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Anti-Spammers Infiltrate Private Online Spam Clubs

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the spy-in-the-house-of-spam dept.

Spam 411

Angry_Admin writes " Spammers are now trying to find out which antispammers have infiltrated their ranks and are sharing "sensitive" info with fellow antispammers. According to the story at The Register: 'Online spammer forums like the Pro Bulk Club the Bulk Club and bulkmails.org have been gatecrashed by activists from organisations like Spamhaus. Steve Linford of Spamhaus said spammers know this already but they don't know who amongst their number is working for the other side. In theory the members-only forums of these sites is accessible only by invitation and only to individuals who have a proven track record in spamming. Apart from playing with the paranoia of spammers, the undercover investigation cast light on the latest spammer techniques.' Hopefully the spammers aren't that bright and the antispammers stick around long enough to bring them down."

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411 comments

Tsk tsk... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9176965)


Someone forgot the first rule of Spam Club...

And the second. (2, Redundant)

93,000 (150453) | more than 10 years ago | (#9176983)

Very good post . . . sir.

Re:Tsk tsk... (3, Funny)

Bluetrust25 (647829) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177121)

"After a night in bulk club, everything in the real world gets the volume turned down. Nothing can piss you off. Your word is law, and if other people break that law or question you, even that doesn't piss you off."

Maybe this parody of Fight Club helps shine insight on how spammers can sleep peacefully knowing full well that millions of barbs of dislike and spite are pointed their way. What do they care? They've got the bulk club.

Go play at AloofHosting.com, free web hosting that makes sense [aloofhosting.com] .

Re:Tsk tsk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177149)

Grub rocks. That guy makes me laugh more often than any other Slashdot user.

Re:Tsk tsk... (4, Funny)

macshune (628296) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177178)

>Someone forgot the first rule of Spam Club...

If it's your first night, you have to spam?

Re:Tsk tsk... (0, Redundant)

mc_barron (546164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177270)

no - You do not talk about Spam Club.

Re:Tsk tsk... (1, Offtopic)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177286)

Spamhaus Barbie says, "Spammers are stupid."

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9176969)

lol

James Bond of the Spam world? (2, Funny)

Xshare (762241) | more than 10 years ago | (#9176975)

Well 3 cheers to these fellows! I wonder how they got in if it's invitation only.

Re:James Bond of the Spam world? (4, Funny)

SnowDeath (157414) | more than 10 years ago | (#9176990)

Post your email address and I'll tell you ;)

Re:James Bond of the Spam world? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177002)

> I wonder how they got in if it's invitation only.

I imagine they received many invitations, and simply didn't opt-out by clicking on the handy links at the bottom.

Re:James Bond of the Spam world? (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177012)

"Well 3 cheers to these fellows! I wonder how they got in if it's invitation only."

The same way I keep getting added to all these "opt-in" spam lists.

Re:James Bond of the Spam world? (4, Interesting)

schon (31600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177032)

I wonder how they got in if it's invitation only.

One would assume they got invited. :o)

Seriously, only "known" spammers get invites - but the question is - what constitutes "known"?

How hard would it be for an anti-spammer to set up a bogus online identity, list themselves as spammers, and then sent spam-like emails to the spammers' email addresses, and then wait for an invite?

Re:James Bond of the Spam world? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177175)

This begs the question: If you're a top-notch spammer, how can you build a reputation? Isn't staying anonymous part of being a pro?

Re:James Bond of the Spam world? (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177136)


I wonder how they got in if it's invitation only.

Dress in dark camoflage.

Shoot grappling hook to rail around roof.

Get to rooftop, shoot guard on balcony with silenced .22

Remove camoflage.

Use suction cup on skylight, cut out pane of glass and discard.

Secure rope and drop into upper floor office.

Climb down rope.

Use chloroform-soaked rag on guard outside office door.'

Pull out CDR with "email addresses" written in Sharpie Marker on it.

Walk down to party, take glass of champagne from waiter.

Send signal to antispammers telling them you're in.

Duh, how else do you think they did it?

Re:James Bond of the Spam world? (1)

The_K4 (627653) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177309)

I wonder who owns the servers that their club's message board is on?

Re:James Bond of the Spam world? (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177316)

Reminds me of the interview the dailyshow did a few weeks back where the interviewed a spammer who kept complaining about the unsolicited e-mail he gets from anti-spam activists. These people are bastards. They are serving no useful or productive purpose.

