accurate dosage, there is good reason to lie about it and say that they are crap.

I mean, honestly, if you can't trust a foreign criminal organization to sell you high quality drugs, who can you trust?

Re:It's True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750105)

help!i have virii on my lunix boxen!!

Re:It's True (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750367)

Meh, the title says it all:

Study Links Storm Botnet's Growth To Illegal Drugs
It is obvious that Storm Botnet has been implicated in the Balco scandal. Expect Congressional hearings any day to determine if Storm's use of 'the clear' and 'the cream' has resulted in the extraordinary growth of Storm Botnet, and the resultant increase in HRs, RBIs, and TDs.

Water is wet (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749525)

No, really, computers are useful for business purposes, and illegal drug purveyors are running a business. Did people really think that computers would only ever be used for legal businesses? It is like an article that says, "New report on drug dealers using drinking water to prevent death by dehydration!"

snarkiness here is misplaced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23749729)

Okay, but this is as story about actual evidence and specifics in an ongoing investigation, not merely just a sensible conjecture. It is newsworthy, though maybe not shocking. If there's a science news article about measuring the temperature of the solar corona, you don't sarcastically say, "NEW FLASH! THE SUN IS HOT!!!" Or maybe you do....

Re:snarkiness here is misplaced... (4, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749991)

Plus it gives plenty of other useful info. We don't just find out that the business behind Storm is selling illegal drugs, but that there are some good reasons why these particular mail order sales are illegal - i.e. major variations in the dose and 1/3 of them containing no dose at all. Since plenty of people here on /. think the U.S.'s policy on mail order drugs is there just to prop up U.S. company's monopoly status, they obviously could use the information that there are some real problem cases that the law is attempting to address.

Re:snarkiness here is misplaced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750197)

There is a world of difference between mail order drugs from a legit company and buying V!@gr@ from some spammer.

Re:snarkiness here is misplaced... (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750757)

Unregulated drugs are the issue. You don't know what you are going to get. This goes for vitamins, fitness drugs, or illegal drugs. In fact one of the issues of the past 20 years of so is the cutting of the expected illegal drug with substances that have no effect or are more fatal. Yet people still happily pay huge amounts of money for these things, even though they are probably not even real. For instance, vitamins are regularly shown to be far below dosage, yet nothing can be done about it.

When we are talking about the more regulated drugs, produced by the more regulated drug manufacturer that could actually be sued for everything then things become much more relaible. I would expect to Wal Mart in Canada and get the same product as a Wal Mart in the US. If I were buying unregulated vitamins, I would expect them to be equally ineffective to what I buy in the US. If I were buying Vicodin, I would expect to be equally effective. I don't expect Abott has one formulation for the US and another for Canada.

Which is to say junk is junk no matter where you buy it, while quality product has requires a auditable chain. That is not a prada bag you bought out the trunk of the car, and it is likely sucrose one gets from the spammer mail order service, if you are lucky. Neither has anything to do with ordering name brand prescriptions from reputable houses.

Re:snarkiness here is misplaced... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751893)

``Since plenty of people here on /. think the U.S.'s policy on mail order drugs is there just to prop up U.S. company's monopoly status, they obviously could use the information that there are some real problem cases that the law is attempting to address.''

Or could it be that, because the law makes selling drugs by mail order illegal, only outlaws sell drugs by mail order...and since they're already breaking the law anyway, why not sell cheap junk to maximize profits?

Re:snarkiness here is misplaced... (3, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752623)

After smoking pot off and on since 1971 with no ill effects whatever, I'm not very damned likely to believe anything the government says about ANY drug.

Like the illegality itself, everything the government does concerning drugs is counterproductive.

But they were blue!?!?! (3, Funny)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749537)

Does that mean the V1@GR@ I got from that nice on-line pharmacy was fake? O.O

Re:But they were blue!?!?! (1)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749923)

Did you get a stiff neck with that stuff?

Re:But they were blue!?!?! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750201)

Remember, jeiler: all I'm offering you is the truth...

Re:But they were blue!?!?! (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750667)

Actually a lot of it isnt. Its a knock-off brand but with the active ingredient. There was recently an advisory for people who buy herbal viagra that it contains the same active ingredient as the real stuff and they are at risk if they have heart issues. So ironically, not only is the fake stuff sometimes real, so is the herbal stuff.

Re:But they were blue!?!?! (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751569)

Didn't you learn anything from The Matrix? Take the red pill, not the blue pill.

