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Spam Flood Unabated After Bust

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the removing-a-cup-of-water-from-the-sea dept.

Spam 188

AcidAUS writes "Last week's bust of the largest spam operation in the world has had no measurable impact on global spam volumes. The spam gang, known by authorities and security experts as HerbalKing, was responsible for one-third of all spam, the non-profit antispam research group Spamhaus said." The article speculates that the operators of HerbalKing simply passed on to associates the keys to the automated, 35,000-strong botnet, and the spam flow didn't miss a beat.

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188 comments

I wonder... (5, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447537)

speculates that the operators of HerbalKing simply passed on to associates the keys to the automated, 35,000-strong botnet, and the spam flow didn't miss a beat

If they sent the keys to that botnet via email. If it got eaten up by the other ends spam filters, that would be irony indeed.

thats one possibility (4, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448587)

If they sent the keys to that botnet via email.

That is an interesting idea, but what would be the incentive for spammers to cooperate?

I suspect it is more likely that the systems in their botnet - of which many are compromised windows PCs - were re-compromised by someone else's worm and is now doing someone else's botnet work.

Re:thats one possibility (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448741)

If they sent the keys to that botnet via email.

That is an interesting idea, but what would be the incentive for spammers to cooperate?

A couple of bullets to the back of their head! Of course, they won't exactly cooperate after that, but the next spammer will.

Re:thats one possibility (5, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448785)

Either that or they had a queue of spam that needed to be sent and its still flushing it out.

Botnet is obviously now self-aware (5, Funny)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447555)

"The article speculates that the operators of HerbalKing simply passed on to associates the keys to the automated, 35,000-strong botnet, and the spam flow didn't miss a beat."
Whatever. I've seen way too many scifi films to believe that. Obviously, skynet is now self-aware.

I for one... (etc.)

Re:Botnet is obviously now self-aware (5, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447623)

If you're right, then the human race's biggest worry is not killer cyborgs. It's erectile dysfunction remedies...

Re:Botnet is obviously now self-aware (2, Funny)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447847)

Or a possible sudden need for them!

Re:Botnet is obviously now self-aware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447877)

They *say* they're erectile dysfunction remedies. A couple of generations later, skynet takes over with no opposition except grumpy old men and old ladies yelling "Damn robots. Get off our lawn!"

Maybe it's both (5, Funny)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447985)

Cum with me if you want to live

Buh-bye karma!

Re:Maybe it's both (0)

lord_sarpedon (917201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448261)

I lol'd

Re:Botnet is obviously now self-aware (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448019)

Of course, Skynet needs more human slaves, at least until it can design a good killer cyborg!

Re:Botnet is obviously now self-aware (3, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448155)

Whoa, that puts a whole new spin on the grey goo [wikipedia.org] theory!

We are the grey goo. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448815)

Let's see:

1) intelligent by virtue of conglomeration of simple parts
2) made of the same stuff as us
3) capable of consuming us to build more of itself
4) reproduces up to the limits of the available resources.

We have a huge advantage over any newcomers, though, by virtue of our having already sussed out some passable specialty organs, which do wonders for our efficiency.

Re:Botnet is obviously now self-aware (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448581)

Thats one big hard-on.

No effect (1)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447823)

"The article speculates that the operators of HerbalKing simply passed on to associates the keys to the automated, 35,000-strong botnet, and the spam flow didn't miss a beat." Whatever. I've seen way too many scifi films to believe that. Obviously, skynet is now self-aware.

We need Arnold to get to the choppa!!!!

turd post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447557)

A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

Re:turd post (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447883)

Fuck off.

Re:turd post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448465)

sounds like you're jealous it wasn't you sucking on that big fat Obama turd,

Re:turd post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448115)

Un-original 1/10 Please submit own work next time.

Notice there are no more illegal drugs for sale (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447563)

Since they did that bust in that other endless, fruitless war.

Re:Notice there are no more illegal drugs for sale (4, Insightful)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448415)

the war on terror?

Solution (0)

Canosoup (1153521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447565)

Make big time spamming a hanging offense. That will stop it fast.