Here's a link [atlantic.net] . This one has some amusing text in addition to the original content.

Enjoy

Anti-spammers will never infiltrate (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9176977)

...slashdot FP's.

Re:Anti-spammers will never infiltrate (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177000)

Anti-spammers will never infiltrate ...slashdot FP's.

and unfortunately, neither will you!

For Spammers By Spammers (4, Funny)

SirChris (676927) | more than 10 years ago | (#9176981)

So there are forums out there for spammers by spammers? Do these forums get spammed also? I, personally, would love to leave a few choice words on those forums.

Re:For Spammers By Spammers (5, Funny)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177116)

What gets to me about spammers... They obviously feel they are doing the world a favor by offering sexual deficiency drugs, pain-killers of questionable legality and mortgages for those with bad credit.

I always picture spammers as bereft of libedo and credit, with drug abuse problems. Really, wouldn't that explain a lot?

Re:For Spammers By Spammers (2, Funny)

secolactico (519805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177241)

They obviously feel they are doing the world a favor by offering sexual deficiency drugs, pain-killers of questionable legality and mortgages for those with bad credit.

They probably don't. They are simply making (or trying to make) a buck out of people ingenuity. I doubt they are so self deluded as to believe in a weight loss method that involves neither drugs, surgery, diet or exercise (must be magic, I guess), or similar products.

My favorite is the one where they offer to erase my bad credit history. Will they give me a new identity as well? How about a criminal record? Can they make those go away too?

Re:For Spammers By Spammers (3, Funny)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177147)

I imagine when they review the forum postings and see "DIE YOU EVIL SPAMMING SCUM!" they just say "tsk, tsk, I don't want to see this crap in my forums... I wonder if there is software that can prevent people from sending me this crap? There should be a way to opt out of this! Why, this return e-mail is fake so I can't even complain! There should be a law!"...

Just a list of names is all we need... (5, Funny)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9176989)

If someone could get that, we could, at least temporarily, reduce this problem.

I've got a baseball bat and loads of free time.

Spammers (3, Funny)

cynicalmoose (720691) | more than 10 years ago | (#9176995)

Hold on, to join you must need an e-mail address. Surely that means that this is a wonderful harvesting opportunity (or even better, does it allow people to avoid being spammed if the spammers believe them to be on 'their' side).

Not just a tree house club (5, Insightful)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9176997)

I have to ask where does the money come from in spamming? I could understand back in the mortgage boom when brokers were paying lot's of hard cash for leads, but this and other stories make spamming seem like a pretty big business which is rather surprising. Ultimately the money has to come from somewhere (the spam lists can only be sold so many times).

Re:Not just a tree house club (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177028)

Before anyone else posts the Angry Bob's guide to Apostrophe use, I realize that lot's should have been lots (silly pinky finger).

Re:Not just a tree house club (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177038)

Companies need some way to sell their sugar pills, I mean H3r84L V149r4!!!!!!

Re:Not just a tree house club (4, Insightful)

Reckless Visionary (323969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177045)

Not to be overly obvious, but the money comes from the people who buy the advertised stuff. They do indeed exist. Some of them may buy regularly. (Think anatomical enhancement pills that you need to "re-fill" every month)

Re:Not just a tree house club (3, Insightful)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177110)

I was thinking about that, back in the refi days a broker would pay upwards of $25 per lead for refinancing leads. I could see how a spammer would easily clear some decent money. Selling jars of pills for what $10-$20 means the markup has to be pretty steep to cover their costs. Considering that they are now swaping zombie PCs to cover their tracks, one would think that there was some real money in this business. I haven't seen a cellular spam in some time (another source of high dollar commissions). I'm surprised that there is that much money in p3nIs 3nI@rgm3nt and other cheapo items. I wouldn't think that the spammer would be in the business of the refil, and the commission wouldn't be as large. Perhaps I should get to cracking on ebay or with some ad sense words.

Re:Not just a tree house club (2, Informative)

Reckless Visionary (323969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177185)

Yeah, you're thinking high margin, I'm thinking volume selling. I don't know how many email addresses exist, but we're obviously talking hundreds of millions and up (let's play with 500 mil). You get a decent chunk of that number in a list (say 20%), assume small .1% success rate and you get 100,000 orders. That may be unrealistic, but it does show that things can add up quickly.