There will always be suckers (1, Troll)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749543)

I used to care about people getting scammed. Now I just think they're getting what they deserve.

Too bad that's a blanket statement as I'm sure there is an unfortunate minority who aren't trying to get a fix and genuinely have a need...

Re:There will always be suckers (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749883)

Too bad that's a blanket statement as I'm sure there is an unfortunate minority who aren't trying to get a fix and genuinely have a need...
It's hard to imagine a legitimate scenario where someone would be forced to use spammers to provide their meds. As for the internet stock scams, or the Nigerian scam, only the greedy will apply.

All in all, I don't think you needed the disclaimer.

Re:There will always be suckers (5, Interesting)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750003)


It's hard to imagine a legitimate scenario where someone would be forced to use spammers to provide their meds. As for the internet stock scams, or the Nigerian scam, only the greedy will apply.

All in all, I don't think you needed the disclaimer.


Normally I would agree with you :)

When I was in college I broke my wrist falling on some ice while doing laundry around 4am (long story, you know college...) anyway, i went to the hospital in all my dirty clothing & they refused to give me any pain medication for fear I was some hippie junkie (no kidding) just looking for a fix. Luckily my dad was head of ultrasound there & as soon as he showed up their attitude did a 180. I didn't even want the drugs, I'm allergic to opiates but the principle of the whole thing... The pain was pretty intense, who could I turn to for pain management when the hospital thought I was just some bum because I was in dirty clothes had I not had some "pull" there?

It was a pretty scary thought and still haunts me to this day.

Re:There will always be suckers (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750513)

There are also a lot of individuals with various developmental and psychological issues, including lack of intelligence, that will fall for the price and then not get what they thought they were paying for.

At $5-10 pill for ED drugs, a huge percentage off seems like a good thing to the clue-challenged. Like it or not, they need protection, too. That's what safety considerations are all about.

The very fact that the Storm bots exist is a travesty. Shame on OS makers. Shame.

Re:There will always be suckers (2, Funny)

bryce4president (1247134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750687)

I'm allergic to opiates (long story, you know college...)
There, fixed that for you.

Re:There will always be suckers (1)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751609)


I'm allergic to opiates (long story, you know college...)
There, fixed that for you.


Heheh, you fooled me- for a moment I thought I wrote it that way!!!

You did it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750795)

Why didn't you show them your student ID and proof of insurance?

Re:You did it wrong (1)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751919)

Why didn't you show them your student ID and proof of insurance?

Perfectly good question & I'll be happy to answer.

I was in so much pain and it was a long walk from the laundromat to my apartment at 4am in the morning when it was ~ -5 degrees out and the sidewalks and roads were COVERED with ice. My wrist was swelling alarmingly fast and the hospital was closer so I went there first. Being a pauper @ the time all I had on me was a bunch of laundry quarters and forgot my wallet at home.

Re:There will always be suckers (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750307)

It's even harder to imagine a legitimate business that would have to resort to spammers to sell their meds.

Re:There will always be suckers (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750287)

The problem with that statement is these people's ignorance is causing repercussions for everybody. If some poor soul can't afford six bucks a pop for V1@GR@ and, against all logic, turns to an unsolicited email for help, that's all profit for the spammer and significant profit for the drug shipper. What incentive does this give either of them to use more legitimate means of business? So, they continue to spam, or spam more, and we suffer. Oh, some guy got a counterfeit erectile-dysfunction medication boo-hoo. The rest of us end up having to deal with the continuous deleterious effects of spam. Maybe you can hide behind a decent spam filter running an up-to-date GNU OS and think it doesn't effect you, but you know the truth: unintentional DoS from the sheer volume of spam out there, compromised systems making headaches for IT personnel the world over, and the sheer irritation when one or several dozen cleverly-crafted ads might make it through your filter. It's not worth it. Patronage of spamming institutions should be a crime.

Re:There will always be suckers (2, Informative)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751989)

> but you know the truth: unintentional DoS from the sheer volume of spam out there,

Oh god, don't remind me. Up until about 3 years ago, I ran my own mail server (DSL, fixed IP, old PC). One of the things I did was enable SASL authentication for SMTP (which requires logging in with a username and password before outgoing mail will be accepted for relay). Within a matter of months, spammers around the world figured out that I had a live SMTP server running on port 25. SASL AUTH or not, more and more spammers kept hammering away trying (unsuccessfully) to relay. My router's NAT table started to periodically overflow (crashing the router's firmware), and the endless incoming requests effectively were like a constant denial of service attack.

