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Whatever Happened To Sanford "Spamford" Wallace?

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the dj-master-spam dept.

Spam 45

Tackhead writes "People of a certain age — the age before email filters were effective, may remember a few mid-90s buzzwords like 'bulletproof hosting' and 'double opt-in.' People may remember that Hormel itself conceded that although 'SPAM' referred to their potted meat product, the term 'spam' could refer to unsolicited commercial email. People may also remember AGIS, Cyberpromo, Sanford 'Spam King' Wallace, and Walt Rines. Ten years after a 2003 retrospective on Rines and Wallace, Ars Technica reminds us that the more things change, the more they stay the same."

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Happy Skywizard Day From The Golden Girls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782123)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

A christmas wish. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782157)

I hope he's dead. :)

Re:A christmas wish. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782167)

I pull out my penis. I piss in your face! Glug glug glug, goes you.

Context, Context, Context... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782193)

This would be a lot more compelling article if the reality of the situation was other than that we have more people in prison than the rest of the world combined, and jail even a higher fraction of our population than the worlds most obviously insane despotic regime.

Within that context, however, it just takes my opinion of the U.S. legal system from 'tragically out of touch' to 'utterly and absolutely hopeless.'

It's a shame Law and Order has squandered so much faith, credit and goodwill on meaningless culture war bullshit...

Re:Context, Context, Context... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782321)

It's a shame Law and Order has squandered so much faith, credit and goodwill on meaningless culture war bullshit...

Yes, TV will save us. Mass media will save us all! And absolutely did not play an integral role in causing these problems...

"If Germany had the propaganda apparatus of the United States, she would not need an army". -- Hitler's propaganda minister. Do you understand why he said that?

Re:Context, Context, Context... (2, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 8 months ago | (#45783131)

Americas problem isn't even its sky-high incarceration rate.

It's problems lie is its viciously individualistic culture that entertains no notion of collection action or responsibility; tolerance of regulatory capture; and tolerance of conflicts of interest. This is all enabled by popular myths that pervade American culture, that anybody can get rich if they work hard enough, and that all poor people, by extension, are cunts.

Deal with the conflict-of-interest issue, and then things like the commercial, for-profit school-to-jail pipeline will eventually take care of themselves.

Re:Context, Context, Context... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45785999)

You've obviously never been to Southern Illinois my friend, the most depressed place on earth.

Where Is The Spam Icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782203)

Did Hormel sic their lawyers on Slashdot? The new icon isn't really accurate. There's more than that pig in spam.

Re:Where Is The Spam Icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782215)

Too many AC posts in this discussion, says I. The "I don't read ACs" douchebags did weep.

ytcracker (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782207)

ytcracker may not be a household name, or as well known known as Wallace, but he is the undisputed spam rap king. If ytc taught me anything, it is that every time a spammer is taken down, there are plenty more ready to take his place. The fact is that, even today, spam pays. Until people suddenly wisen up and stop falling for scams and stop being receptive to advertising in general, there will continue to be spam. Spam pays, folks, and leads to hacking.

Number one thing most spammers are most excited about right now: Microsoft's pledge to soon screw people who are still happy with/stuck on Windows XP. You think botnets are bad now, wait until M$ completely stops patching XP. I can't wait to cash in.

Re:ytcracker (2, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#45782553)

"Until people suddenly wisen up and stop falling for scams and stop being receptive to advertising in general, there will continue to be spam."

Insightful comment. The spammers, revolting subhumans though they are, are simply a symptom of the real problem. And the big "legitimate" marketing companies are signs of the same problem. A sane person would go out of their way to avoid purchasing anything that they saw advertised, and if a significant percentage of the population were sane advertising and marketing would be dead, and all the people currently stuck in those soul-leeching jobs could become productive members of the economy instead.

Re:ytcracker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45783111)

As long as spam works, people will continue to put it out there

Three is a long history of hucksters, spam kings have been mostly de-legitimatized, but the same tools are used by legitimate businesses and political campaigns all the time

Let me know when the FTC is going after paid partisan trolls in discussion forums, or search providers analyzing my every move on the internet and then I will be interested

Re:ytcracker (2)

Lord Apathy (584315) | about 8 months ago | (#45787575)

Insightful comment. The spammers, revolting subhumans though they are, are simply a symptom of the real problem. And the big "legitimate" marketing companies are signs of the same problem. A sane person would go out of their way to avoid purchasing anything that they saw advertised, and if a significant percentage of the population were sane advertising and marketing would be dead, and all the people currently stuck in those soul-leeching jobs could become productive members of the economy instead.

