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Spammers Using Students as Relays

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the i've-seen-this-before dept.

Spam 518

Zendar writes "idg has an article about how students at the 151-year-old Tufts University were paid as little as $20/month to relay spam from computers in their dorms. Interestingly enough, the students approached the spammers about this scheme and not vice-versa."

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6th post (-1, Offtopic)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379177)

6 is better than 1, i say

Re:6th post (0)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379275)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO - I got first post instead of sixth, how could this happen... I planned it oh-so-carefully and it's all gone to shit!

Anyhow, let's get back on topic - are students really that stupid? I mean, c'mon, 20 bucks?

I guess geeks can't strip for money (well, I wouldn't have been able to, with my body) so they whore themselves out for less money.

Personally, I'd rather strip than act as a spam relay. Hell, I would rather be a gigalo (sp?). Overall, I'd feel less dirty...

I would guess that these students didn't really know what they were doing. If they did, they'd probably ask for more money. Or maybe I have to much faith in young people...

Incidently, I just love the diagram at the bottom of the article, though it is a bit inaccurate. They forgot the part where the student hands his soul over though - guess it's hard to draw the intangible. And why doesn't the spammer have horns and a pitch fork?

If this isn't the first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379179)

I will go to my local zoo and blow a chimpanzee.

Links to pictures will be posted.

Start Blowing Pervert (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379230)

Don't forget the photos butt bandit!!!

Re:Start Blowing Pervert (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379374)

That's going to be a pay site, sunshine!

Hmm (0, Troll)

shotgunefx (239460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379181)

Daddy's money not enough?

fr157 p507!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379182)

w00t! How many lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Frosty! (-1, Offtopic)

Jethro On Deathrow (641338) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379185)

And it is all mine.

Thanks to Bone-O-Rama for this one!

students.. (1, Funny)

kangoonisch (652038) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379187)

they will be the guys who will control the world later and they spam us already great futur ^^

Little bastards.. (0, Funny)

sudog (101964) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379189)

Youth these days! You give them an inch, they spam all over you.

Re:Little bastards.. (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379326)

Back in our day, we used to walk 15 miles in the snow to deliver our spam... ah, screw these lame jokes.

Dangerous (5, Funny)

snitty (308387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379190)

It seems that being medical test subjects would be less likely to get them killed.

What's next? (4, Funny)

Honorbound (521347) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379308)

Will they be setting up servers to share pirated music and video or something??? Oh, wait...

ik doe kaka in mijn broek (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379192)

*prot*

Re:ik doe kaka in mijn broek (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379228)

uwe papa laat stinkende scheten

Unrest is born. . . (1)

PerlPunk (548551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379196)

Anything can be turned into a buck.

Crappy Student Jobs (5, Funny)

ifreakshow (613584) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379200)

What happened to the good old days when college students sold blood, sperm or surfed the web to earn beer money!

Re:Crappy Student Jobs (4, Insightful)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379242)

Or got jobs as telemarketers (hell, most universities even run extensive official telemarketing systems to harass alumni for donations). If you're willing to telemarket, I don't see why you wouldn't be willing to spam. Sure its less money, but its also less work.

Re:Crappy Student Jobs (3, Funny)

skwirl42 (262355) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379295)

And I thought my job working for Vector Marketing, selling Cutco knives was unethical (network marketing... ugh)

CmdrTaco abuses little Mexican Boys (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379201)

Rob that is really disgusting behavior

*BSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379203)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: *BSD is dying
One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

I can think of better uses for them (5, Funny)

petronivs (633683) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379206)

I thought college students made all the coin they could ever need with those webcams.

Re:I can think of better uses for them (4, Funny)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379319)

I heard they got some VC money a couple years back, but for some reason their website [dorkymalecamwhores.com] never took off.