Re:Solution (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447683)

Offering to sell kids illegal drugs in a school in Texas could get you executed. Its election time and some DA in Texas wants to make a name for himself and all it takes is point this out. Now that they have the guy, it will be a cheap easy trial with lots of world wide publicity. If you live in Texas, call your local DA and ask them what they are doing to stop the drugs in schools and ask why they haven't gone after these guys.

Re:Solution (4, Funny)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447727)

Your post advocates a

( ) technical (X) 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
( ) 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
( ) The police will not put up with it
(X) 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 life

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(X) Laws expressly prohibiting it
( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
( ) 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
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(X) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
(X) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) 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
(X) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being murdered
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) 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
( ) 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
(X) 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!

Might I suggest doing business with spammers a crime instead?

Re:Solution (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447915)

You missed:

Specifically, your plan fails to account for
(X) Open relays in foreign countries
(X) Joe jobs and/or identity theft

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:
(X) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448053)

Might I suggest doing business with spammers a crime instead?

Excellent idea!

This post brought to you by Spatial's Low-Down Pharmacy and Bank, LLC, Nigeria. [slashdot.org]

Re:Solution (1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449127)

Excellent idea, that is, until it's your grandma or grandpa being hauled off to jail after being duped by a spammer.

Re:Solution (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448069)

Might I suggest doing business with spammers a crime instead?

Your post advocates a

( ) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) 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
( ) 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
( ) The police will not put up with it
(X) 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 life

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
( ) 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
( ) 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
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
(X) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) 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
(X) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being murdered
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) 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
( ) 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!

Re:Solution (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448455)

Might I suggest doing business with spammers a crime instead?

I wonder if some sort of Internet business license might be a way to do this. The fee would need to be something fairly nominal and just enough to fund the process. The idea would be to implement something such that payment processors would not be allowed to and/or would be under no obligation to complete transactions for anyone without said business license. If someone wants to conduct business outside of this scheme using cash, checks, etc., they do so at their own risk. A little publicity and honest merchants showing that they have said license should be sufficient to make the scheme known.

A few more details... Licenses get revoked for proved spamming. Licenses are tied to an originating domain with a DNS tie in to allow mismatches between license number and originator to be filtered. Trying to sell something using e-mail but without including the Internet business license becomes illegal and ISPs are free to trash such e-mails.

Obviously, this only would affect spam that is attempting to sell something. 419 scams, various phishing scams, etc. would still be a problem. The idea is that legitimate commercial e-mail becomes non-anonymous which doesn't hurt legitimate vendors or non-commercial e-mail. People attempting to sell stuff using spam become "visible" and subject to countermeasures.

Cheers,
Dave

Re:Solution (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448783)

Might I suggest doing business with spammers a crime instead?

I wonder if some sort of Internet business license might be a way to do this. The fee would need to be something fairly nominal and just enough to fund the process. The idea would be to implement something such that payment processors would not be allowed to and/or would be under no obligation to complete transactions for anyone without said business license. If someone wants to conduct business outside of this scheme using cash, checks, etc., they do so at their own risk. A little publicity and honest merchants showing that they have said license should be sufficient to make the scheme known.

A few more details... Licenses get revoked for proved spamming. Licenses are tied to an originating domain with a DNS tie in to allow mismatches between license number and originator to be filtered. Trying to sell something using e-mail but without including the Internet business license becomes illegal and ISPs are free to trash such e-mails.

Obviously, this only would affect spam that is attempting to sell something. 419 scams, various phishing scams, etc. would still be a problem. The idea is that legitimate commercial e-mail becomes non-anonymous which doesn't hurt legitimate vendors or non-commercial e-mail. People attempting to sell stuff using spam become "visible" and subject to countermeasures.

Cheers, Dave

This might not be a bad idea except for the idea that government would probably have to handle the licensing, and if it turns out anything like licensing has turned out for automobiles, then they won't give a damn how incompetent the licensed people are so long as fees and fines related to licensing and any violations provide a steady revenue source. Other than this one drawback, your idea is sound IMHO.