This article really brings back memories. I remember this douche from so many years back. He is one of the few internet "celebrities" that I can remember from 10 and 15 years ago.

I said this years ago, and I still believe its true now, you will never kill off the spamers as long as the market is there. No matter what laws you pass, or how much you fine them there will always be some willing to take the risk. There is just to much money there, it's like drug dealers. As long as there is money to be made there will always be someone willing to take the risk.

You want to kill this beast you have to kill the market and just like any market there is the supply and there is the demand. The demand side is the innocent people that click on the links that keep the spammers in business. The war against spam seems to always be about eliminating that side of the market. Well people are stupid and we have all clicked on some link that we didn't realize was a spam link. So that side of the argument is a hopeless fight.

Going after the spammers themselves is equally useless for reasons already stated.

So that leaves one side of the market, the supply. People think the spammers are the supply but they are not. They are just the middlemen. You want to put a real dent in the spam problem, you go after the real supplier. Where that link leads, that is who you go after. The person that is paying the spammer to spam.

The people that supply the products that is who you go after. The spammers themselves they have throw away accounts and a never ending revolving door of ipaddress they can use. Things get to hot the states, they just move it overseas. But the people that pay the spammer they have real address, with physical locations. There is your target, that is who you need to go after.

An I've heard the argument that some of these companies are innocent and may not be aware that they are spamming. Well I say that doesn't exempt them. If you are advertising through a company then you should be aware of how that company does its advertising. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Re:ytcracker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45783717)

On a related cultural education note, folks should give ytcracker's latest track, "Bitcoin Baron", even if ther are not a fans of rap music. Brilliant lines in this song include "You know rappers like to sell drugs?/But you do it on the streets and you're deader than google buzz or google plus" and "You know rappers like to rock pools/I got pools you can't swim in/But I'm collecting the spice like a fremen."

Here it is: Bitcoin Baron [youtube.com] .

Why isn't he in jail? (5, Insightful)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 8 months ago | (#45782235)

He's in debt to the courts for millions, fails to show up for his court appearances and has repeatedly returned to a life of crime. It's not even as if his lawyer is getting him off. He's a continual recidivist and shows no intention of reforming his ways. Even if the cases themselves were merely civil disputes, his failure to live up his court-ordered responsibilities should have consequences.

Why isn't this jackass in jail yet? He's far more deserving than some poor punk who had the bad luck to get caught with a baggie of pot in his pocket.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782301)

Ass yourself the same question for the likes of Alan Greenspam, Benjamina Bernansky, and Janet Yellin!!
theres your status-quo anomaly nicely wrapped with a bow-tie, suited and booted!
Happy Fiscal Winter

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 8 months ago | (#45782319)

Because our justice system has turned from protecting the public good and society in general towards protecting individual property and particular interest laws.

That's why you can spam millions of people for years (do the math, even at half a second per mail, that's quite a few wasted lifetimes) and get a slap on the wrist ($4 mio? if he weren't a fool that would've been pocket change for an Internet criminal - see Kimble).

But copy a few MP3s and you're down for your life savings. Have a bit of pot on you and off to jail.

It's an entirely different tragedy of the commons - the justice system utterly fails to protect the public at large from deaths by a million cuts, i.e. by small offenses that multiply into the thousands and millions.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (2)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#45782713)

"Because our justice system has turned from protecting the public good and society in general towards protecting individual property and particular interest laws."

While I agree with the rest of what you said that is just plain wrong. Protecting private property is the mission here, it's a crucial part of protecting the public good. And that is exactly where the system has failed. Spam is theft by conversion, and adequately dealt with under common law, but instead of leaving well enough alone, the legislatures got involved and give us new laws that FAIL to protect our private property from the likes of Spamford.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (2)

Tom (822) | about 8 months ago | (#45782783)

We mean the same thing.

Of course e-mail spam deprives me of use of my private property. But the damage is too small for an individual case to matter. The real damage is on the whole-society level, when you add up the millions of seconds.

