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Meet the Spammers

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the ask-them-for-viagra dept.

Spam 750

DaveAtFraud writes: "It took a little digging to find an on-line copy of this article that I first saw in my treeware daily newspaper. Thanks to the Salt Lake City Tribune for having it on-line. According to the Spamhaus project, a handful of people are responsible for 90% of the spam that clogs you in box. This is your chace to hear from them and what they have to say is quite interesting. If you don't think the filters and blacklists work, one spammer whines, "My operating costs have gone up 1,000 percent this year, just so I can figure out how to get around all these filters." Stopping spam is simply a matter of economics. When its uneconomical to send spam, people will stop sending it."

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This NOT just in: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024223)

Known for years: nigs smell like ass

Basic math (1)

Zathrus (232140) | about 12 years ago | (#4024228)

My operating costs have gone up 1,000 percent this year, just so I can figure out how to get around all these filters

And 10 * 0 is how much again?

Ok, their costs aren't truely zero, but close enough as to make no real difference. Of course, the same can probably be said for the respondant percentage.

Re:Basic math (5, Insightful)

kalimar (42718) | about 12 years ago | (#4024274)

Well, operating costs are more than just money. If it takes 1000 seconds to send his bulk mail instead of 1 second, then his operating 'costs' have gone up. If it takes him 6 hours to find a new tool to get around a new filter, instead of 1 hour, then his costs have gone up also. Granted, the return for that time spent is still obscene, but any increase in their operating cost is good. Plus, the sheer visceral pleasure that we enjoy seeing the spammers having a 'hard' time is a bonus also.

Re:Basic math (1)

thogard (43403) | about 12 years ago | (#4024353)

how much more would it cost this guy if we all added a sleep(1) after the accept() in sendmail/postfix/whatever

my heart bleeds (1)

p00ya (579445) | about 12 years ago | (#4024277)

my heart bleeds for these poor people

i wonder if the increase in their 'operational costs' can counter the increase in the community's time and money costs at having to wade through such crap and filter it out.

Re:Basic math (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | about 12 years ago | (#4024390)

This spammer doesn't deserve any sympathy. I'm glad his picture and address are posted everywhere. He is scum. He is one of the ones responsible for littering the Internet with garbage. If he disappeared off this planet, this planet would be a better place. I have no good wishes for him.

Operating Costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024229)

And just think what cutting off some of their limbs or sexual organs would do to their budget.

I feel so sorry for this guy (2)

BorgDrone (64343) | about 12 years ago | (#4024233)

I feel so sorry for this guy:

one spammer whines, "My operating costs have gone up 1,000 percent this year, just so I can figure out how to get around all these filters."

only ... NOT!

spam eggs spam spam (-1)

count_sporkula (446625) | about 12 years ago | (#4024235)

why do they bother, 'shurley' trolling /. would be more fun?

Death penalty for Spammers (2)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | about 12 years ago | (#4024236)

I vote for death Penalty for Spammers!

Feed Internet Democracy today..Kill a spammer!

Re:Death penalty for Spammers (4, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | about 12 years ago | (#4024267)

I vote for death Penalty for Spammers

You know we couldn't pass a law like that. Well, maybe in Texas.

This is *why* we need laws! (5, Insightful)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | about 12 years ago | (#4024239)

I don't know why people think laws against spammers would be ineffective. Even a threat of legal/finacial action against them would be a huge deterrent in sending spam. Heck, if it reduced it 10% wouldn't it be worth it?

Of course, intelligent filters and the like are the best way to treat the symptoms, but they don't treat the problem.

Re:This is *why* we need laws! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024286)

Laws in what country? Spammers can move.

Economic (2, Insightful)

wilbrod (471600) | about 12 years ago | (#4024240)

It's similar as the drug market or any stealing network. They still exist because they are a source of money for someone.

Die capitalism die!

Re:Economic (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 12 years ago | (#4024354)

Wrong. The drug market and stealing exist because people buy drugs and stolen goods. Spammers would die out the moment people stopped responding to it. But as they themselve say, they only need 1 in a 1000 and we all know the percentage of idiots on the net is a lot higher.

So it should be

Die idiots die!