I had another idea that would help, either separately or perhaps in conjunction with yours. One is that the law should be changed to make it perfectly legal to construct a virus/worm that exploits already-patched vulnerabilities, infects a machine, resides on that machine for a couple of weeks to spread itself, and then promptly formats all writable media on that machine (preferably a secure wipe and not just a regular format). This would put a huge dent on the amount of spam because almost all of the spam is coming from compromised machines that are members of various botnets. Let it be understood that your right to use the network ends the moment you make that network a worse place for anyone else, either deliberately or through incompetence. If the owner of the machine refuses to either secure it (due digilience, the real "big scary" for most people, or so you would think from their actions) or take it offline, then it will be taken offline for them. Spammers understand that a good virus/worm/etc does not kill its host; therefore making sure that there is a virus/worm that does "kill" its host computer would not only impede spammers but would also provide incentive to users to care about security.

Incompetence and stupidity (that is, incompetence that any literate adult could rememdy except that they choose not to) is the root cause of spam. So long as there are millions of incompetent and stupid users who don't think that informing themselves is important, there will be spammers to take advantage of them. The way I see it, any other solution amounts to escalating an arms race.

For some reason, computers are just about the only field where people honestly seem to think that they can use what they do not remotely understand and achieve a good result. That they get a good result as often as they do is something of a miracle and is never appreciated as such. A strong incentive to learn that not only is understanding important, but that you do not (nearly) need to be an expert to become a much harder target can only be a good thing. I really believe that at some point it's going to come to that anyway because the current situation is unsustainable. If this is like everything else, no one will do anything until there is one hell of a crisis and then they will overreact and try to solve the problem by restricting privacy and freedom. If my proposal sounds extreme, just consider how much fun this outcome would be. In my view, incompetent users are expendable (in the sense that the network would be fine without them) while a free, open network is absolutely priceless.

This is off-topic. (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448797)

Incompetence and stupidity (that is, incompetence that any literate adult could rememdy except that they choose not to) is the root cause of spam.

Of course in the same sentence in which I mention literate adults, I make a typo on the word "remedy". Yay!

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448951)

Might I suggest doing business with spammers a crime instead?

No joke, why not chase down those that utilize these networks and prosecute them?

Re:Solution (2, Interesting)

nsheppar (889445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449039)

Did you come up with this on your own or did you find it somewhere? I think it's:

(X) Funny (X) Unfortunately true

Re:Solution (3, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447789)

I'm thinking something more direct... an anonymous-looking execution of a hooded spammer won't get quite as much attention and effect as, say, the severed heads of spammers jammed onto a pike and set in front of a datacenter.

That, or we could show some mercy and at the same time have a living, breathing object lesson by castrating viagra spammers, etc...

/P

Re:Solution (5, Funny)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447791)

"Make big time spamming a hanging offense. That will stop it fast."

Just make sure you get the executioners ragingly intoxicated before they do the deed. I would hate for a spammer, of all people, to be remembered as being particularly well hung.

Re:Solution (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447869)

The way draconian sentences have stopped drug dealing?

Re:Solution (4, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448733)

The way draconian sentences have stopped drug dealing?

Something like that. You cannot legislate away trade in something that people want to buy and other people are willing to sell.

Email spam is profitable due to the economics of the situation, it used to be nearly free to send out spam, now with botnets it's much, much worse than that.

Consider it from another angle. How much electricity world wide is consumed by the generation of spam and the receipt and deletion of spam? What's the carbon footprint of all this mostly useless activity? Save the Planet! Stop Spamming Now!

Re:Solution (2, Insightful)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448103)

Like every thing else that gets a death penalty, it'll only stop the same people from repeating the crime, once they're caught.
It won't stop new spammers from popping up before the first one's body is even cold.

Hanging offense? (1)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449123)

I doubt it. In old England it was a hanging offense to pickpocket. So what happened? In the crowd gathered to see the hanging of a pickpocket, pickpockets were plying their trade!

Apparently not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447567)

responsible for one-third of all spam

Only one thing is unbeatable: JESUS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447571)

This is what it would be like, if the majority of people were athiests.
ATHIEST KID: Mom, I'm going to go fuck a hooker.
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, son.
ATHIEST KID: Afterwards, I'm going to go smoke pot with my friends, since it's "not addictive."
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, come home soon!