It's the commons - the part of society that we all share. Like our communications ability or public spaces.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (1)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#45783055)

"But the damage is too small for an individual case to matter. "

I dont agree that is *always* true first off, and in the cases where it is, that's why we have something called a class-action suit. You can pool the damages to millions of people and sue together.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (2)

Tom (822) | about 8 months ago | (#45783125)

Again, that is not a legal statement. Of course you can sue someone for a cent. But almost nobody bothers to actually do that. Which is why something like a government was invented so things that are too small or too big for individuals to worry about can be handled collectively.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (1, Flamebait)

benjfowler (239527) | about 8 months ago | (#45783183)

You've hit the nail on the head. America is culturally incapable of even thinking about how to deal with acting collectively on anything; then it doesn't surprise me in the least that it would find it difficult to jail anybody for massive crimes, committed against everyone collectively.

Here, the problem manifests itself in the US' comical, insane inability to jail SPAMford. The same could be set for the evil criminals on Wall Street who crashed the economy in 2008 and continue to get away with murder.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45783083)

It's NOT A JUSTICE SYSTEM.

It's a legal system.

Get that difference into your heads and it'll make a lot more sense.

AC

The math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45787319)

20 million people receiving an average of 1000 mails across their lifetime from him specifically at half a mail per second calculates out to 317 years. That's roughly three lifetimes. I guess that could be considered "quite a few lifetimes," but my numbers were liberal to begin with. I doubt he reached 20m people and I doubt each person spent half a second on every one of the mails they received, which likely totaled less than 1000.

Re:The math (1)

Tom (822) | about 8 months ago | (#45788071)

20 million? Are you living in 1998? Spammers these days send out on the order of magnitude of a billion e-mails.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782323)

It's kind of funny that kimdotcom gets the long arm of the USA (NZ special forces) treatment and this spamford guy can sneak fraudulent software onto people's computers and get away with it. And some random black guy can get thrown in jail just coz he's black and some made up reason of the day.

Buck up USA or you'd end up like my 3rd world country. Big difference is everyone can laugh at my country because we have no nukes.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782351)

For failing to show up at court, perhaps.

But there is, thankfully, no such thing as debtors' prison.

And

the age before email filters were effective

Hehehehe. Plus ca change, indeed. Merry Christmass, everyone!

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (2)

JeffOwl (2858633) | about 8 months ago | (#45782359)

I think the real issue is that he ignored court orders to stop spamming. They are prosecuting for criminal contempt.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 8 months ago | (#45782421)

Why isn't this jackass in jail yet? He's far more deserving than some poor punk who had the bad luck to get caught with a baggie of pot in his pocket.

You seem to be misunderstanding: A failed businessman is much less of a problem than a failed worker. Smoking pot = less productivity. That's why we throw him in jail for years at a go, whereas the failed businessman at least was making an attempt to improve the glory of our lord and savior, the Dollar. I only wish this statement was entirely sarcastic, instead of merely mostly. :(

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45783345)

This guy is about as much a businessman as a bank robber.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45785685)

This guy is about as much a businessman as a bank robber.

I fail to see this distinction between either....

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 8 months ago | (#45782741)

He's in debt to the courts for millions, fails to show up for his court appearances and has repeatedly returned to a life of crime.

Because he posted bail on the criminal contempt charge.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 8 months ago | (#45783159)

He is obviously a fucking idiot and a slow learner. People like him need straightening out with intensive help; jail as it's currently done will be useless. Spamming is the only thing he knows and he'll be up to his old tricks, seconds after getting out of prison.

Re:Why isn't he in jail? (3, Insightful)

nuonguy (264254) | about 8 months ago | (#45783543)

Who is the slow learner here, him or the legal system that failed at prosecuting him? He recognised a (criminal) opportunity before everyone else and has the wits to stay out of jail. Crime doesn't pay unless you do it well.

It was all an NSA op (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45782459)

What you dweebs don't realize is that malware was transferred to
the machines of millions of people via spam.

None of this was an accident, it was a covert op.

God damn, you fuckwits are so dense and so naive I'd be weeping
if I wasn't laughing my ass off on a nice warm beach with a secure
retirement fund.

                                                                                                - Sanford W.

double opt-in (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 8 months ago | (#45782507)

I saw a movie with that title once, but (to my surprise) it wasn't about Email...

typical... (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 8 months ago | (#45782929)

Lawyers going after money rather than the culprit. Some guy spends one minute in a coordinated DDoS attack and he gets jail time. This guy runs around free because the Lawyers thought that hitting his pocket book would matter but what they didn't realize is this guy has no concept of saving any money, he spends it and pisses it away on gambling so when they come to collect, his pockets are empty. In the meantime he cranks up the old routines to get more money to spend.

