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Lycos Anti-Spam Screensaver Brings Down Spam Sites

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the online-vigilantes dept.

Spam 715

ChairmanMeow writes "According to BBC News, the screensaver released by Lycos Europe that targets spam websites has been a bit too successful at targeting spam sites, bringing down two sites, with a third responding intermittently, and raising concerns that the screensaver amounts to a DDoS attack against spam sites. Of course, spammers deserve to be punished, but will DDoS attacks against spam websites help to curb the problem of spam?" While the screensaver allegedly throttles back when a site slows, it would seem it's being a bit overzealous.

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Bad? No way. (5, Funny)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 9 years ago | (#10979975)

It's nothing illegal. Just packet spam.

Re:Bad? No way. (5, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980007)

Really,
Is there anything legally wrong with this?
It's not a "bot" army in that the owners of the PC's opted in to do this.
-nB

--
Damn 2 min between posts BS has got to go. Should be limited to within topics or something :grrr:

Re:Bad? No way. (4, Insightful)

neitzsche (520188) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980205)

Vigilantism (sp? Is that even a word?) is legally risky at best. I would love to see lawmakers specifically exempt Lycos in the specific anti-spam effort. I'd also like to see lawmakers pass laws that increase spam penalties to death by slow and painful torture. Maybe that's just me.

But there's a big problem with the concept of legalizing even such specific vigilante acts. Where does the line in the sand get drawn? My USA Lawmakers seem ignorant (at best) when it comes to technology issues. Furthermore, making an exception for spam only would likely open the door to tremendous abuse. Would GWB authorize DDOS against non-Republican affiliated endeavors?

It's a slippery slope. As much as I like the concept, my doubts are not being assuaged.

Re:Bad? No way. (5, Funny)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980035)

Spam is a bit harsh; the lycos screensaver is a legitimate bulk packet sender.

Re:Bad? No way. (1)

pinkstuff (758732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980042)

They get what they deserve simple as that! They efectively DOS attack email boxes, so why not DOS them back?

Re:Bad? No way. (4, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980196)

I think my screensaver has quit attacking, it just fades to gray with the text "stay tuned" at the top.

Jaysyn

Re:Bad? No way. (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980151)

I can just picture the packets now. They try to send to every destination port on the target machine, the control bits are always set to "Urgent!" (URG), the source IP is deliberately set incorrectly, the data segment is malformed and contains a fake "opt out" message at the end...

Actually... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10979976)

It's according to Netcraft [netcraft.com] . Their story is Spam Sites Crippled by Lycos Screensaver DDoS [netcraft.com] , followed by Lycos Screensaver Site Blocked by Internet Backbones [netcraft.com] and Lycos Screensaver Site Changed, Now Says "Stay Tuned" [netcraft.com] . F-Secure also says spammers are beginning to fight back [f-secure.com] by redirecting traffic back to Lycos.

Come on people, primary sources! This isn't elementary school.

Quick! (4, Funny)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10979980)

Post the links to the sites it targetted, we can finish them off!

Re:Quick! (2, Informative)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980033)

I use to use this screensaver but disabled it, it was conflicting with my audio hardware.

I voicechat a lot using teamspeak [www.goteamspeak.com]

Every time the screensaver would activate my microphone to other people would become pure static, blaring out their ears. The only fix would be to quit and re-launch teamspeak.

I voicechat while doing other things sometimes on teamspeak, and it became an annoyance, so I set my screensaver, once again to 'Blank'

Re:Quick! (1)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980078)

I might also add, I think it's a good thing. If the spam is using the same server as the website -- disabled website = halted spam production = cleaner and safer internet.

However, this of course doesn't make any difference if they exploit open mail relays.

Actually, it does, think about it: the only reason spammers continue to do that they do best (spam) is because people actually buy their products.

If the people who buy their products click a link in an e-mail and get 'this page cannot be displayed (advanced info: connection timed out)' then they won't buy the products.

If people don't buy the products for a long enough time, that, coupled with the increased bandwidth costs = spammer shop closed down.