Re:Not just a tree house club (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177188)

To mangle a programming phrase I once heard, or mis-heard: the last bug will dissapear when the last user dies...or something like that.
So a corollary might be the last spam will be sent when the last idiot dies.

Re:Not just a tree house club (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177262)

(Think anatomical enhancement pills that you need to "re-fill" every month)

What you're saying that there are people so stupid that they won't notice that the products they're buying aren't working?

Sorry, nobody that stupid has any money.

Re:Not just a tree house club (2, Redundant)

mkraft (200694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177074)

The money comes from people who actually buy the products being peddled by spammers. If only a handful of people respond out of the millions of emails sent, the spammer turned a profit. Believe me if spamming wasn't profitable people wouldn't do it.

If we could only get these few people to stop buying spam products, spam would all but disappear.

Re:Not just a tree house club (3, Interesting)

waterwheel (599833) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177234)

I believe spammers in many cases make their money by collecting a portion of sales. So in that sense, it's normal enterprise and must work for some industries. And I'm sure it still works in the drugs/sex industries.

They can resell the list as many times as they want, by my email I'd guess some of these are being sold dozens of times every day. Plus, when one customer drops off, there's probably two more waiting to take their place. $XX for 10 million email addresses just sounds too good for many people.

I've had customers ask me about this, and I've had customers send out spam - they've told me they did. Of course, it wasn't spam, it was a double opt in list. Really? you've got a million people's emails who asked to be sent important information on life insurance? Nevertheless, some continue to try it once. And the new customers I'm sure are substantial.

Re:Not just a tree house club (2, Interesting)

maximilln (654768) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177238)

I can't say that I am impressed by the knee-jerk responses of "the revenue comes from the people who buy the stuff." Clearly there's a statistical chance that the profit from this junk feeds the machine but, if that were so, the spam machine would be little more than the local flea market. As we all know the spammers can often be very upscale and sophisticated sometimes have multiple server and router banks with which to turn on and off IP address ranges as they get caught, targeted, shut down, or blacklisted.

So the question remains: Where really does the funding for this stuff come from?

People are going to slam me for presenting this possibility and, well, bring it on. Personally, I think that a good amount of spam is funded by us--you and me. Go ahead. Get enraged. Gnash your teeth. Call me a paranoid hippie tree loving freak. I could give a shit.

Face reality. It's a business game. A good portion of the taxpayer subsidized/backed loans for technological advancement and small business loans probably go to shmucks like this. These are people who are buddy-buddy with politicians and existing business heads. These are the people who sit on top of brokerage houses and know where to get the startup funding. These are people who have been proven time and again to have no scruples about working over every pyramid scheme possible to get their hands on your money. These are people who can conjure up numbers generated from spam mailings, work the statistical analysis over to their favor, and pitch it to some new investment broker who is scraping to fill his quota and willing to take a chance. Whose money is he willing to take a chance with? Why, once again its yours and mine. 401k funds, IRA funds, generic stock investment funds.

Go ahead. Say its not possible. Mod me down as stupid. If anyone could ever really use the FOIA and manage to get enough of the tax records from these spam organizations to track it all down you can bet that I'm right.

Go on. Get mad. Come on... you know you can do it... be mad at me for being the messenger... let it all out.

I can take it.

Re:Not just a tree house club (4, Informative)

UrgleHoth (50415) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177253)

If past observations are any guide, then I'd say the answer is a mix of money made selling lists and actual product sales. In the 90's I used to do IT work for an informercial/900 number infomercial outfit. The pitch was "Make money with 900 numbers." Any normal thinking person is going to say BS. And by an large it is BS. But add greed and a low entry cost, and a hard selling telemarketer, through objection/rebuttal rounds can sell "money making guides" (read legal but shady get rich quick scheme) to lots of people. In a nutshell, the infomercial marketeer made a bundle selling info packets and lists. A few who followed the formula made money, but most didn't.

I don't like the business so I got out of doing IT support for it, but I learned a heck of a lot about the informercial/telemarketing biz.

Re:Not just a tree house club (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177268)

Leads to the mortgage industry are worth just as much as they used to be. There's also still money in selling the sexual-aid pills to people who don't really need them and can't get them from their own doctor.

There's always something willing to pay big for spam advertising, either because it's really hot or becuase it can't buy legit ads.