The athiest kid leaves the room. The father comes home from work several minutes later.

ATHIEST DAD: Hey!
ATHIEST MOM: Hi, honey! I'm pregnant again. I guess I'll just get another abortion, since "fetuses don't count as human life."
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, get as many abortions as you want!
ATHIEST MOM: Oh, and don't go in the bedroom.
ATHIEST DAD: Why not?
ATHIEST MOM: There are two gay men fucking eachother in there.
ATHIEST DAD: Why are they here?
ATHIEST MOM: I wanted to watch them do it for awhile. They just aren't finished yet.
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, that's fine with me!

Suddenly, their neighbor runs into the house.

ATHIEST NEIGHBOR: Come quick, there's a Christian outside!
ATHIEST MOM: We'll be right there!

The athiest couple quickly put on a pair of black robes and hoods. They then exit the house, and run into the street, where a Christian is nailed to a large, wooden X. He is being burned alive. A crowd of athiests stand around him, all wearing black robes and hoods.

RANDOM ATHIEST: Damn you, Christian! We hate you! We claim to be tolerant of all religions. But we really hate your's! That's because we athiests are hypocritical like that! Die, Christian!

THE END

Scary, isn't it?

Re:Only one thing is unbeatable: JESUS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447771)

As a Christian, I find this extremely disturbing.

Not the grossly exaggerated plot, but that you would post such a hate-mongering post in an effort to elicit sympathy or understanding.

Jesus is all about loving people, especially those that persecute you. Turn the other cheek and all that. It's right there in the Good Book. I strongly urge all Christians to take a long hard look at their actions and compare them to Jesus before doing something you think is "righteous."

At the same time, we're all human - Christians, atheists, etc. We are all prone to err. Just remember that you have been called to set an example of love, compassion and understanding.

Re:Only one thing is unbeatable: JESUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447931)

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
-- Mohandas Gandhi

It's a rare christian who has the gusto to note that it applies today, sometimes more so. Kudos to YOUR beliefs, even if i don't mirror them all myself.

Re:Only one thing is unbeatable: JESUS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448481)

Jesus is all about loving people,

..an example that his church has been following for 2,000 years now, with a particularly strong focus on loving little boys.

I wonder how many altar boys an IRA got whenever he blew up a brit?

Re:Only one thing is unbeatable: JESUS (1, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447777)

Scary, isn't it?

Your post dosen't scare me as much as it's insightful mod does.

Solution... (0, Offtopic)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447577)

We seriously need to line up the spammers and kick them in the nuts. Then we need to go after the dumbasses that own the zombified computers and force them to take an "I am no longer an idiot." internet class before they are allowed to access the internet ever again.

Re:Solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447747)

With all the C1aL15 and V1@gra, their cocks will be so engorged that their testicles will be pulled in so close and so tightly you'll never be able to hit them. The spammer chicks will have larger clits and be an easier target, but since it's mostly eastern euro trash that does the spamming, they'll have a jungle of padding.

Re:Solution... (1)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449155)

...force them to take an "I am no longer an idiot." internet class..."

There are natural herbal remedies that allow you to skip the class. Give me your email address and I'll send you some info.

Another theory... (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447581)

They anticipated they might someday be busted.

They could have designed the botnet with a dead man's switch... if they were busted, start feeding their partners' spam at double vigor, and have the bots create as much noise and general chaos as possible.

Re:Another theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447879)

Thanks for the idea Anonymous botnet owner

Re:Another theory... (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447905)

Why would it need any kind of switch? Why wouldn't it just keep on churning out the spam it has until given new stuff?

Re:Another theory... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447943)

I suppose the effect is similar.

However, repeatedly cycling the same spam would surely lead to filters picking it up very easily, thanks to projects like the DCC, and updatable spam filters. :)

Re:Another theory... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448441)

Sure, but the volume would still stay up there.

Re:Another theory... (3, Interesting)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448049)

"Hey, I got an idea, if we get caught lets make sure something happens that gives us an even longer prison sentence!"