In retrospect, I could have probably gotten away with changing the SMTP server to a different port, but I was so fed up with the experience I ended up leasing a dedicated server for $30/month... partly, because once I knew what to look for, I noticed that I was ALSO getting hit by a staggering number of incoming http requests for various exploit-related URIs. The exploits themselves didn't bother me (I was running Tomcat as a standalone server), but on more than a few occasions I was getting hit with more than a hundred bogus http requests per minute.

Once I had my ISP change my IP address to a new one, my throughput more or less tripled, because I was no longer being DOS'ed 24/7 by bots, spammers, and worms. I pity anyone who has to maintain a live web/mail server today. ~10 years ago (when I used to wear both admin and developer hats at work) keeping a Linux server running was no big deal, and any halfway intelligent developer could do a decent part-time job of it. It was analogous to private security guards trying to keep kids from skateboarding in downtown parking garages. Now, it's more like trying to safeguard a business from looting during a riot.

Link provided goes to big Flash page (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749557)

The link provided leads to an all-Flash page. Suspicious.

Re:Link provided goes to big Flash page (2, Informative)

Reziac (43301) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750145)

It's a redirect from InformationWeek, a perfectly legit publication, to http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=156139&WT.svl=news1_1 [darkreading.com]

Admittedly it's annoying; in fact the first attempt to go there crashed my browser.

Only one solution then (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749559)

legalize all drugs

Re:Only one solution then (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749697)

legalize all drugs

Including counterfeits of branded ones? These guys aren't selling weed and poppers.

Smart idea.

Re:Only one solution then (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749735)

These guys aren't necessarily selling counterfeits. It could very well be the actual drug, obtained in an illicit manner (prescription farming).

Re:Only one solution then (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750271)

So the actual ones sometimes don't contain any dosage at all?

Re:Only one solution then (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750881)

The most common practice is to sell expired medications with new packaging. Counterfeit medications are not as common as the costs associated with producing "good enough" facsimiles of the real medication are higher than illegally obtaining medications marked for destruction.

Re:Only one solution then (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749751)

Get off the drugs long enough to read even the summary - it isn't about illegal drugs as in cocaine, it's about illegal drugs as in pirated copies. Unlike pirated movies or music where if the copy isn't up to quality it just affects your viewing pleasure, low quality or outright fake illegal copies of prescription medication can get people killed.

Re:Only one solution then (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750989)

There wouldn't be any market for counterfeit drugs if legitimate copies were available at a price that was not inflated by patents.

Re:Only one solution then (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750455)

I didn't know Viagra was illegal.

[please insert your jokes below]

Re:Only one solution then (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751157)

[please insert your jokes below]
That's what she said.

Re:Only one solution then (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751159)

It is if you don't have a prescription.

Re:Only one solution then (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750619)

legalize all drugs

If you consider the drugs that spammers have been trying to sell me recently, I don't think many people would agree with your idea.

I know I, for one, would rather not have people in public that are doped up on morphine/vicodin/valium. And of course when you consider these same offers are also scalping at least 8 different varieties of erectile dysfunction drugs ...

Granted, certain people [slashdot.org] swear [slashdot.org] consistently that I must be [slashdot.org] a Nazi [slashdot.org] because I support leaving the marijuana laws alone. So of course you are entitled to your own opinion in the matter.

Re:Only one solution then (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750723)

I know I, for one, would rather not have people in public that are doped up on morphine/vicodin/valium.


And why is this? I worked for many months on med-high (recreational) doses codeine (an opiate) and diazepam, and I probably worked better on them than I do now I'm off of them.

Does other people getting "high" bother you? Have you ever taken any of the drugs that you've mentioned?

Re:Only one solution then (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751593)

Have you ever taken any of the drugs that you've mentioned?

I have taken vicodin. I woke up in a cold sweat trying to find my bed.

I've taken codeine as well. Have you never had a migraine?

Re:Only one solution then (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751101)

I know I, for one, would rather not have people in public that are doped up on morphine/vicodin/valium.

Tough. People already use drugs, they will always use drugs. Chances are you know an opiate addict and don't even know it.

And yes, advocating the imprisonment of people for something as benign as cannabis is very nazi-ish. I smoke pot every day. I also work full time, pay my bills, and generally contribute positively to society. I don't hurt people, I don't steal, etc. If you would assault and kidnap (arrest and imprison) me just for kicking back with a bowl after work, then *you* are the dangerous one.