Re:Not just a tree house club (4, Interesting)

Uma Thurman (623807) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177296)

The money might come in part from laundering. There's really nothing to show that you didn't do $100,000,000 of business in a year, when you might have really done $1000. The balance of the fictional business on the books might actually be sourced in illegal drug, gambling, or terrorism money.

John Ashcroft should lay off the Internet bong sellers and the purveyors of porn. If he wants to hit the terrorists in the wallet, he'll close down all the money laundering possibilities that exist. Spam operations are a huge gaping hole that everyone seems to be ignoring.

hmmm (2, Funny)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177005)

*builds a facility strangely resembling a german concentration camp*

*puts up a sign that says "Spammers Only Club"*

*rubs hands devilishly*

Re:hmmm (1, Offtopic)

Marc Desrochers (606563) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177070)

Just picking nits here, but perhaps you should have phrased that as "Nazi concentration camps". Nazis were (mostly, were there any non German Nazis) German, the vast majority or Germans weren't Nazis. Lets be fair here.

otherwise yes, I totally sympathize.

Re:hmmm On picking nits. (1, Offtopic)

HiThere (15173) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177196)

For fairness it should be noted that the US had, and has, concentration camps. In WWII they were mainly filled with citizens of Japanese descent. And according to reports, during WWII they were relatively decent places, i.e., most detainees did live through the experience, and only lost almost all of their possessions. (Strangely, those of germanic descent weren't detained.) One doesn't know that the current camps are as benign. Perhaps it will prove so in the future...but that's not the way to bet. (I don't know the odds...but I have an idea of the stakes.)

Re:hmmm (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177199)

Interesting nit to pick.
The people of Germany did very little to stop the Nazis. Silence is consent is a very old principle of law. If you know someone is going to kill someone but you do nothing to stop it, you are an accessory to that crime.

While the vast majority of Germans have no guilt in this mannor because they where children or not even born yet. A very large number of German adults and I would even say a majority knew what was happening. I would say that German in this context is a fair use of the word. Nazi would work as well.
BTW my father servied in the US Army in Germany in the 50s. He loved the German people but could never understand how they let Nazis come to power and do the things they did.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177258)

Well, maybe another 4 years of Bush will make him understand it better.

Who might be? (2, Funny)

ospirata (565063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177006)

Who might be the ones that are infiltrating the spammer club?
Those bastards should stop chasing the poor and nice spammer guys!

Don't doubt the Spammers IQ (5, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177007)

They're bypassing the zillions of filters I have set up like they're bound and determined to enlarge my penis, and bypassing my filters at a rate of 30 messages/day these days. The Spammer is just as smart as the anti-spammer IMHO. Play your enemy as your equal people....

Knowing your enemy... (4, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177064)

Let's see, what were the club names?

Pro Bulk Club

The Bulk Club

bulkmails.org

Egads, with such a raw display of creative thinking, we don't stand a chance. [grin]

Did I leave out "The Incredible Bulk"? (5, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177096)


sorry, I'll get back to work now....

Re:Don't doubt the Spammers IQ (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177101)

"They're bypassing the zillions of filters I have set up like they're bound and determined to enlarge my penis"

If they're trying that hard, it must be a "can't lose" business opporunity.

Re:Don't doubt the Spammers IQ (4, Interesting)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177150)

You don't have to be smart to be a spammer
You just have to lack morals in general.

I think that it actually shows that the anti-spammer is winning. Spammers have to resort to trojanned machines and illegal tactics to get thier job done.

Which makes me wonder, if it were a wild west situation where anything goes, and anti-spammers were allows to break the law in the same manner, would these spammers still be in business, or would there basically be a bounty on the heads of spammers.

Re:Don't doubt the Spammers IQ (4, Funny)

Glamdrlng (654792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177282)

Which makes me wonder, if it were a wild west situation where anything goes, and anti-spammers were allows to break the law in the same manner, would these spammers still be in business, or would there basically be a bounty on the heads of spammers.
The first thought that comes to mind is, take the source code for phatbot (it is GPL'd after all), strip out the bits about exploiting microsoft vulnerabilities, but leave in the code that exploits machines listening on the backdoors left by bagel, netsky, and mydoom, and give it a payload that shuts the machine down.

No, it's not very nice, and yes, it would piss people off. But this is the anything goes solution.