I do have to say one thing, it's great to see a guy make the Feds go in loops. We all believe that the Criminal Justice system is this fair system that only punishes the truly guilty. Yeah we want to believe it but if you're on the wrong side of that system without representation and money you're just gear lube for the the machine. This guy without a lawyer has the Feds running around trying to get money that doesn't exist, all the while playing the dumb fool. In the end he's nobody's fool.

Re:typical... (2)

Herkum01 (592704) | about 8 months ago | (#45783371)

I am surprised that the IRS has not gone after him for tax evasion. Being stupid for not paying taxes will still get you sent to jail really quick.

Email filters are NOT effective (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 8 months ago | (#45783735)

The statement of "before email filters were effective" is delirious at best. Filters will never, in the long term, be an effective anti-spam tool. All that filters do is drive spammers to change their syntax to make spam look less spammy so that they can get past filters. This creates a digital arms race then as people who use filters have to keep re-training their filters in reaction. This wastes, time, energy, and money.

Even worse, as time goes on the signal-to-noise ratio only gets worse as spammers get more creative and do a better job of sending spam that resembles wanted commercial email.

If you want to actually do something about the spam epidemic, don't fool yourself into thinking that your filters will do it. Spam is an economic problem, it needs economic solutions. Filters do not accomplish this.

Re:Email filters are NOT effective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45784155)

The statement of "before email filters were effective" is delirious at best. Filters will never, in the long term, be an effective anti-spam tool.

You're sorta right. There was a time when people received hundreds, if not thousands, of spams per day, and "just hit delete" wasn't cutting it. Bayesian filters and SPF have made a huge difference.

Re:Email filters are NOT effective (3, Insightful)

marka63 (1237718) | about 8 months ago | (#45784547)

If you thing SPF as made a difference to the amount of spam being sent I have a bridge to sell you.

SPF was never about preventing spam. It has only ever been about preventing your email address being used as the from address in spam. It reduces the amount of blowback to your account and nothing else. The only reason SPF appears to be a effective anti-spam tool is that there is that the number of sites filtering using SPF hasn't risen to the level where the spammers need to stop using SPF protected address as the from addresses.

Another thing SPF does is cause spammers to use hijacked credentials to send spam through legitimate sources.

This shouldn't be seen as a reason to stop using SPF records. But if you think SPF will stop spam you are deluding yourself.

Re:Email filters are NOT effective (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | about 8 months ago | (#45787657)

The statement of "before email filters were effective" is delirious at best. Filters will never, in the long term, be an effective anti-spam tool.

Filters where a band aid at best. It seems to me that filters themselves have went along way toward making email next to useless as a communication tool.

In the old days I used to send a nice email to my friends and family but now filters have practically made that useless. Filters also have negated the purpose of a junk mail folder. The idea for that was that filters would throw crap in there and I could delete it with out concern.

Well now my email is so heavily filtered I have to root through it before I can delete it looking for missing email. Which pretty much negates the junk-mail folders purpose. I still have to look through the spam anyway.

Re:Email filters are NOT effective (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 8 months ago | (#45800965)

My gmail account begs to differ. I get 3 in my inbox per week, max. That's not a problem anymore, like with 99/100 emails being spam in the 1990s. It's a slight nuisance. And I'm a total fucking slut about where where I post my email address ( clintjcl@gmail.com ).

Re:Email filters are NOT effective (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 8 months ago | (#45801627)

You have missed the point entirely. Filters might prevent you from reading spam, but they don't prevent it from being sent. Even more so, they don't prevent it from costing money. Sure you may use gmail as a "free" email service but someone has to pay for the power consumed by the servers running the filters. Someone has to pay the engineers who train those filters. Someone has to pay for the hard drives that store your mail to be processed by the filters (including the mail that sits in the spam quarantine for 1 month before being deleted). And all that will happen over time is that those who depend on filters will see their FP and FN rates go up while they continue to spend more money fighting this losing battle.

Forget the government, why isn't he.. (1)

swb (14022) | about 8 months ago | (#45786985)

...in a shallow grave in the Mojave desert?

He seems like he's the kind of archetypal low-rent scam artist with a gambling habit who thinks that because he can walk away from corporate civil judgements he can get away with anything.

Maybe I've seen too many movies, but Las Vegas seems like the place guys like this go only to find out that there's a difference between civil suits and guys in sharkskin suits, and the latter is more than willing to use extrajudicial means to recover their debts.

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