You poor baby..... (2)

reaper20 (23396) | about 12 years ago | (#4024242)

Bernard Balan, 51, who operates a bulk mail site from Emsdale, Ontario, called one-stop-financial.com, says he has gone through "unbelievable hardships" to keep the spam flowing.
"My operating costs have gone up 1,000 percent this year, just so I can figure out how to get around all these filters," said Balan, a former truck driver and pinball machine mechanic.


Payback's a bitch huh? I guess this means we're "winning".

Re:You poor baby..... (1)

leongalt (549343) | about 12 years ago | (#4024263)

These people lie for a living. It is their job to say whatever it takes to get you to read/click their mail. Why would you believe them when they tell you the filters are working? Wouldn't it be smarter to lie to you and make you believe the filters are working when in fact they may not?

Re:You poor baby..... (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | about 12 years ago | (#4024280)

I say charge him for bandwidth as well!
You get spam, track it to its source, send the company a bill for network charges. And make it itemized, and miniscule. $0.11 for charges, overhead, sysadmin time, etc. If enough people did this, then eventually you could destroy his credit rating. After all, who's going to write a cheque for eleven cents?

Re:You poor baby..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024314)

How would him owing you or any amount of people $0.11 effect his credit rating? Do you even understand how credit reports work? Go ask you parents.

Re:You poor baby..... (1)

BigASS (153722) | about 12 years ago | (#4024322)

I'm in Ontario as well. I'm tempted to pay a visit to his offices.. "Snip".. no more spam. Forget filters, legal action and the like, this is much more direct. If the ISP's won't do it, I think someone should.

Seriously though, "unbelievable hardships"? Next they're going to start telling us that they are just trying to earn an honest living.

Re:You poor baby..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024371)

Some guys did this in Melbourne Australia. Just make sure you take at least 5 big guys. Some people only see the light when a few people show up at their door with bats in hand.

When you are done reading this article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024245)


Put your hands BACK on my pee pee.

is it Legal to Stalk Spammers? (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | about 12 years ago | (#4024249)

Just wondering is it legal to stalk spammers?

Might make a hell of real nice incentive fro spammers to quit

Re:is it Legal to Stalk Spammers? (5, Funny)

Fat Casper (260409) | about 12 years ago | (#4024307)

Just wondering is it legal to stalk spammers?

I don't see a problem with it. They're in the business of unsolicited harassment too. Tell you what: if they want to opt-out of being stalked, I've got a fake email address that they can write to, and I guarantee that I'll take them off my stalking list.

Re:is it Legal to Stalk Spammers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024321)

I think it would not be considered stalking if they persisted in sending you e-mail...

Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024250)

Slashdot!

News for spammers, Stuff that doesn't matter

oh yes? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024251)

Bernard Balan, 51, who operates a bulk mail site from Emsdale, Ontario, called ne-stop-financial.com, says he has gone through "unbelievable hardships" to keep the spam flowing.

Now that his website is well known, I bet things just got a lot harder... :-)

Re:oh yes? (1)

blowdart (31458) | about 12 years ago | (#4024261)

Of course if his email address got picked up by spam crawlers, that would be bad

So posting bbalan@surenet.net would be bad

Canada411.com (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | about 12 years ago | (#4024320)

One listing...

BALAN, B
RR 1 PO
EMSDALE,ON
(705) 636-1276


You think it's him?

Re:oh yes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024392)

From google groups...

Bernard Balan, aka "Merlin", chronic spammer spamware peddler.
One of the worst around.

Email: bbalan@surenet.net

See:
http://www.spamhaus.org/rokso/search.lasso?evidenc efile=1249

Partner of spammer Gordon Lantz, see:
http://www.spamhaus.org/rokso/search.lasso?evidenc efile=1209
http://spews.org/html/S396.html

Works with spammer Bubba Catts, see:

http://www.fortunecity.com/boozers/edward/321/sp am speak.html#bubba1.ram
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=bubba+catts&hl=e n&lr=&scoring=d

And yet... (5, Insightful)

Maran (151221) | about 12 years ago | (#4024252)

"My operating costs have gone up 1,000 percent this year, just so I can figure out how to get around all these filters."

And yet he persists.

In the great tradition of slashdot, I haven't read the article, but I assume he's making enough money to cover his costs and then some, else he wouldn't continue. Now, I'm also assuming that companies are paying him to send spam - there's no way he'd make enough of responders.