Re:Only one solution then (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751753)

If you would assault and kidnap (arrest and imprison) me just for kicking back with a bowl after work, then *you* are the dangerous one.

When did I say arrest and imprison? How many people do you know who have been arrested just for using marijuana in a responsible manner?

There are plenty of people who claim that cops go around kicking in doors and beating the hell out of people just for smoking pot in their homes. But yet there is almost no evidence of that happening to recreational users.

The way that the laws are enforced for drugs are essentially the same as the way they are enforced for alcohol. Whether you chose to get drunk, stoned, or otherwise influenced by a substance, if you do it at home, your realistic chance of being arrested is zero. On the other hand, if you chose to do it at home, and then proceed out in public where your choices pose a potential danger to society, then your chances of being arrested climb dramatically.

Which is why I support leaving the laws alone.

Re:Only one solution then (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752555)


When did I say arrest and imprison? How many people do you know who have been arrested just for using marijuana in a responsible manner?


You said leaving the current laws alone. If I were to take a joint with me to the park and enjoy it during a picnic, I'd stand a very good chance of being assaulted by a police officer. Hell, if I were to enjoy a joint in my own damn backyard during a BBQ, I'd stand a very good chance of being assaulted.

There are plenty of people who claim that cops go around kicking in doors and beating the hell out of people just for smoking pot in their homes. But yet there is almost no evidence of that happening to recreational users.

No, I don't claim that at all. But they do randomly search cars for no reason. They do flyovers with a helicopter and infrared cameras to catch people growing. They do send police into concerts looking for pot smokers. Pot smokers are persecuted in this country, and they don't care if you're responsible or not.

The way that the laws are enforced for drugs are essentially the same as the way they are enforced for alcohol.

Have you noticed that you can go out to just about any restaurant and have yourself a cocktail? Try doing that with cannabis.

Whether you chose to get drunk, stoned, or otherwise influenced by a substance, if you do it at home, your realistic chance of being arrested is zero.

This is where you get a little twisted. You are relying on selective enforcement of the law to provide justice. The law itself should be just. Punish people who actually hurt people, not people who you think might hurt someone.

What you are saying here is contrary to the principle of "innocent until proven guilty". It's worse even than "guilty until proven innocent". What you are saying here is that people who possess pot should be punished for a crime that hasn't been committed, and probably never will be committed. It's nothing less than advocating Pre-crime.

Does that not sound just a little bit Nazi to you?

On the other hand, if you chose to do it at home, and then proceed out in public where your choices pose a potential danger to society, then your chances of being arrested climb dramatically.

Except that proceeding out into public with a little herb poses negligible danger to anyone.

Re:Only one solution then (4, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751179)

There is one class of drugs I would like to remain illegal, and that's antibiotics. It's bad enough that ill informed mommies take junior to the doctor when he has a virus and demands an antibiotic (doc, give 'em placebo).

But if you make antibiotics over-the-counter it won't be long before none of them work. Even needing a prescription for such drugs there are already way too many sntibiotic-resistant bacteria.

You should have the right to fuck your life up any way you want, but you damned sure shouldn't have the right to fuck mine up by making antibiotics useless. Legalizing them would do just that.

Re:Only one solution then (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751813)

The antibiotics you should be worried about are the ones in your food supply. That plus the growth hormones is why so many kids are so sick so young in the first place.

Highly accurate assesment: (1, Redundant)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749577)

Botnets are run by illegal Russian "pharmacists"?

NO $H!T

Re:Highly accurate assesment: (2, Funny)

valderost (668593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750357)

If you'd been reading your spam, you'd know they're called "chemists" now, and they sell "pilules".

Two drug stories in one day? (4, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749609)

You guys have GOT to stop reading my journal! Next thing you know slahdot will be have stories about hookers...

Re:Two drug stories in one day? (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749639)

You guys have GOT to stop reading my journal! Next thing you know slahdot will be have stories about hookers...
... or blackjack. In fact, forget the slahdot!

Re:Two drug stories in one day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750019)

You guys have GOT to stop reading my journal! Next thing you know slahdot will be have stories about hookers...
Niko? Niko Bellic! what's up cousin!

Re:Two drug stories in one day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751465)

Please. Niko is the most anti-drug criminal ever.

Tommy Vercetti and Claude Speed are more likely to be involved with this.

CJ? He's a busta.

Re:Two drug stories in one day? (1, Redundant)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750081)

You guys have GOT to stop reading my journal! Next thing you know slahdot will be have stories about hookers...