What now? (1, Interesting)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177017)

Sorry if this sounds like a flame but, what good is it? I guess it's pretty cool but will this actually be helpful? Kudos to the l33t guys who got in, I guess.

Re:What now? (1)

Cska Sofia (705257) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177218)

Perhaps someone can gently remind these people that several thousand appalling spelled promotions for viagra has zero effect on the desire to purchase for most of the population. Particularly the female contingent.

I mean, really. Has anyone ever bought some "vi@g.ra" via one of these ridiculous messages? I can't imagine how the spammers generate enough income to make this a profitable exercise.

Re:What now? (2, Insightful)

almostmanda (774265) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177314)

it's good because spammers, in the privacy of their own little club, exchange spamming tricks. if we know their evil plan, we may be able to tweak filters to block it before it arrives. the whole point of spam filters is prevention, and knowing who it's coming from and how they plan to send it might be very helpful.

I once was invited to one of those Spam Clubs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177024)

But once I revealed that Blast was really my second name, for some reason they no longer wanted me in. :)

Did Anyone.... (2, Funny)

StacyWebb (780561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177031)

notice the ad at the bottom of the article?

Re:Did Anyone.... (1)

picklepuss (749206) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177105)

It's different every time, so we have no idea what specific ad you're referring too.

Re:Did Anyone.... (1)

StacyWebb (780561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177129)

Microsoft Partner Programme..

Optimists (4, Insightful)

mikehunt (225807) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177037)

"Hopefully the spammers aren't that bright and the antispammers stick around long enough to bring them down."

Just because someone does something you don't like, since when did that make them more stupid (or less intelligent) than you?

Sounds like the same tired argument that anti-virus companies and virus writers use.

If only the people who READ spam weren't so stupid (4, Insightful)

hpulley (587866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177107)

It's a tired old argument but if no one clicked the links in spam and no one bought the products in spam, perhaps we wouldn't have spam. The people spamming aren't stupid, they know a sucker is born every minute and they hope those suckers click their links. If the clickers would grow a brain we might not have this problem.

Re:Optimists (1)

HiredMan (5546) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177117)

Just because someone does something you don't like, since when did that make them more stupid (or less intelligent) than you?

He didn't assume they were stupid - he said "Hopefully the spamers aren't that bright". Sounds like he's assuming they could be intelligent but he hopes that they are not.

And the hizell does that have to do with anti-virus companies?

=tkk

Re:Optimists (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177254)

Just because someone does something you don't like, since when did that make them more stupid (or less intelligent) than you?

In some cases its not a matter of liking what they do or not, its HOW they do it. We all know roughly 90% of all e-mail out there is spam. But some of the methods they use are completely idiotic. In order to bypass anti-spam systems they do things like spell out 'penis' like 'p.3.n~ 1-s'. For crying out loud, I know theres a sucker born every minute but does it have to be so obvious? If I'm gonna get baited by 200 spam e-mails a day, don't insult my intelligence with such stupid systems which serve only to clog up my e-mail account.

FYI (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177049)


Some of the "infiltrators" are actually people working at the ISPs hosting these private forums.

Re:FYI (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177193)

SSSSSSHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Re:FYI (2, Funny)

cft_128 (650084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177338)

Some of the "infiltrators" are actually people working at the ISPs hosting these private forums.

Not any more....

ol (1)

howdoishotweb (753822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177050)

tl;dr

how many spammers would be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177057)

impotent, maybe? after seeing so many v1agra ads, maybe they suffer from the same problem. maybe they happen to be obese too.

Re:how many spammers would be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177247)

Not to be a spelling Natzi but it's V1AKGRA ... sheesh.

Not so bright Spammers (3, Interesting)

sameerdesai (654894) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177058)

"Hopefully the spammers aren't that bright and the antispammers stick around long enough to bring them down." Yea right!! Do you imply everyone is so stupid to get spammed everyday and can't stop these "not so bright" spammers.

Re:Not so bright Spammers (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177137)

Spammers are using brute force attacks, there's nothing bright about that.

They also hire OTHERS or buy 3rd party software to do the real tricky stuff like writing hashbusters, proxy relaying, netblock hijacking, zombie relaying, and other illegal acts that they routinely do.

Proletariat of the world, unite to kill spammers

Re:Not so bright Spammers (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177142)

Yea right!! Do you imply everyone is so stupid to get spammed everyday and can't stop these "not so bright" spammers.