This has probably been said before, but why are we getting pissed off at spammers? It's the companies we need to "educate" as to the evils of unsolicited e-mail. That's where the money and motivation comes from. Maybe we should e-mail every company in the world and explain to them why they shouldn't spam...

Maran

Re:And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024272)

I agree. I have a friend who recently downloaded a "bulk emailer" and wanted to sent a "newsletter" to her clients (folks who used her online store).

She really didn't understand when I said, "NOOOOOOO! Don't do it!" Eventually she got it figured out, and she's not planning anything like that now. But there must be loads of businesses run by people who "don't get it".

Re:And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024315)

> And yet he persists.

Because he`s still making money?

> Now, I'm also assuming that companies are
> paying him to send spam

Good grief...

> Maybe we should e-mail every company in the
> world and explain to them why they shouldn't
> spam...

We? After you. I couldnt care less - I just delete them.

Re:And yet... (4, Interesting)

jmv (93421) | about 12 years ago | (#4024331)

This has probably been said before, but why are we getting pissed off at spammers? It's the companies we need to "educate" as to the evils of unsolicited e-mail.

Not exactly. You won't see well established companies sending spam (ever received spam from IBM?). Spam is most of the times for fraudulent/make money quick products. If 1/10000 people fall for it these companies still make a profit and they don't care if they piss off the other 99.99% since they wouldn't be buying anyway.

Re:And yet... (4, Funny)

Maran (151221) | about 12 years ago | (#4024361)

"Ever received spam from IBM?"

Yes.

Ok, it was the internal newsletters when I worked for them, but I didn't want them...

Maran

Re:And yet... (1)

corian (34925) | about 12 years ago | (#4024338)

Maybe we should e-mail every company in the world and explain to them why they shouldn't spam...

Of course, your mail of explaination would be unsolicited as well.

Re:And yet... (4, Funny)

BoBaBrain (215786) | about 12 years ago | (#4024391)

I send you this [dictionary.com] in order to have your advice...

Re:And yet... (2)

hey! (33014) | about 12 years ago | (#4024346)

It's the companies we need to "educate" as to the evils of unsolicited e-mail.

Haven't you noticed that the stuff being hawked by UCE is either porn or fraudlent or both?

The companies that use spammers are bottom feeding off a tiny slice of naive users.

Years ago, I had a big fight with a marketing director who wanted to spam Usenet. Today it is much less likely to happen because spam is such a universal problem for users that everyone "gets it". The remaining people who spam are those who simply don't give a shit.

Re:And yet... (4, Funny)

Fat Casper (260409) | about 12 years ago | (#4024349)

I assume he's making enough money to cover his costs and then some, else he wouldn't continue.

Yes, but you understand that businesses have a fundamental right to high profits. If we don't buy the pills or videos these guys will band together with other content providers (RIAA/MPAA) and buy legislation forcing us to prop up their failing business models. I see a convergence with MS and Intel, where your upgrades of Windows will read your spam and send money from your credit card to the spammers if you don't buy enough penis pumps. I for one don't want to see this happen, which is why I buy at least one degree from a prestigious non- accredited university a week.

Mimes (1)

Snar Bloot (324250) | about 12 years ago | (#4024253)

When you choose a "profession" hated by most, if not despised, however "legal" it may be, you loose your right to bitch about it.

Re:Mimes (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 12 years ago | (#4024376)

Sorry, but that is the whole point of free speech, that your ideas may not be popular, but you have a right to say them.

I'm not arguing that spam is free speech, but your post is a very dangerous argument.

I feel so low (4, Funny)

CaptainZapp (182233) | about 12 years ago | (#4024255)

"These people will go to the lowest depths," said Cowles, of Bowling Green, Ohio.

You reaally oughta love this quote from a friggin' spammer of all people.

Re:I feel so low (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024313)

I guess you reap what you sow

Life must be seriously tough for him! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024317)

I mean, he's living on a Bowling Green! The poor man; the spam business just ain't what it was...

Re:I feel so low (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024364)

Well what did he expect?

People calling him and encouraging his spamming?
Girls hanging all over him?
Dogs not peeing on his leg?

sympathetic?? (1)

mtrupe (156137) | about 12 years ago | (#4024256)

I hope the sympathy of this article is sarcastic, but it doesn't really come across that way. I love the quote:

"These people will go to the lowest depths," said Cowles, of Bowling Green, Ohio. "I have some phone clips that would make you sick."