Hey, they have bandwidth... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379207)

And time to waste... and fewer inhibitions (amazing how college does that!)... so it's pretty easy to understand and believe. Oh well, most schools would yank your access for the rest of your time there. Not really worth $20/mo to me.

20 Bucks? (2, Funny)

MisterMook (634297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379208)

Man, I can imagine doing something like this in a dorm but for only 20 bucks? You'd think that it would at least be worth TWO large pizzas a month...

Re:20 Bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379240)

Where are you buying pizza? Even not in the dorms, I can get 2 large pizzas for $20. When I was in the dorm, I could get a large 1 topping for $7.

Re:20 Bucks? (4, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379277)

It's cheap, yes, but $20 is about 20 boxes of Mac & Cheese. For some students, this could probably feed them for 3/4 of the month.

Realistically though, profit depends on volume. Some few people probably masterminded the idea, and are taking part-profits somehow. If they skimmed $5 from 20 students with relays - that's $100/month. Still not a lot, but cheap for no work.

Where the heck do you live... (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379350)

If you buy the Stop & Shop variety, that's closer to 80 boxes of Mac and Cheese!

Re:20 Bucks? (1)

PhilipMatarese (609325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379371)

Yeah, 80 boxes of Mac&Cheese or about 4 Gumby Dammits.

Re:20 Bucks? (4, Funny)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379388)

You must have failed College Math 101. Dollar amounts are to be clearly be represented in Ramen noodle packets. Therefore, $20 = 160 packets = 160/3 meals per day = 1.8 months of good eatin'.

blea (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379210)

Blea on this 20 second wait just to make a comment. It would have been better if I didn;t loose my comment in the first place and had to write this bull out. Soi [Insert your own comment here].

$20/mo? (0, Troll)

sfled (231432) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379211)



Damn, they're cheap little wh0r3s aren't they?

Tracked using MAC address (5, Interesting)

monkey_tennis (649997) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379215)

Interesting that they tracked the individuals down using MAC addresses for computers in their dorms...

I've never heard of any other Uni having the foresight to record this and it seems like a valid piece of info to have to include in any registration document (as per cable modem setup)

Re:Tracked using MAC address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379266)

It's quite easy to fake if you know what you're doing, though. My college could trace each connection back to the router, and knew where each port was.

Re:Tracked using MAC address (2, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379284)

No, they probably don't keep track of the MAC's students are using, but it is relatively trivial to ask a managed hub or switch which MAC's are one which port, ergo, which room the offender occupies.

Re:Tracked using MAC address (5, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379391)

at BGSU they started doing registration for the DHCP server via MAC in 1999 or 2000. When you started up after connecting your computer to the ethernet jack you would get a registration page. You would enter your student ID and your email login/passwd. Your MAC was recorded and a hostname that included your email id was given along w/a static IP. If you logged on from another other port on campus it would show as a "roam" address but it still knew you were authenticated so it still knew your MAC.

If you wanted to register another computer you would either have to use someone else's student ID + login/passwd or call up the people for help.

A side note, they were less than familiar about doing it w/alternative OSs that did not automatically bring up the registration page. You either had to use Windows to do it or have them do it manually. I used Windows ;)

Re:Tracked using MAC address (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379398)

Harvard requires you to register your MAC address.

Re:Tracked using MAC address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379288)

I work in the IT dept of a small California State University school, and we require eveyone who gets on the network to register their MAC addy for their modem and computer.

Helps track down those 1337 kiddies who try to DOS the school's website...

Re:Tracked using MAC address (2, Interesting)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379303)

My university (U of Guelph) attempts to record the MAC adress, but their registration program that you must use when you first log on is buggy as hell and often easier to circumvent then to actually use. So I'm not sure how many MAC adresses they actually record.

Re:Tracked using MAC address (5, Informative)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379311)

Interesting that they tracked the individuals down using MAC addresses for computers in their dorms...