Well, we know that spammers can not be bright.

Therefore, only the couple of people making the tools that spammers buy are the bright ones.

If they were to have an "accident", that would end all of spamming! Think about it!

invitations? (2, Interesting)

Cska Sofia (705257) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177067)

I'd surely like to know how these people figure out where to send invitations to spammers. I have a mailbox heaving with spam, just begging to be returned to sender...

Bundled spamware and spyware (3, Interesting)

Bonewalker (631203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177072)

This isn't one hundred percent on topic, but I wish someone could answer this question. Why would producers of legitimate software, e.g. Kazaa, Weatherbug, etc. bundle their stuff with known spamware, ad-serving crap, and general spyware bullshit? Don't they realize that before long users will figure out where it is coming from and then stop downloading and installing their software all together? What kind of fees do they usually command for allowing this type of bundling?

Re:Bundled spamware and spyware (3, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177138)

Why would producers of legitimate software, e.g. Kazaa, Weatherbug, etc. bundle their stuff with known spamware, ad-serving crap, and general spyware bullshit?

Because they're not legitimate software, of course.

Kazaa, for example, makes a dubiously legal P2P app that it distribute(d) for the express purpose of getting a free-to-use grid to run various programs on.

And, unfortuantely, it'll be awhile before the Flynn effect makes all of us smart enough not to use spyware.

Re:Bundled spamware and spyware (1)

Bonewalker (631203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177226)

Both of the pieces I mentioned could possibly serve a legitimate purpose, no? And there are others, those are just the most recent two I have had to tell users to stop downloading. Never heard of the Flynn effect. Will Google that.

Re:Bundled spamware and spyware (1)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177143)

Don't they realize that before long users will figure out where it is coming from and then stop downloading and installing their software all together?

Take a look at the download.com list of popular software [com.com] . KaZaA to date has 348,403,514 downloads. Average user doesn't know the crap that is bundled underneath.

Re:Bundled spamware and spyware (5, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177272)

But the most popular download these days isn't Kazaa, it is Adaware. http://download.com.com/3101-2001-0-1.html?tag=pop Spybot is No. 3 in the rankings.

Re:Bundled spamware and spyware (1)

Giant Panda (779279) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177348)

Take a look at the download.com list of popular software [com.com]. KaZaA to date has 348,403,514 downloads. Average user doesn't know the crap that is bundled underneath.

That's because the "average" KaZaA user is about 14 years old.

Thunderbird 0.6 released (1)

NimNar (744239) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177090)

The spam controls learn by a neural network. I just upgraded and totally recommend the new Thunderbird!

Honor among thieves? (5, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177098)

Given the ethics of spammers, is it any wonder that one of their own might "betray" them?

Re:Honor among thieves? (4, Interesting)

Vexler (127353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177321)

It's interesting the reasons that some people would resort to spam. In an article recently on Tech Republic, the author interviewed several spammers on the reason(s) they started out as spammers. One had college tuitions to pay off, another just wants quick cash with no regards as to what topics are/aren't off-limits. When you consider why people spam, the knowledge can be used against them in one way or another.

All I have to say is.. (1)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177111)

Yeah! I was wondering when people would start to take more offensive countermeasures.

Re:All I have to say is.. (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177261)

The most important question about spammers: do they really deserve to die? [slashdot.org]

Spam club invitations are available here... (4, Funny)

joelparker (586428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177122)

Dear Sir/Madam, I approach you with this offer due to the recent death of [county] Minister of Justice [name] because there is a secret bank deposit box, containing the sum of two (2) invitations to spam club. Half of these can be yours, generously. Email for details. P.S. the box also has six p3n!s enl.ar.ge.rs, five bottles of the blu* pi11 C:@l:s, and the absolute L0WEST *R*A*T*E*S for yr. m-ort-ga-ge & /\UTO W@rrn+iez.

The Register and funny ad placement... (2, Funny)

Ratfactor (15886) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177145)


From the article:
"People selling these fresh proxies are either the virus writers themselves or someone very close to them. I don't know how ties between spammers and virus writers was first forged but there is clearly a strong link there," he added.


Followed immediately by:
"The new Microsoft Partner Programme is here."
Good stuff.

Obsessive Compulsive Spamming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177151)

I wonder how the members resist spamming their own forums? All those juicy, ripe email addys just waiting to be harvested...mmmmm.