That's too funny, considering the subject lines of some of the spam I get....

no it's not (1, Funny)

68k geek (573999) | about 12 years ago | (#4024259)

"This is what the Internet is supposed to be," said Michael Jay, whose Houston-based company, America Find, sends several million messages per day advertising $99 background checks. no it's not. the Internet is for downloading pr0n and copyrighted mp3 songs.

ethics? (1)

spamchang (302052) | about 12 years ago | (#4024260)

I hate spam as much as the average person out there, but I really think getting personal and stalking spammers is unethical. Why, it's almost as annoying as...getting spammed.

There's something to be said about spamming as an extension of capitalism. Perhaps billboard ads can be considered visual spam; the same goes for television and radio. At the point where finite resources (i.e. my time, my bandwidth) is concerned however, capitalism has no rights there.

Maybe if all the stalkers at Spamhaus started petitioning the White House or Congress for action, something would happen.

Re:ethics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024304)

I hate spam as much as the average person out there, but I really think getting personal and stalking spammers is unethical. Why, it's almost as annoying as...getting spammed.

Yeah, payback's a bitch, ain't it? Sorry, there is nothing we can do to a spammer that would be too harsh. Chop them to bits and feed them to the trolls, I care not, just MAKE THEM STOP.

It's easy for them to get people to leave them alone: Swear off spam. Become a decent human being again. But if not, I think these people should be considered cattle that is free to be hunted down. Cut off their dicks and stick their keyboards up their asses. I advocate slow death by torture, one second for every spam they ever sent. Rape them the way they are raping the Internet.

Zero Tolerance to Spam. Not now, not ever. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Re:ethics? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 12 years ago | (#4024397)

Just a minor point. There are very real laws governing billboards. Both what can be shown on them and where they are located.

Billboards do not require me to pay for viewing them, downloading an email does.

And for them spam on radio and tv I get something back namely the program I am watching.

The spammers give nothing back and obey no law.

Spam is very nice, yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024264)

You have to read this post in a thick hungarian accent...

Yeeessss , spam is very nice...

FOR ME TO POOP ON!!!

Brought to you by: Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

spam (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 12 years ago | (#4024265)

does the article list THEIR email addresses? After all, they must need to refinance their enlarged genitlia, too!

The Origin (5, Informative)

Erik Fish (106896) | about 12 years ago | (#4024266)

This AP article has been making the rounds. It's rather shoddy journalism in that it takes the words of the spammers completely at face value. Seeing as how Rule #1 is "spammers lie" you can imagine how well this approach works. [google.com]

I got a great idea! (3, Funny)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about 12 years ago | (#4024273)

Well,
Lets put the spammers website addreses in a alshdot story.
The site gets slashdotted
The Router goes bust
The chips are fired
Repairing becomes a must
The Site gets slashdotted
Packets get a wannderlust
costs go high and high
and spamming becomes bust!

So no sweat guys its easy

What really needs to be done (5, Funny)

Helmholtz Coil (581131) | about 12 years ago | (#4024275)

is to not increase their costs but eliminate their profits.

What we should really do is start posting lists of the people who buy from spammers. Betcha you'd think twice about that penis enlarger then, wouldn't ya?

Ok. Where the hell *IS* the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024312)

Where is the list of "these companies sell products via spam"?

I've gotten spam for:
Discover
Pespi
Experian

All 3 of these companies felt my mail address was a valid 'opt-in' name.

How many of YOU would be willing to stop doing business with Pespi - makes of Mnt. Dew over spam?

Silver Lining? (1)

Observer (91365) | about 12 years ago | (#4024276)

According to the Spamhaus [spamhaus.org] Tier-1 Spam-tolerant providers [spamhaus.org] list, a certain Worldcom is top of the pops....

--
Sometimes, things have a way of working themselves out

Re:Silver Lining? (1)

Shillo (64681) | about 12 years ago | (#4024335)

Aaaaah, so /that/ explains the sudden decrease in spam I've experienced lately.

--

Beg fucking pardon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024278)

"This is what the Internet is supposed to be," said Michael Jay, whose Houston-based company, America Find, sends several million messages per day advertising $99 background checks. "This is free enterprise at its finest."