I've never heard of any other Uni having the foresight to record this and it seems like a valid piece of info to have to include in any registration document (as per cable modem setup)

You don't even need to copy it down at sign-up time ... just take it out of the DHCP server logs, or the ARP tables on the building router, then look for the MAC address on a switch port in the hall switch. Provided you know your wiring -- and know what switch port goes to what dorm room -- you just narrowed your problem down to the spammer and his roommate.

(Why yes, I did used to be a sysadmin at a college with a bandwidth hogs problem.)

Spoofing MAC addresses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379378)

He could have been smart enough to spoof his address.

The sysadmin could track down the traffic to his port on the router in the building, but would have to do some digging to prove he was the guilty party.

Re:Tracked using MAC address (3, Informative)

JackAsh (80274) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379387)

Actually, I was a student at Tufts at the time they implemented the student network. At the time, ACS (Acedemic Computing Services) did require students to register MAC addresses, and I think I recall them assigning static IPs via DHCP or BOOTP (This was back in 95, DHCP was not very popular yet). You could let the network take care of everything for you, or you could enter it manually if you knew what you were doing...

I really don't remember if they used managed hubs/switches, but I recall it was a fairly trivial exercise to figure out where people were in a dorm by counting the IPs assigned (they had some pattern).

-Jack Ash
(Miguel if anyone else from Tufts is reading)

Re:Tracked using MAC address (1)

mike3411 (558976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379407)

Here [cmu.edu] MAC addresses must be entered as part of registering a computer for access to the network - each registration consists of a user's login/pass, their location on the network, the computer's name, and the MAC address. Makes things fairly straightforward when they need to track something down, or assign blame or whatnot.

plight (4, Interesting)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379218)

An interesting look at one of the things students will lower themselves to do to pay for their $80 calculus book.

Re:plight (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379335)

$80? What school are you at? My textbooks start at $100, unless its a course that requires more then one textbook when they're usually a little cheaper, but still gouging.

There is one conclusion to be drawn from this. (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379221)

These students don't get spam themselves. Or they have hearts made of stone. My guess is still that these people don't even use email, apart from the spam-sending bit.

Re:There is one conclusion to be drawn from this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379318)

These students don't get spam themselves. Or they have hearts made of stone.

Or maybe they just understand the concept of the "delete" button. People who whine about spam continually amaze me. Don't get so stressed out! Just delete it, and it goes away forever. Takes about ten seconds. No problem.

Restricting SMTP (5, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379234)

Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing that makes sysadmins block all outbound SMTP from anything that isn't registered as a mail server, or at a minimum redirect all such access to their mail server.

Gripe about it all you want, but had the uni been forcing all outbound SMTP traffic through their mail server, they would have seen this a great deal sooner.

As for a fitting punishment - if these students live in the dorm, they probably eat at the dorm cafeteria. Tell the cafeteria to only server them SPAM.

Re:Restricting SMTP (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379280)

Man, I hope my ISP doesn't do that. We run our own mailserver because theirs is limited to a single account (extra accounts are $$$ a month and two of us use the connection). Worse, their mailserver goes down ALL the time, which makes it extremely annoying to say on mailing lists as most lists will autokick you if your mail bounces. Plus they have no spam blocking like we do on our mail server. If only they wern't a local monopoly...

Re:Restricting SMTP (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379355)

Note the use of the word "outbound". They'll yet you receive as much spam as you want, they just won't let you send it...

Shocking, I say. (3, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379235)

Look, in college I sold my fucking *blood* for a few dollars. Why should it be surprising that students would sell bandwidth?

IMO, colleges should get out of the general IT business all together and contract these services out. They already contract out other things, like food service, landscaping, maintainance, etc. Some departments (CS, etc) obviously may need their own networks, but otherwise it's just a hugely wasteful money pit. Hell, at my university, they spent so much money on useless IT projects that it just boggled the mind -- a lot of the trouble was that they employed fresh grads who would pick up a couple years' experience then skate, so there wasn't enough adult supervision...