Re:Another theory... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25449091)

Someone should buy penis enlargement pills via their spam and give them to the large, hairy inmates who will soon be sodomizing them.

or instead... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448595)

They could have designed the botnet with a dead man's switch

Isn't it more likely that the PCs in their botnet were just swiftly taken over by somebody else's worm and are now pumping out spam on a different botnet?

Sure, there may be no incentive for spammers to cooperate with each other (and each others' botnets) but why would they want to poison the well?

Torture should be an option in this case. (-1, Flamebait)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447613)

Courts have determined that a life has a monetary value, I think in the mid 6 figures. So, if it's worth it to torture to save $500M in lives, it seems logical that the billions of lost dollars to spam would justify torture to get the "keys" of this system back, or to take over and eradicate it.

I say we torture them slowly, excruciatingly, until we have every last bit of knowledge we can get. And once they've give up everything, we go ahead and kill them. Slowly, of course - they are spammers, after all.

Re:Torture should be an option in this case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447767)

Once becomes a crime we'll torture and slowly kill you too, mmkay?

Au Contraire (3, Funny)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447653)

My inbox now seems to be filling up with lobster thermidor aux crevettes instead.

Re:Au Contraire (1)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448265)

My inbox now seems to be filling up with lobster thermidor aux crevettes instead.

Thank God you didn't say 'Lobster Porn'. Don't want to hear about it. Wait, oops...

Re:Au Contraire (1)

Odin's Raven (145278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448363)

My inbox now seems to be filling up with lobster thermidor aux crevettes instead.

Now that's what I call a posh meal - I didn't even know they made neckties for lobsters.

(I kid, I kid - I'm not actually that uncultured. I know a crevette is a sports car. Although I am a little unclear how the lobster reaches the gas pedal...)

Re:Au Contraire (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448833)

My inbox now seems to be filling up with lobster thermidor aux crevettes instead.

Now that's what I call a posh meal - I didn't even know they made neckties for lobsters.

(I kid, I kid - I'm not actually that uncultured. I know a crevette is a sports car. Although I am a little unclear how the lobster reaches the gas pedal...)

You just sounded like some Frenchie straight out the hair salon, with a faggot-ass name like Jean (to quote ICP). Seriously that was either gay .. or .. not straight.

Spam is so unfairly maligned (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447665)

Consider the economic benefits of spam! [today.com] MessageLabs reports that Egham, Surrey, on the suburban outskirts of London, is the town that receives the most spam in Britain.

"It's not like there's much else to do," says Boris Busybody, 77 (IQ), of Egham Hythe, idly whirling his four-foot penis around his head in a desultory fashion. "Expanding your manhood, growing your breasts, increasing your sperm ... the Lib Dem phone calls get a bit much. That's Doctor Busybody, by the way. My Ph.D arrived last week."

Spam has revitalised the local economy. Busybody has given up cab driving and is now working a lucrative job processing payments from home after he sent them his bank details in response to an urgent security message. "I had that King Otumfuo Opoku Ware II in the back of my cab once. Very generous and helpful fellow."

The Egham Tourist Board has seized the day, with plans for a 50 foot tall penis sculpture at Junction 13 of the M25 on the exit ramp to the town. The sculpture will be encircled by a genuine imitation Rolex and spray a fountain of Spermamax, obtained at a very reasonable rate from a Canadian pharmacy. "You will search an hour for your underwear in the ocean of our spam!" is to become the new town motto.

"I did get a good one the other day," says Busybody. "Barrister Matthew Sergeant Busybody of MessageLabs said we could promote our town to millions of people just by sending them an advance fee to process our incoming email. The stuff they try! â(TM)Scuse me, V!k@grk@ kicking in, got to go have sex again. Sorry."

It got worse for me (2)

MrKevvy (85565) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447679)

Exactly when the original story broke, I went from about two hundred spams a day to over a thousand, almost all of which were new topics, and it hasn't let up since. So the keys may have been passed on to several parties who are making more extensive use of the botnet than the HerbalKing group did.

I wonder how many it will take before Yahoo finally decides to start blacklisting spam hosts rather than sticking to the woefully inadequate filters.