Therefore, DDOS'd sites = safer internet = lycos a good thing.

No Pity for the Chinese Spammers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980038)

Frankly, the spam sites are getting what they deserve.

The majority of spam comes from China (which includes Taiwan province and Hong Kong) [phrusa.org] . These folks have no regard for another person's privacy.

If anyone is interested, I am willing to volunteer some Perl code for bombarding spam sites like those in China.

Re:Quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980047)

Re:Quick! (2, Funny)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980085)

A reverse slashdotting of slashdot? You anonymous coward are a clever one.

Re:Quick! (5, Informative)

shdragon (1797) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980128)

Ask & ye shall receieve.

www.bokwhdok.com [bokwhdok.com]

rxmedherbals.info [rxmedherbals.info]

blundering.subbvbvf.com [subbvbvf.com]

http://m39.computergearplus.com [computergearplus.com]

www.artofsense.com [artofsense.com]

printmediaprofits.biz [printmediaprofits.biz]

Re:Quick! (2, Funny)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980184)

Fatality!

Re:Quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980218)

All .info sites. 90% of my spam refers to those TLD's.

Hmm. (4, Insightful)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10979985)

Using a DDOS on spammers is kind of like sending an arsonist to burn down the house of a murderer...

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980019)

Where's the problem in that. Isn't that similar to "an eye for an eye"?

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980158)

Sure thing, until the fire spreads and burns down the local hospital.

That's why we have an ordered and structured legal system.

Re:Hmm. (1)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980028)

Did you ever see Boondock Saints?
Those who did, got my point :)

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980041)

What's your point?

Re:Hmm. (5, Insightful)

colman77 (689696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980043)

No, it's not- it's fighting back. This should serve as a lesson to those spyware kiddies, too. It's about time these malware losers got a taste of their own medicine.

Re:Hmm. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980126)

So is sending an arsonist after a murderer too. It's still a crime, and makes you no better than the asshole you're going after.

Re:Hmm. (1)

WoBIX (819410) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980060)

Is the murderer home at the time? :)

Re:Hmm. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980148)

Using a DDOS on spammers is kind of like sending an arsonist to burn down the house of a murderer...

I think it is more akin to a group of people going over to a murderer's house and beating him to death with baseball bats.

Nothing wrong with that.

Re:Hmm. (3, Interesting)

k98sven (324383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980160)

Using a DDOS on spammers is kind of like sending an arsonist to burn down the house of a murderer...

Yes, but you'd have to make that mass-murderer. Which means all the difference, I'd say.

A spammer targets millions of people who have to put up with their junk in their mailboxes and on their networks.

A DDOS attack is thousands of people targeting a single individual.

Besides, if thousands of people are independently of each other voluntarily accessing these particular sites, then there's no crime in that. (AFAIK, you can't be convicted of 'conspiracy to disable an internet server through requests')

I don't generally condone vigilante justice, but this is no more criminal behaviour than what thousands of Slashdotters engage in every day. Only with a different aim.

Re:Hmm. (3, Insightful)

iphayd (170761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980180)

Isn't this more like having the entire neighborhood join the neighborhood watch, then post everyone around the perimiter of a pedophile's property?

Which is a very good idea... (4, Insightful)

raehl (609729) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980210)

... as least until one of your arsonists accidentally burns down the murderer's neighbor's house.

I realize their point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10979987)

But who are they to decide who to do this to?

Re:I realize their point (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980115)

If they do it on someone who is not a spammer they get their ass sued, good enough right?

Whats to prevent spammers from reporting lycos to their ISPs, well, the ISPs would not be too kind to the spammers either.

Nothing wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10979992)

an eye for an eye.

A spam for a spam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980074)

and the whole world drowns in a sea of pork.

Better to get the screensavers to coordinate so they hit the spam sites with peak traffic during what are likely to be peak rate hours for that site.

Re:Nothing wrong (1)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980119)

...Makes the whole world blind. - Gandhi

HAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10979994)

Even though I don't usually condone DDoS attacks, I laugh at the spammers! Bwahhaaah!!!