Anyhow, back on track: Colleges should concentrate on education and offload these other problems to professionals.

Re:Shocking, I say. (5, Informative)

sirinek (41507) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379291)

Settle down, bud.

Colleges do a lot of experimental things because of the large variety of departments with their unique needs. I do not think they should contract out anything, contractors are expensive. Talk about a money pit!

I personally think a university's money would be better spent with a dedicated staff that knows what a university needs and use student labor when they can. It works well. If your university IT department was run poorly, well, that could (and does) happen in any kind of environment, not just acadamia and wont get fixed by hiring contractors.

siri

Re:Shocking, I say. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379345)

Don't confuse contracting out services with "hiring contractors".

A single company serving several colleges would be able to save money in several key areas -- consolidation of web and email servers, support staff, etc. It might not work well for large schools, but for the smaller 10,000-ish state school it could be extremely practical.

Re:Shocking, I say. (5, Insightful)

PlanetJIM (212710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379396)

Look, in college I sold my fucking *blood* for a few dollars. Why should it be surprising that students would sell bandwidth?

The difference, of course, is that you actually owned your blood in college. These students are selling something that they're permitted to use in the hopes that it will make them better and more successful students. It's a vulgar abuse of access, and don't gimme that "I pay X*10^y dollars a year to go to school here" crap. If those kids had to pay for the actual bandwidth they consume they'd be paying a fair chunk of that without all those education value-adds.

What I don't understand is why colleges don't make use policies part of housing contracts (most consider and bill bandwidth as a utility like electricity). Do something stupid or commit some vulgar abuse like this and you're out fending for yourself off-campus. Pay your own damn cable bill...

When I was in college... (2, Insightful)

billmaly (212308) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379236)

$20 a month was serious money. That's one week of clean laundry and GOOD pizza on Sunday night (and not the cheap stuff). Back then, $20 a month would have bought a lot of personal ethics. Can't say as I blame them.

Interestingly enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379239)

College kids are broke, spammers are fucking rich. That's the sensible way it would've come about, not vice versa.

Computer Nerds Gone Wild (4, Funny)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379247)

This is like the computer nerd equivilent to "College Girls Gone Wild". Anything for a buck.

Except instead of making me want to spank myself, I want to spank them.

Can we say expulsion? (3, Insightful)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379248)

Let see, a kid sets up a computer to steal on the college network. If the student hacked in the the dean's computer to get porn, it would be all over the news, the kid would be arrested.


The kid should be charged the same as the person who put the distributed decryption software, that was all over the news, and expelled.

Re:Can we say expulsion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379341)

Let see, a kid sets up a computer to steal on the college network.

Bzzt. Man, you blew it on the very first sentence. Nobody was stealing. Spam is not theft. It's a nuisance, in the same class as playing your stereo too loudly. Do kids get expelled for playing their stereos too loudly? No.

You just need to put down the crack pipe and get a good, firm grip on reality. Then you'll be able to stop talking about spam in terms of theft.

SPAM IS THEFT! (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379403)

You are using other people's resources to force them to listen to your message without paying for those resources.


This is the same as if I call you, say that I am your mother and that I have fallen and can't get up, but I really don't know you and that want to sell you my wireless service.


What part of SPAMMING IS THEFT don't you understand?

They got bought cheap! (4, Interesting)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379251)

It sure doesn't take much to compromise a person's self-respect or integrity. $20/month in exchange for contributing to a problem that everyone hates, and knowing full well that everyone hates it? They sold out cheap.

It's sort of like the trend for journalist majors to wind up in PR jobs for corporations doing nasty things. The lure of extra money covers over any hesitation they might have in moving from a supposedly neutral position to one that shills for money.

But $20/month? Man, that's some cheap principles. How about we pay them $21/month to turn against the spammers?
---------

Re:They got bought cheap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379368)

It sure doesn't take much to compromise a person's self-respect or integrity. $20/month in exchange for contributing to a problem that everyone hates, and knowing full well that everyone hates it?