I'm pretty sure that when ARPA awarded the contract to BBN, there wasn't any sort of clause that said "Build a country wide network of computers so that people can use over half of the available bandwidth to make lots of money, pissing off as many people as possible in the process"

Maybe it did though, but the little shitstick that is Michael Jay is the only person to have ever seen it...

pot spamming the kettle black (2, Informative)

Frac (27516) | about 12 years ago | (#4024279)

"These people will go to the lowest depths," said Cowles, of Bowling Green, Ohio. "I have some phone clips that would make you sick."

Oh he's the one to talk... The amount of spam I get each day would make HIM sick. (Or maybe not)

Does anybody know how to filter html spam? (2)

4444444 (444444) | about 12 years ago | (#4024282)

I use eudora and the filters work pretty good but I don't know how to filter spam that is entirely html. Lateley I have been getting shitloads of spam that has no text in the body it's all html

heres a link [lenny.com] to my spam fighting page

Re:Does anybody know how to filter html spam? (1)

phaxkolumbo (572192) | about 12 years ago | (#4024408)

Yes, try Spamassassin [spamassassin.org] for that.

After installing that, i've had maybe 3 spam mails come through, out of, i don't know, trillion maybe?

Martian Open Letter (-1, Offtopic)

hackus (159037) | about 12 years ago | (#4024283)

Dear Earth,

We respectfully request you send some TShirts, size XL that say "Mars or Bust".

Also, send more of those little remote controlled Martian lander thingys because the children love them as Xmas gifts.

Thank You,

Martians

There ought to be a law... (3, Interesting)

Zathrus (232140) | about 12 years ago | (#4024284)

On one matter, however, spammers and their nemeses agree: the United States needs a federal spam law

The article claims this... and yet we see big spam houses fighting anti-spam laws left and right everytime they're proposed in the legislature for a state. And I seriously doubt they comply with the current anti-spam laws in the few states that have them -- since all they have is an email address and no state of residence information.

Frankly, I'm for a reasonable anti-spam law (one similar to the junk fax law, which has worked well). Obviously it's not as clear cut as junk faxes -- with them you can find out who sent you the junk. Spammers routinely obfusacate their information as mentioned in the article. I'm tired of the amount of spam I get, and unless you run your own mail server (something not viable for the vast majority of the Internet populace, and not even viable for the majority of the geeks) there's no way to block it.

Not that blocking really helps -- the bandwidth has already been consumed. The only thing blocking does is automagically delete it for you. I'd like the bandwidth back personally.

Still here (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | about 12 years ago | (#4024290)

I'm still here.

Thanks.

Must.....Stop....Fist..of.......Death.... (5, Insightful)

Zapman (2662) | about 12 years ago | (#4024295)

{pause to let my boiling blood cool down}

Lets see:
1) you send mail people don't want.
2) they have to pay for it
3) it's legally questionable
4) (if you send porn) objectionable stuff will end up in front of children
5) And you're confused when we get pissed off.

DUH!

{goes rummaging for his clue-by-four and for the sourcecode for spamassasin... I need to tune my procmail filters anyway.}

Re:Must.....Stop....Fist..of.......Death.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024333)

(if you send porn) objectionable stuff will end up in front of children

Parents who let their kids who're not old enough to handle porn to receive and send mail without parental screening should be jailed.

Take down their mail servers!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024297)

I know it's childish, but would taking down the mail servers of these two companies serve a greater good than even taking down the RIAA web servers (which I don't condone)?

Re:Take down their mail servers!!! (2)

blowdart (31458) | about 12 years ago | (#4024368)

It would do nothing. Spam software these days don't use the spam companies mail server, but instead uses open SMTP relays, or uses open proxies and then connects out. That's why open relay and open proxy blacklists are so damned useful.

Excellent news! (5, Insightful)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | about 12 years ago | (#4024299)

Five years ago, Balan says, he would send 30 million messages in a day. Most would get through. He earned up to $10,000 in commissions for a good day's work. Now, even though Balan keeps a database with 240 million e-mail addresses, only a fifth or fewer get through the filters. An average mailing earns him a paltry $250.
I found this very encouraging. If we keep making life hell for them, we will not only stop recruitment, but also drive them out of business. Are we already making sure to poison their databases with non-existent but probable email addresses, btw?

Re:Excellent news! (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 12 years ago | (#4024363)

Every time Slashdot posts a NY Times story, spammer databases get hundreds of new bogus addresses.