I, for one, welcome our new hooker-story submitting editors. :-P

Cheers

Re:Two drug stories in one day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750539)

You guys have GOT to stop reading my journal!

*wankshot* Narcissistic moron!

Ya think? Thanks Capt. Obvious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23749831)

"Researchers at IronPort today published a study which claims to have found the "smoking gun" that links the rapid growth of the Storm botnet to spammers that sell prescription drugs illegally over the Internet." and " This criminal organization recruits botnet spamming partners to advertise their illegal pharmacy Websites,"

Anyone that has ever read the spam that hits their mailbox could have concluded that. You can also see the recruiting adds on the hacker sites. I wonder how I can get paid to do a study of the obvious. I do apologize for seeming somewhat cynical but... Talk about another world shaking story compliments of Capt. Obvious.

Just come up with some fake terrorist links (1, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#23749957)

Someone should do what was done in the lead-up to the Iraq war (where Bush/Blair/Howard deliberatly made it seem like Saddam was a lot more of a threat than he really was) and come up with some evidence linking all this crap to terrorists. Then the US will have no choice but to do something about it :)

Drug Sellers Behind Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750077)

Interesting details, but not surprising.

It makes sense that those benefiting from spam directed drug purchases are also behind the spam.

in soviet russia... (2, Funny)

jojowombl (1159267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750109)

the botnet medicates you...

Education Beyond Your Intelligence (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750113)

It's possible to be educated beyond your intelligence, which leaves you a clueless elite. Obviously just because some people are educated on how to get their personal computer onto the Internet, they clearly don't navigate the hazards out there very well.

First its illegal scrips (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750149)

Next year it will be hard drugs and after that...

K1DD13 PR0N!

We must nip this in the bud now before its too late.

Thinkofthechildrenwhoarealreadydopedupbehindtheirparentsbacks!

Wait... (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750369)

"...two-thirds of the drugs contained the wrong dosage of the active ingredient, and the rest were placebos."

Wait, so 2/3 were the wrong dosage and 1/3 were placebos? None were correct?

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750593)

The statement is kind of vague. I would classify the placebos as also having the wrong dosage, myself.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751821)

OK, so 2/3 were the wrong _non-zero_ dosage and 1/3 were placebos. Happy now? The sentence as originally written says more than just "all of them were the wrong dosage", which is apparently what you would like them to have said.

Speaking of which... (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750375)

I was placing orders on these sites in question. Should I continue doing so?

As far as I know, the server accepts orders as long as the client-side Javascript doesn't make an objection - I could easily use randomly generated contact information for filling these forms or otherwise turn off Javascript to create an order with blank billing information. Of course, they've blocked TOR with a spurious "Invalid Server Configuration" error message, thus I actually have to use a direct connection from multiple points.

Anyone surprised? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750399)

Of course when the botnet spammers are profiting off the spamvertised sales of drugs, the botnet will grow. The money from said sales likely goes back into storm botnet development.

If the same study had been done several years ago (before broadband at home became so common) the results would have been the same, with pirated software substituted where drugs are now. We can also thank the idiotic health care system in the US for this - some people are willing to try almost anything to save money on office visits and prescription costs.

And based on the spam I've seen lately, we may soon see replica watches, knock-off purses, and wannabe designer shoes rising through the ranks of profitability for spammers.

placebos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750515)

"IronPort went as far as to do pharmacological testing on the products, and found that two-thirds of the drugs contained the wrong dosage of the active ingredient, and the rest were placebos"

IronPort is an internet security company.. what business do they have doing pharmacological testing in the first place? Somehow I think the FDA is behind this :O

Re:placebos (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750639)

From TFA:

However, IronPort-sponsored pharmacological testing revealed that two thirds of the shipments contained the active ingredient but were not the correct dosage, while the others were placebos. As a result, consumers take a significant risk of ingesting an uncontrolled substance from overseas distributors, the researchers say.


So as you can see it was all done privately without the FDA.

Thank you Cisco (aka IronPort) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750555)

Now I can rest assured that most of the pills getting advertised by spam are fake sugar ones.

Can you get back to some real work now? wtf

one quick easy solution (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750569)

Vote for universal health care...

You'll eliminate 95% of this spam immediately.

Re:one quick easy solution (2, Insightful)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750933)

Not likely. Spam is not about filling a need in the market, it's about greed. An "easy" way to make money. As an advertising model, spam itself doesn't stop being profitable just because the advertised product stops being profitable. Should the illegal pharmacists stop funding the spam, someone else will start. Way to miss the issue, friend.