Hate to break it to you, pal[*], but of all the people in the world who use email, hardly any of them hate spam. Only Slashdot nerds hate spam, they're the same guys who hate Microsoft "because they're evil" and who think Cartoon Network would be a lot better if they played Japanese cartoons all day and all night.

The rest of us, the normal ones if you will, just click "delete". Poof. Problem solved.

[*]by which I mean "dickhead".

That's it! (1)

terradyn (242947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379253)

I've just lost all the respect I had for Tufts University.

Granted that's not saying much.

Money for using the computer (4, Interesting)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379258)

has always been a popular fad. Remember those programs you could install and you would get a 10th of a penny for every website you clicked and it had a banner-system (I believe)? Everyone thought they would make hundreds of dollars a month with that. I wish I could remember the name. People love getting money for doing their normal tasks, i.e. using the computer. If relaying spam could be done with little or no active participation by a computer user, who [average computer user] wouldn't turn down 20 bucks?

Re:Money for using the computer (1)

Luceo (552234) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379338)

AllAdvantage. Ah, how I miss that little program. That plus FakeSurfer with about 10 friends signed up under me amounted to about a fifty dollar check one month, which was a lot of b33r. Those were the days! No wonder that company tanked.

Only 20$ a month? (1)

djeez (472062) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379260)

That's a cheap price to sell your soul!

What does it matter... (4, Interesting)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379262)

What does it matter that Tufts is 151 years old? Would this be different if it were 310-year-old College of William and Mary in Virginia or 210-year-old Williams College in Williamstown, MA?

--Mike

Re:What does it matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379321)

No, but it would be different if it were the 1 year old University of Ave Maria in Florida.

Re:What does it matter... (0, Redundant)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379324)

I was thinking the same thing.

Computer Terrorists (1)

Hackura (603389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379272)

Now THESE ppl are the real computer terrorists, or perhaps traitors would be a better description. They better hope that the govt doesnt pull a kevin Mitnick on that ass! I actually hope they do prosecute these little maggots.

Oh, me, me, pick me! (4, Funny)

lastberserker (465707) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379273)

Dear Mr. Spammer, I wouldn't mind to relay your
spam at all! In fact, I would do it with a full
satisfaction of doing a valuable service to the
community! Please, pretty please, pick (and pay)
me to be your relay!

WBR / lastberserker

.
.
.

[...of course I won't detail on _where_ I would
relay your spam, but what's the matter - noone
would miss it anyways...]

Students selling information (5, Interesting)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379279)

I have been getting spam addressed to [my_unix_username]@[my_machinename].cs.man.ac.uk
My machine passes the mail to me but I have no idea how the people got this address.
The only way I can think of is if someone used finger @ on the machines in the department and then stuck the username with the machinename.
As far as I am aware the finger@ is blocked to people outside the department so I am starting to suspect that some students are behind this.
Especially as the spam is for local companies.

Re:Students selling information (2, Interesting)

pibakic (525163) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379347)

Same happened to me, my .cs.man.ac.uk started receiving spam during last semester. Struck me as very strange because my uni address doesn't get used anywhere (well, nowhere that I don't trust).

The irony of receiving "Get your diploma now..." spam on my university mail account...

Re:Students selling information (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379390)

Oh man, I'm with you. 3 years ago, I had a [username]@ma.man.ac.uk, account, and recently I got it back. Jesus, we get a lot of spam. So much so, in fact, that the sysadmin has just installed Spam Assassin, which (I'm told) is doing a pretty good job...

The university's MIS folks (1)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379281)

Should just kill those kid's connections, or charge them $50 a month for the "privelage" of being a spammer--then this whole problem goes away. Mind you, the network and its resources are the University's, and not the student's.

has to be done...Monty quote... (0)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379285)

Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam...