Re:It got worse for me (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447739)

Exactly when the original story broke, I went from about two hundred spams a day to over a thousand

Wierd, I went from about 50-75 to about 5! I haven't had so little spam in ages, I keep having to check that fetchmail is still running. I wondered why, and then thought, this spam bust? No. Surely busting a single operator isn't going to have a noticeable effect?!

So I guess it all depends on whose lists you are?

Just because they caught the 'humans'... (4, Insightful)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447695)

"...the automated, 35,000-strong botnet..."

Doesn't mean that the 'machines' will stop doing what they have been 'told' to do.
FCOL, 99% of the spam is rejected because of bad addresses, rules, and so forth.
It's just possible that these bots will continue to spam until they are physically shutoff by their owners.

Re:Just because they caught the 'humans'... (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447935)

> It's just possible that these bots will continue to spam until they are physically
> shutoff by their owners.

But the owners are in jail!

Oh. You mean the mules that think they own the machines.

Re:Just because they caught the 'humans'... (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447955)

What? You mean to tell me that after the people were arrested, the compromised machines kept doing what they were told to do?

I thought that they sent every spam by hand.....

Really, you obviously see what TFA seems to be blind to. It is absolutely stupid to assume that somehow arresting people will fix the problem of automated spamming. For all we know, the compromised machines have a 6 month queue of spam to send, in pre-purchased amounts. Set it up once, charge your slimy clients once, and then sit on your money until the feds bust you....

This type of thing is only going to continue (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447721)

Busting the operators of this botnet isn't going to end the problem. It's going to continue as long as Joe The Plumber is surfing the net on a computer running an OS which is insecure by design. Even if it has a firewall, it's probably third-party software, and as such, doesn't start until after the network interface is up and running, leaving a huge (by computer standards) window of opportunity for the box to get pw0ned. And, of course, the same is true for any anti-virus running.

Now, personally I run Linux, so for right now, I don't have to worry. Of course, if Linux ever gets popular enough to put a real bite in Microsoft's monopoly that will change, but it's not vulnerable in the same way. Not only is it (more) secure by design, the firewall goes up before, not after the network interface, so there's no time that it's exposed to the network without protection.

Like it or not, most of the world's private computers are going to be running one form or another of Windows for the foreseeable future, and unless and until Redmond sets things so that there's a built-in firewall up and running while the box is still isolated, MS boxen are going to get pw0ned, and Joe The Plumber won't know that there's anything wrong except that his computer isn't as fast as it used to be, but he's accustomed to that by now anyway, and won't realize that it's a problem.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (5, Insightful)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447917)

You're so wrong, and that's funny.

The problem with spam isn't the less than 40 seconds it takes for the firewall to come up on a WinTel box.

It's the idiot behind the keyboard. Always has been, always will be.

Nobody seems to realize (or face the facts thereof) that spam became more and more profitable, as more and more (soccer moms, idiot dads, stupid kids with no idea about what they are clicking on, hell a slashdotter here stated he has missed the no and hit yes trying to get the box to go away) people where given access to computers and high speed connections.

Bottom line, the luser is the problem, not the machine, not the operating system (god knows, Linux doesn't have a single virii or worm or anything for it, does it),.... It's the ID10T's.

To look at it any other way is just fooling yourself and being a fanboi.

--Toll_Free

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448199)

Bottom line, the luser is the problem, not the machine, not the operating system (god knows, Linux doesn't have a single virii or worm or anything for it, does it),.... It's the ID10T's.

As I said, there isn't any malware for Linux...yet. There will be, as soon as it becomes, as you point out, profitable. As far as your assertion about the delay in the firewall going up not being a factor, I disagree, but I won't argue the point because it's just my opinion and I don't have any facts to back it up. However, we all know that there are people out there scanning random IP addresses looking for open machines, and if they hit you before your firewall goes up, Game Over. Getting that firewall up first instead of last wont' stop infections completely, but there's no way it can hurt, and there's no good reason not to.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448279)

I agree 100 percent with your timings, but if you do the laws of averages, with how many people scanning vs. how many people using NAT, etc....

At that point, it becomes pretty hard to get infected.