I'd say we are doing our part.

Re:Excellent news! (2)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | about 12 years ago | (#4024401)

Someone else a few days / weeks ago came up with a good idea. We poison their database with the "root@127.0.0.1" mailing address. Let them pass it around all they want.

WHAT!!!!! (2, Insightful)

Jezzerr (414452) | about 12 years ago | (#4024300)

Quote: "These people will go to the lowest depths," said Cowles, of Bowling Green, Ohio.

Try telling that to a mother whos 5 year old son has just opened a "Chicks with d**ks" spam e-mail and followed the friggin link!!!!

These people make me sick!

Re:WHAT!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024377)

Try telling that to a mother whos 5 year old son has just opened a "Chicks with d**ks" spam e-mail and followed the friggin link!!!!

You still have the link??

Please post it here! Please!

Quick and Simple (2, Informative)

Jobe_br (27348) | about 12 years ago | (#4024302)

Folks, if you haven't discovered SpamAssassin [spamassassin.org] yet, do yourself a HUGE favor and at least look into it. If you're not running a Linux box and are relegated to Windows, talk to your ISP about it. If you're running Mac OS X, I believe you should have no problem getting SpamAssassin to filter your mail, if you route it through a local MTA.

It took me about 30 minutes to get SpamAssassin integrated properly with qmail, vpopmail, sqwebmail and I've been happy ever since. I get maybe one spam a week now that isn't caught by the assassin and about 35-40 a day get routed into my Trash automagically.

SpamAssassin has a huge set of heuristics it uses to detect spam as well as some auxiliary tools that it can use to check global databases for common SPAM - if someone else has gotten it and is providing SPAM information to these databases, it saves everyone else from having to check it, basically.

Bottom line: check out SpamAssassin - its by far the best tool I've found in blocking spam, far better than simply blocking yahoo.com and hotmail.com addresses! Take some time, check it out - you'll be quite happy you did, I assure you! Its configurability is pretty much unmatched out there as well.

Re:Quick and Simple (2)

thogard (43403) | about 12 years ago | (#4024399)

don't run the spamassassin in local delivery mode. It will mark a message as spam but it forgets to put the newlineFrom between messages so it merges messages together. oppps major bug for a mail program.

And how is it... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 12 years ago | (#4024308)

that ARTICLES never get Slashdotted, but the other links do?

Economics (1)

willpost (449227) | about 12 years ago | (#4024310)

"When its uneconomical to send spam, people will stop sending it." Not true. People will continue to spam even if they only see the illusion of promising returns. Even if the average spam investor's not a compulsive gambler, there's always a fool born every minute.

Re:Economics (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | about 12 years ago | (#4024394)

I social change though, a "word on the street" that buying into the spam business is a sucker's game, will greatly reduce the amount of spam. It won't eliminate it, but it will greatly reduce it.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024403)

Apart from scams, the spammers need customers who produce the products that are being pushed.

They can't afford to stay in business if they don't actually manage to sell something.

whine whine (3)

shd99004 (317968) | about 12 years ago | (#4024324)

"My operating costs have gone up 1,000 percent this year, just so I can figure out how to get around all these filters."

Yes I feel so bad for him. Um, hello. Apparently he doesn't know what he's doing to other people. And, apparently he never receives any spam himself. I don't think he understands. If so many people are so unhappy about spam and block him and others, causing his marketing cost to rise, doesn't that give him a clue? Spammers have used others bandwidth for their own purpose long enough; let them pay a little themselves.

Re:whine whine (1)

evilempireinc (592230) | about 12 years ago | (#4024358)

Mayby he is the one person who likes to get spam. Thanks to spam I've gotten out of debt, lost weight, and made a ton of money with this guy from nigeria! I suppose thats just as probable as somebody not getting any spam

Check please! (2)

Your_Mom (94238) | about 12 years ago | (#4024325)

"This is what the Internet is supposed to be," said Michael Jay

Check please! When can I get on Internet2?

Anti-spam law will not achieve much (1)

dhanav (313625) | about 12 years ago | (#4024327)

Any law against spamming can always be used against free speach. So it is actually like being between a rock and a hard place. And laws can do little to stop the hardcore spammers anyway. We have so many laws against crime, and the last I heard crime was only increasing.
We must make it untenable to be spammers. The spammers must be made to look like shit in the society. Social outrage against spamming is the only way. If people refuse to deal with spammers on any of their personal business then the spammers might think twice.