Waitress: ...spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam...

Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!

Waitress: ...or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.

Congratulations! (1)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379389)

After all this time, you have finally figured out why unsolicited bulk email is called spam.

Also, wouldn't it be funny if someone named a scripting language after Monty Python? That would look so good on your resumé...proficient in Monty.

Breath in....breath out...breath in....breath out.....Get the idea? You take over from there.

The Evil FTP & P2P (1)

BlkPanther (515751) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379293)

"- they were not contacted by the company directly," says Tolman, who adds that the software likely was downloaded via FTP or some other file-sharing protocol.

Damn! The FTP & P2P protocols strike again! Without FTP OR P2P, nobody could download this evil software! BAN FTP!! BAN P2P!! Nobody will download bad software again!

...right...

The new hazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379296)

*Receives SPAM*
"Thank you sir! May I have another?"
*Receives SPAM*
"Thank you sir! May I have another?"
*Receives SPAM*
"Thank you sir! May I have another?"...

"Educating?" (1)

jbrayton (589141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379297)

I love this line:

Tufts leans toward educating first-time offenders about the downsides of their behavior, saving harsh punishment for repeat delinquents, she says.

If the students sought the business of the spammers, they are probably quite well "educated" on what they were doing how wrong it was. I am shocked that they were not thrown out of the dorms entirely!

Seems like Tufts is looking the other way to me!

You know it.. (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379304)


!!! MAKE MONEY FAST !!!

Earn as much as $20.00 a month sending out unsolicited email!

Re:You know it.. (1)

Fammy2000 (612663) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379375)

I think I saw this very same ad last time I was donating plasma...

Can you blame them? (1)

sublime99 (653101) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379310)

I am a college student myself so I know about the money situations that arise from having lack of funds. For 20 bucks a month to send some spam mail, even if it is wrong, doesn't sound like a bad idea to some people. If I didn't have an alright part time job I probably would of thought about it if someone offered.

Cut them off (1)

dzelenka (630044) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379313)

1. Install an IDE and identify the culprits
2. After one warning, pull their plug
3....
4. Am I a prophet?

(For the benefit of the typical /. reader, when I say "pull their plug" I'm not talking about some sexual act. I mean disconnect them from the network.)

...but they could be making $50/hour (3, Funny)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379316)

...if they put a video cam in their dorm room. They sold out cheap!

"image problem" (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379322)

<i>The practice isn't so much a bandwidth hog as it is an image problem for universities, she says.</i>

<p>The "image problem" will be when their domain/ip range became listed in the main RBLs.

<p>Will be fun if is discovered who are the students that did that, then the "Revenge of the Nerds" movie will have a new version.

What? (1)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379323)

... how students at the 151-year-old Tufts University were paid as little as $20/month to relay spam from computers in their dorms.

Until I read the article I was under the impression it was an article complaining that the students were not getting a fair enough price for spamming ;^)

Thank Heavens for Diagrams! (5, Funny)

greenhide (597777) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379325)

I didn't understand the article at all. Then I saw the helpful graphic at the bottom of the article. It clearly showed just how the process worked! Without that picture, I would have been in the dark.

Follow the money? (4, Interesting)

mjh (57755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379327)

The article mentions that they can't track the original spammers, that all the further that they can get is to the students computers. If they really want to track the spammers can't they track the money?

Which makes me wonder, how do the students get paid? Remaining anonymous is critical to spammers being able to continue doing their thing. How does a spammer actually pay someone w/out being trackable? I can't imagine that they send cash.

Yikes (1)

kien (571074) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379330)

"The students involved in this found the opportunity themselves - they were not contacted by the company directly," says Tolman, who adds that the software likely was downloaded via FTP or some other file-sharing protocol.

Oh great, just wait until someone from one of the entertainment cartels reads that. Coming soon from a congresscritter near you:
HR 34235, The Federal Ban of the File Transfer Protocol Act of 2003.