The virus/spam connection (4, Insightful)

Roached (84015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177174)

"People selling these fresh proxies are either the virus writers themselves or someone very close to them. I don't know how ties between spammers and virus writers was first forged but there is clearly a strong link there"

...and maybe this is the bit of information that will encourage aggressive prosecution of these spammers.

i'm sorry (1)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177177)

Hopefully the spammers aren't that bright

i'm sorry, but that implies that spammers are in some way and in some magnitude, bright. sir, i am sorry, but this is simply not true.

why does Mandrake open a port 80 proxy? (3, Interesting)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177179)



I just noticed the other day, when Slashdot stopped accepting my posts due to an open proxy on my IP, that my Mandrake 9.2 installation had some kind of proxy configured in Apache. What in the hell? Why does the default installation of Makdrake do this? Absolutely ridiculous. I had also installed it at work and had to disable it there, too.


Not that this is directly pertinent to spamming, but it is a built-in security hole that allows criminals to use default mandrake webservers as conduits for nefarious deeds.

Good, this is progress. (4, Funny)

Vthornheart (745224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177205)

Now, just give me a shotgun, a case of ammo, and a list of related addresses. It's about time we sent unsolicited E-Mailers some unsolicited lead pellets.

Spammers not smart? (3, Insightful)

neilcSD (743335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177213)

>>Hopefully the spammers aren't that bright

Most spammers arent terribly sophisticated. Let's face it though, a handful are extremely smart and capable, otherwise we'd have gotten rid of them a long time ago.

The Almighty Buch (4, Insightful)

VernonNemitz (581327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177233)

Since $ (or yen, marks, rubles, lira, etc) is all that any spammer wants in the first place, it logically follows that any of them can be bribed to spill all the secrets (like how to gatecrash, or instead to formally invite an antispammer, etc).

HA!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9177237)

Snoop onto THEM as they snoop onto US!

BOOM! Sorry, I just had to say that!

Don't tell Orlando Soto (1)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177240)

Man I bet This guy [slashdot.org] is pissed he didn't get an invite into the secret spam club and the anti-spammers did.

He'll probably protest by not odering any more PhDs on-line.

Strange thing (4, Funny)

bizitch (546406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177271)

I cant seem to get to that website "bulkmails.org"

I keep hitting my refresh button over and over and over and over and over again - but it doesn't come up ....

hmmmmmm....

Once You're In... (2, Funny)

tds67 (670584) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177291)

...you can never leave the Spamafia.

You'll know you're in trouble when you find a penis enlarger or a bottle of Viagra pills on your pillow.

Invitation-only is very easy to get around (3, Insightful)

Ra5pu7in (603513) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177305)

All Spamhaus would have to do was include a couple of false spammer names on its officials lists, use those false identities to complain on more generic forums about the ridiculousness of laws like CAN-SPAM, and wait for the invites to show up. Almost every group, no matter how exclusive, has members who are more gullible and willing to make the invite. (C'mon - the only reason spamming is profitable is because the broader group of computer users has so many gullible people who are willing to believe they can gain an inch, lose a pound, and refinance for a much lower rate.)

I heard of something like this once... (3, Interesting)

tokachu(k) (780007) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177308)

Sometime back in 2002, a guy who worked for LeadClick (a spamhaus) downloaded a file called
"teen sex.mpg.scr"
(notice the extension) that turned out to be a backdoor. The screen shots are somewhere on Freenet [freenetproject.org] (you have to download and run Freenet first).

What the screenshots reveal are, to say the least, scary. It turns out that an employee named "Greg" (greg@leadclick.com), who works as an e-mail harvesting database manager, also manages databases for SpamCop!

I kid you not. A spammer who works for SpamCop. I can't post links to the freesite (that's kinda pointless), but at least the incriminating screenshots are safe on Freenet.

Bombs (1)

errant-nonsense (772789) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177325)

It's only a matter of time before some pissed off person mails a spammer a bomb instead of a check. In fact I'm surprised we haven't had something like this happen already. /me crosses fingers, chanting "bomb em, bomb em, bomb em..."

Gee (2, Funny)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9177333)

I wonder if they have a 'No Spam' rule in the forum rules to try and keep down the mass amounts of spam posts. But then the forums would be stifling it's own members.

What a dilemma!
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