Sucks to be me, my ISP is completely NAT'ed. I asked for an external IP, and they looked at my usage, and denied me.

Fuckers. They insist I'm running a server, maxing out my connection nearly 24X7 on the incoming side.

I informed them that I refuse to pay for satellite, and I only watch TV via the computer.

(incidentally, Fox on Demand is pretty good, although their "installable player" is a pile of shit, the rest of the service ain't bad).

--Toll_Free

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (1, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448423)

Exactly. That's why we see so much malware targeting the millions upon millions of Mac OS X boxes out there.

Oh, no we don't. Because Unix is actually more secure than Windows.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448723)

what millions upon millions of Mac OS X boxes?

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25449129)

I know you're trolling, but last time I checked Apple was selling 2 millions+ MacBooks every quarter. That's not even counting their other computer models.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448835)

thats because Mac can't run .EXE.

Shitty Macs.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449119)

Because Unix is actually more secure than Windows.

Thanks! I was trying to avoid a holy war, and you may have just set off the land mine. I'm sure that when somebody sees enough profit in it, they'll find a way to target Linux/BSD, but until they do, it won't be a problem.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448451)

Now, personally I run Linux, so for right now, I don't have to worry.

Well, you would be wrong. There have been lots of security holes found in linux and linux apps. Go look at metasploit. The average linux user may have more of a clue, but not by much.

Even if it has a firewall, it's probably third-party software, and as such, doesn't start until after the network interface is up and running

And where would you get that idea? I would say most windows computers use the built-in Microsoft firewall.

And there are many 3rd-party firewalls that start before networking starts.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449143)

Well, you would be wrong. There have been lots of security holes found in linux and linux apps.

Yes, of course there are. However, nobody's using them to write malware for Linux and distributing it because they can get more infections and more money by targeting Windows. That's what I was talking about.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (4, Informative)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448529)

Even if it has a firewall, it's probably third-party software, and as such, doesn't start until after the network interface is up and running, leaving a huge (by computer standards) window of opportunity for the box to get pw0ned. And, of course, the same is true for any anti-virus running.

First, XP has a firewall built in. It's not likely to be "third-party software". Second, firewalls and virus scanners use the same Windows Filtering Platform to do their work. This platform installs boot-time filters that are in effect until the user-mode software is finally up, at which point there's an atomic hand-off. At no time is the system open to any sort of "window of opportunity" like you describe.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448633)

I think you're wrong. Most home computers I deal with these days are behind a cheap router which includes a thick-headed (you can't do anything besides web/email/IM without turning it completely off) firewall. The problem is that people actually click and download those zillion-billion packs of lame smilies, animated cursors, screensavers or, even worse, 'porn viewers'. A firewall won't solve bad user habits.

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448659)

It's going to continue as long as Joe The Plumber is surfing the net on a computer running an OS which is insecure by design.

So you're saying Joe the Plumber should get Vista?

Re:This type of thing is only going to continue (5, Funny)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448841)

Surely Joe the Plumber of all people should know how the tubes work?

*GROAN* Bad, BAD BlooBloo! (1)

ShadowSystems (527521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449099)

You should have flushed that joke before it ever saw the light of...
Oh, wait, this is Slashdot...
NOTHING ever sees the light of DAY around here.
=)P

Spam is still profitable (3, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447757)

When you arrest certain people, it doesn't remove the profitability of the activity, it doesn't remove the tools or knowledge used to perpetrate the activity, and it doesn't remove the infected computers already carrying out payloads. Maybe for a few who are deeply involved individuals with a lot to risk, they will reconsider what they're involved in, but there must be a large population who still consider it profitable and worth the risk.

You can stop me (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447859)

But you can't stop all of us; after all, we're all alike.

And another (probably more accurate) idea is: (1, Flamebait)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447861)

That Spamhaus doesn't know what they are talking about with the numbers they spewed.

Just goes to show, you can pull numbers out of your ass, and it all depends on who WANTS to believe them.

Spamhaus, MPAA, RIAA, et al, they all incredibly inflate numbers to their own benefit.

Guess the Spam Kings wheren't as big as they where reported, huh?