--K.

AUP? (3, Insightful)

redneck_kiwi (267118) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379331)

Doesn't the IT Department at any college, university etc enforce their AUP? Doh! They don't have an AUP.....

Seriously, I would imagine that surely the IT Department has an AUP that would prevent this behavior along with appropriate actions for dealing with violators?

Universities are For Experimentation? (1)

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379337)

From the Article...
"It all sounds like a poor man's grid computing," says Greg Scott, IS manager at Oregon State University College of Business in Corvalis, who had not heard of the spamming-for-pay tactic, but was not surprised. He says Oregon State throttles down bandwidth available to residence halls because of file-sharing and restricts the ports students can use. "Universities are for experimenting, pushing the edge. But some students push harder than others," Scott says.


...and restricts the ports students can use. "Universities are for experimenting,...
Doesn't look like they're experimenting too much, since they're restricted from using certain "ports". Could just be me though.

Foregin exchange program or something (1)

phrantic (630202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379342)

Gee students today have some really funny names,
What kind of parent are going to call their kid something like "growyourdick", it's just cruel
And as for calling your kid mortgage that is just so sad, but what can you expect with a family name re-finance...
one thing that is bugging me though is "penile" and boys name or a girls name?
I don't know...Students today

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379351)

...if not for the content, which the Slashdot article summarizes fine, then for the cartoon.
Text below (but it just isn't the same without the pictures):

SPOILER

SPACE

Spam Payola
Tufts University late last month discovered that some of its students were subletting their network access to spammers. Here is how it worked:

1) The student (green) discovers a spammer (orange) willing to pay him to install what amounts to a message transfer agent on his computer.
Graphic: evil spammer shakes student's hand

2) The spammer uses the student's PC to bounce mail from his system to the Internet, covering the trail to the real source of the spam.
Graphic: Evil spammer kicks a message (arrow) into back of student's monitor and it bounces into fuzzy Internet cloud.

3) The student collects a fee for subletting his PC to the spammer.
Graphic: Student, dollar bill in foreground

um, hang the firewall admin? (1)

Ummagumma (137757) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379358)

Having never been in a school enviornment, I don't know how restrictive/open most schools networks are - but shouldn't something like this be firewalled, or at least monitored? I do corporate security where I work now - we allow port 25 open outbound (against my advice), but I monitor it to keep an eye open for abuse, and shut down any abusive client ASAP. I would think *someone* at Tufts should have/would have noticed this, and corrected the situation.

After all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5379364)

Some people do kill people for money, some other people declare wars and kill thousands to take control of the global oil market (ie: money).
We already know what place in our society those students will take once they will be in their 40s or 50s.

It could be worse.... (1)

RyoSaeba (627522) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379367)

I mean, students could agree to use MS products in exchange of money...
Err, wait...
You mean they pay to use the products ? Or they copy & use them for free ?
Darn, where are we going today....

Free MS bashing, but well, sometimes you just need to have a good laugh ^_-

punishment (1)

sstory (538486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379392)

Confiscate their equipment, kick them all out of school, and prohibit them from entering a publicly funded school anywhere in the State. Whatever the punishment for rape is, give that +10% to them. Then let Cartman kick them in the nuts.

Spam is worth something (3, Insightful)

OECD (639690) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379397)

The interesting thing is that the spammers are now paying people to put out their spam. Now each outgoing spam costs something above the overhead costs. Sure, it's something really tiny ($20/??) but it's not zero. I wonder what the price point is that spammers are willing to pay? Would schemes that would charge spammers for their spam really be a deterent? How much would you have to charge?

sick crazy bastards (1)

Drakon (414580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5379402)

Servers should do backchecks to see if someone is running an open relay and refuse to offer services if they do.

one of many solutions to the biggest problem in the world. And don't give me shit about famine and war and such, you know death isn't nearly as annoying as spam

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