Fake. Not placebo. (2, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750851)

Placebo is the term for the sugar pill given to patients undergoing clinical trial. It is a specific form of fake drug. What these criminals are peddling is not just plain fake drug, not something guaranteed to cause no harm. So this should not be called a placebo.

Re:Fake. Not placebo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751529)

Well, when it comes to ED treatment whatever "floats your boat" as the saying goes. :-P

Re:Fake. Not placebo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23752473)

I, for one, would like to see the pharmacological testing results they claim to have conducted. The report doesn't have any specific information about this. It just say the drugs weren't from Canada, but from India, China, or Russia, and then it goes on to claim the drugs were counterfeit and inferior. How did they establish that? Counterfeit? Maybe. If you consider drugs produced in violation of patents to be counterfeit, then I'd agree. But inferior? Wrong dosage? Some data please!

Placebo Penis Enlarger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750927)

So this is why my penis is still the same size ... okay, a little bit shorter.

What next? (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751213)

Study links Katrina to Columbian drug cartels!

Info re. cited "Canadian Pharmacy" site (1)

drew30319 (828970) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751219)

The "Canadian Pharmacy" in question appears to be this one according to spamtrackers:

http://spamtrackers.eu/wiki/index.php?title=Canadian_Pharmacy [spamtrackers.eu]

Lots of good info including sponsoring registrars & nameserver info at the spamtrackers site for the adventurous souls out there.

Against coersive medical monopolies (1)

GreedyCapitalist (559534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751649)

If the government artificially limit the supply of medical products, the market would ensure much better quality control and eliminate the need for this kind of underground "marketing." When was the last time you read about botnet being used to sell cheese or shoes? It's government coercion that funds these kinds of "criminal organizations."

Re:Against coersive medical monopolies (1)

GreedyCapitalist (559534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751679)

Oops, meant to say "If the government *did not* artificially limit"

good FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751735)

"As a result, consumers take a significant risk of ingesting an uncontrolled substance from overseas distributors, the researchers say."

You'd think if the media made enough stink about this people might actually stop clicking those links in the first place.

WOD = Spam? (2, Funny)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751819)

If there were _not_ a "War on Drugs", would we see far less spam?

What is your local District Attorney doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751985)

It is illegal to offer drugs for sale to children in the US. In some states it is a capital offence.

If your local District Attorney is up for election, call their campaign office and ask what are they doing about your kids getting offers for drugs over the net. Once the first spammer gets strapped to the gurney with sodium pentathol running through his veins, other spammers might just get a clue.

In some states (like Texas), the State AG can't bring charges unless a county DA has already started the case.

The spam links to sites actually selling stuff? (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752087)

So there are actually sites out there where you can buy these drugs mentioned in the spam? From what I've seen, the spam is all just gibberish and doesn't actually go to any drug selling web site. Not that I click on many of those though...

Yuo Faeil It (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23752105)

Use:rs With Large

Storm botnet? (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752135)

Oooo, Storm botnet? Sounds nasty. Shouldn't you be taking penicillin for that?

[g]

Math?! (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752199)

IronPort went as far as to do pharmacological testing on the products, and found that two-thirds of the drugs contained the wrong dosage of the active ingredient, and the rest were placebos.

I thought that Russians were good at math!

Caveat Emptor... (3, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752261)

Applies not only to anyone using a personal computer, but to companies, ICANN & others who "oversee" the Internet structure who should have been creating new structures to prevent these sort of things proliferating. It is not just drugs but a never-ending blast of promos. It is not like we haven't seen this coming for years. Where are the responsible ISPs, who should literally shut off any personal computer that is sending spam? Doing that alone, and dialing out China, Russia and others on email programs would severely limit the ability of these nogoods to do their work. Microsoft is part of the blame here. I still have a friend who's HP computer at home is buzzing with activity from a Bot (3 kids in the family), sometimes taking 70-80% of his CPU cycles. He knows he is infected. Why won't he reinstall the OS? He doesn't know how, and figures he would be in for days of work, and if he can't do it, he will just have to fork out for a new desktop. Intertia, fear, loathing, and no fear of retribution for running a bot compromised CPU are behind his activities. All the same things ICANN, Microsoft, ISPs, and others seem to have in abundance. Sheesh.

Whew! (2, Funny)

andreMA (643885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752581)

What a relief... it's pharmaceuticals, so I can go on buying my marijuana, cocaine, heroin and LSD over the interwebs. I'd hate to support hackers.
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