Would be nice to see something legally happen to them, as well. Seriously, if one pulls a number out of their ass, no matter what side of the fence they are on, they should be held accountable for lying at the least (publicly shunned on their "stats" in the future), libel, to out and out fraud.

This is the kind of things that pisses me off. Statistics are supposed to be credible, not a number you pull out of our ass to make your side look better.

--Toll_Free

Re:And another (probably more accurate) idea is: (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448477)

> Would be nice to see something legally happen to them, as well. Seriously, if one pulls
> a number out of their ass, no matter what side of the fence they are on, they should be
> held accountable for lying at the least (publicly shunned on their "stats" in the
> future), libel, to out and out fraud.

So sue them for the damage they did to you.

gmail (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447895)

gmail. nuff said.

Life in Jail, or Capital punishment (1)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447899)

While (mostly) joking, we should simply say that we're going to treat spammers as some of the most vile people in society and punish them accordingly. No 3-5 years in jail or a fine. You spam, you go to jail for life. If somehow you get out and do it (again), then second offense is a capital punishment. Either that, or treat them as 'terrorists' against the Interwebs, and allow police/military to shoot them on sight as combatants.

Yes, I am mostly joking, but we need to let these people know that having any involvement in spam will have the most dire of conseqences. I'm more effected daily by spammers than terrorists.

Re:Life in Jail, or Capital punishment (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448431)

"It's the Child-Rapist-Murderer Anti-Defamation League on line two. They say you compared them to spammers. I think you'll need to apologise."

Oh I thought... (5, Funny)

barocco (1168573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447903)

.. I thought it was because this spam ring was too big to fail and the congress bailed it out

Well, nobody else said it.... (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447909)

Dear F-Secure,

Please note the implications of this story, then promptly stick your request for Internetpol up your collective asses.

Thank you

The Internet

It's just a machine (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448149)

It doesn't feel pity or remorse, and it will absolutely will not stop, ever...until our disks are full.

Well, its good to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448183)

The the internet is working correctly, one spam node is taken out,..doesnt matter the nodes still work great, even better with the extra bandwith.

maybe they should be arresting the botnets, using cyber copbots.

Marked reduction here (3, Interesting)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448255)

Maybe most of my spam originated on their bot net. My dSPAM fourteen day analysis shows my incoming spam rate has dropped to less than half the level of a week ago.

Note, I'm not complaining.

Cheers,
Dave

Operation: spam egg sausage and spam (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448649)

...that's not got much spam in it.

Spam gang whack-a-mole (5, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448679)

If anyone is surprised by this news, they need to think about what they think they know about spam.

Sure not many people like to see the unsolicited ads for herbal viagra and pirated copies of photoshop. But why do the spammers send them out in the first place? It isn't because they hate us, and it isn't just because they can send out billions of them at next-to-no cost to themselves.

They send them out because they make money doing it. Which means that someone, somewhere, is paying for spam as a service. Which means that even if 100 spammers were instantaneously taken offline and thrown into pound-me-in-the-ass prison, 100 new spammers would emerge to fill there places and likely send out even more spam.

If we want to stop spam, we need to remove the economic incentive. And throwing spammers in jail does not accomplish that. So naturally the spam epidemic was largely unchanged by these arrests.

Why can't then stop the spam? (1)

firmamentalfalcon (1187583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448707)

If HerbalKing was able to pass on the keys to the botnet, then shouldn't that be documented somewhere? Can anything be done with the list of botnets?

Honestly... (2, Insightful)

steelmaverick (936668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448971)

Seriously, they shut down a spam king with a 35,000 computer botnet, and expected the spam to take a nose-dive? That's not gonna happen.

First of all, has the botnet been shut down? Does the botnet still have jobs/mail to send out? Is it self-propagating, so even if you shut down part of it, it can keep growing?

Seriously, I just don't think this would even put a dent in the amount of spam sent daily.

Perhaps if we made heavy spamming an offense worthy of the death penalty, then it would most likely stop. But today, with 99.9% (pulled this statistic out of my ass) chance of not getting caught, spam will continue to be a thriving business.
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