Part I? (1)

Ryosen (234440) | about 12 years ago | (#4024334)

Does anyone know where to find the first part (and part III if it has been printed)? The Salt Lake City Tribune charges [tribaccess.com] for access to their archives.

With tools such as Sam Spade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4024337)

...my cost of fighting spam has gone down by 1000% - from 0 to, surprise, 0.

The largest amount of spam I get is actually to my university e-mail account - aggravatingly, they don't permit you to fake your e-mail address on their news server. Fools!

Spammers fight back (5, Interesting)

MeNeXT (200840) | about 12 years ago | (#4024339)

It's funny that this came up today but I guess it's starting to hurt spammers and they are starting to fight back.

Yesterday I received a funny email that one of my clients was spamming. This email seemed to come from spamcop.net. What was starnge it was close to but not exeactly the warning typically sent by spamcop. So I sent them an email and here is the reply:

Spamcop spam is forged

Starting appoximately 12 noon EST 06 Aug 2002, spam purporting to be from spamcop (abuse@julianhaight.com) began being sent in an attempt to 'get spamcop in trouble'. This is a standard spammer tactic (joe job).

These messages were not sent by spamcop, and the claims made in them are false. Please disregard the email and/or block the originating IP address - 206.161.21.66 (cais.net). This IP has been blocked by SpamCop's blacklist since June. It appears cais.net is not responsive to complaints - their phone number (877-427-3368) leads to a computerized system with no attendant. It *may* be safe to block all of cais netspace: 206.161/16.

Please do not block mail from julianhaight.com or spamcop.net. If you cannot block by IP address, it is safe to block the origin email addresses, ( 'abuse@julianhaight.com', 'webmaster@julianhaight.com', 'webmaster@spamcop.net', 'abuse@spamcop.net') as no legitimate mail should be sent from these.

If you would like to contact someone at spamcop about this, you can send email to deputies@admin.spamcop.net. But please refrain from doing so. We are aware of the problem, and we are doing what we can to limit the damage. Unfortunately, since we're not responsible for sending it, there is little we can do to stop it.

More information on this career spammer is available from spamhaus.org

- SpamCop mgmt.

As you can see at least one spammer seems to be fighting back. You can also fing this on the web at http://www.julianhaight.com/forgery.shtml (I did not link directly to the site for obvious reasons. Maybe I should not even put this up?)

Mabey we should teach them a lesson and start refusing any connection from those IPs....

SPAM that works! (2)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | about 12 years ago | (#4024342)

In a previous position, I worked at an online travel agency. We sent out newsletters to the people who opted in. Whenever we sent out a newsletter, we could read the results in the web traffic report. People got in, and they sometimes ordered.

I should probably specifically mention that we did it right - the writing was at a level where it was actually nice to read. Oh - I think we also had a quick link at the bottom of the page to opt out of the newsletter.

We didn't receive any complaints, either!

Re:SPAM that works! (2)

Fat Casper (260409) | about 12 years ago | (#4024381)

In a previous position, I worked at an online travel agency. We sent out newsletters to the people who opted in.

Um, if they opted in and you make it easy to opt out, it's not spam.

A bunch of dictators (1, Interesting)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | about 12 years ago | (#4024344)

So because a couple of ppl want to achieve some stupid getrichquick goal the rest of the world has to suffer, sounds like a dictatorship almost. Other than world wars and epidemics has there been an event where so many ppl have been effected because of so few ppl?

It also seems that the way the spammers are making money is by selling a few cds with millions of email addresses which multiplies the problem.

lack of regulation (1)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | about 12 years ago | (#4024357)

I think the government and many corporations are partly to blame for this.

1) The government because it's too incompetent and slow to move.

I have personal experience dealing with my local police. I called them once regarding a case of internet identity theft. Their response to me? Something like "we don't have any way to get at these cases, so why don't you just change your e-mail and other online identities?" How INCOMPETENT is that!

2) Some corporations because they want to reserve the right to market to internet users.

Companies are reluctant for any type of anti-spam regulation, even if most of them don't spam. Why? Because any regulation threatens to restrict them from mass emailing current/potential customer base.

Ah, but to rub their noses in it.. (5, Funny)

realgone (147744) | about 12 years ago | (#4024367)

one spammer whines, "My operating costs have gone up 1,000 percent this year."

Dear interested spammer:

MEDICALLY PROVEN,
OUR PROGRAM WILL ENLARGE YOUR BUDGET,
NATURALLY........

You WILL Gain up to 1000% greater operating costs!
You WILL Get a larger budget!
You WILL Give your accountant MORE pleasure!
You WILL Stay IN DEBT, LONGER!

Most spammers see results within the 1st Month !!! Don't wait! CLICK HERE NOW!!! [spamhaus.org]

Answer the spam.. (3, Funny)

dmouritsendk (321667) | about 12 years ago | (#4024373)

I love to answer spam with really really lame messages, do your best to freak them out(if possible, try and fool them into thinking that you are a complete maniac).

Im not sure how effective it is to spam back at the spammers(most use anon email accounts), but it sure is fun. I actually got a couple of replys. One guy had spamed me with a mail trying to sell some sort penis enlargement pill.

I replied that i was hung like a horse, and it actually was a problem. Then explaining what a huuge problem it was for me, since i could only sleep with girls who have given birth to 3-4 kids. In the end i asked for a pill to make my penis SMALLER. Heres the fun stuff, he freaking replied on the mail. Telling me that he HAD a pill that made penis smaller, and how i could buy it.

I replied with a "christ, you're a idiot" and never heard from him again =D

I've also used this tatics before with a very "aggresive" danish religious movement(withnesses of jehova), who spends most of their time going from door to door trying to make people join them.

I told them i thought that Mary was artificially inseminated by aliens, and therefore our religon was something created by a higher race to make us calmer. It freaked the fuck out of them, and im pretty sure that they will NEVER knock on my door again.

Example: A email enters my

If it pays that much (2, Insightful)

da_Den_man (466270) | about 12 years ago | (#4024378)

Where do I sign up? Quoting from the article:

Tom Cowles, who heads one of the world's largest bulk e-mail, or spam, businesses, ought to be a happy guy. By his account, his company makes $12 million a year e-mailing billions of advertisements, mainly to folks who don't want them. It's an easy job, the way Cowles and others describe it:

12 Million? I am in the wrong business. Amazing that there are actually that many stupid people in the world that these guys can make a living off of sending out crap....well, wait a minute....we have politicians who do the same....

I think a law needs to be established that if a person DOES NOT want to receive this garbage, they should not receive it. All these "so-called" businesses should HAVE to be registered and LEGITAMIZED to where there CAN be legal recourse. I know for a fact that I bounce hundreds of "Bad Spam Email" from my server, and that and the residue left from Nimda taxes what limited bandwidth I have.

(Insert Schoolhouse rock theme here) "You are right, there oughta be a LAW!"

WHAT?! (1)

netphilter (549954) | about 12 years ago | (#4024380)

Not to be devil's advocate here, but people need to get a life. I hate spam as much as the next guy, but STALKING these guys? Threatening them? Spam sucks, but so does being an idiot. What if I stalked all the people who posted annoying crap on /. or what if we started stalking everyone who asked a stupid question on IRC? I find stupid people just as irritating (if not more) than spam, so why shouldn't I be able to threaten, stalk, and harrass them? Flaming people online is one thing, but stalking them is totally different. And stalking their family members is despicable. If I was Tom Cowles, and you stalked my wife, you would be dead...no questions asked. And you would deserve it.

This article is just part of a series (3, Informative)

WebMasterJoe (253077) | about 12 years ago | (#4024385)

A few carefully crafted google searches revealed the other two articles in the series (although the Arizona Star seems to think it's a four-part series- I guess we'll find out tomorrow):

Part 1: It's a war, and spam foes are losing [azstarnet.com]

Part 3: Anti-spam tools more aggressive but frustrated by e-mail's 'dumb' nature [chron.com]

"Tolerant" ISPs (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | about 12 years ago | (#4024386)

"Cowles, who said his company rents 96 separate Internet accounts, said he schedules new connections with "tolerant" ISPs who only feign vigilance against spam."

*cough*hotmail*cough*

I would really like to cut this guys balls off.. (-1)

bryans (555149) | about 12 years ago | (#4024404)

from my point of view, spamming is intrusive,.. its an ineffective form of marketing, and gives me a bad impression about the business that is selling the goods/service.
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