It's all those years of repression, where you have to just passively accept all the friggin spam that gets sent your way. I like to see them taking some heat for their despicable actions.

They deserve it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10979996)

but im not sure if this is the best way...

Anyone Thinking about a Mozilla Plugin? (2, Interesting)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10979997)

Instead of using Adblock we need Ad-Double-Block. With Ad-Double-Block you wouldn't not only block the image but use spare bandwidth to repeatedly click on add banners behind the scenes. If I understand the article correctly, the software reads your email and sends clicks through to the web sites listed that are in a spam box(?) while the screen saver is on throttling back when the site slows. Of course you should be able to configure the pain threshold for the sites.

OMG, you're right! (5, Funny)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10979998)

What a horrible thing to do to those friendly neighborhood spammers. :(

Yes! (0, Offtopic)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10979999)

Wait! No. I mean, yes! Crap.

FedEx?

Lycos (1)

00Monkey (264977) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980001)

I don't know why Lycos is all high and mighty all of a sudden, their reputation isn't that great. Granted I dislike spammers more than Lycos but still... something about a pot and a kettle.

Re:Lycos (1)

Norgus (770127) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980032)

The lycos website is plastered in adverts, so yeah.

The real prisoner's dilemma. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980112)

Beat down a guy to gain instant credibility. Sure, you won't get a white hat, but as an anti-hero the audiance will at least give you a chance.

DDOS? Or manual takedown? (3, Interesting)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980003)

How do we know that the spammers didn't just take their servers offline in response to the attack?

Re:DDOS? Or manual takedown? (5, Insightful)

colman77 (689696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980104)

Does it matter? Mission (screw the spammers) accomplished either way.

Is It Right? (1)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980004)

The part of me that hates spammers says "yes its right." The moral part of me says "no its wrong two wrong dont make a right" The fact is it is wrong and illegal to DoS anyone even if they are a spammer. Also remember that many spammers take over machines and they send out spam, so this could be DoSing innocent people. If we really want to go after spammers we wont pay there products and report them to their ISPs for spamming.

Re:Is It Right? (2, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980044)

TFA says that the program attacks sited advertised in the spam, thus the source machine of the UCE is not the target.
-nB

Re:Is It Right? (1)

uf22 (521280) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980052)

The addresses being hit are those that are linked to in the spam, not those that sent the spam itself. I don't think the innocent will be harmed here.

Re:Is It Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980195)

So, if I want to DDOS your site, I register a new domain, set up a fake Viagra site, massively spamvertise it and then change my DNS setup to point to your site as soon as the DDOS from Lycos start.

Lycos better have very good, very expensive lawyers and a huge legal budgets, including to defend their officers against criminal charges.

Re:Is It Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980073)

"The moral part of me says "no....."
Your moral part is DUMB!

Re:Is It Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980107)

And the part of you that deals with apostrophes sits in a chair, rocking back and forward with drool running down its chin.

Re:Is It Right? (1)

colman77 (689696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980140)

Is it wrong to kill an enemy soldier? What if you know he's about to kill you? Not that spam is holding a gun held to my head, but at some point we've got to take a stand, you know?

Why spam? (2, Insightful)

ValuJet (587148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980006)

Why not target other sites like spyware/adware/malware sites like Gator?

Re:Why spam? (1)

Kpt Kill (649374) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980062)

because i didnt choose to install spam.

Re:Why spam? (2, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980065)

*cough*LycosSidesearch*cough*

Re:Why spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980198)

Because they didn't send you an email asking you to visit their site. Spamvertised sites have given you permission to DOS them.

Against spam sites? (1, Insightful)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980009)

and raising concerns that the screensaver amounts to a DDoS attack against spam sites.

You say that like it's a bad thing. They DDoS my inbox, loading pages that they ask me to visit sounds fair.

Re:Against spam sites? (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980130)

Because its illegal, just generates more useless Internet traffic, and may hurt innocent people given that many spammers use zombie machines

Re:Against spam sites? (1)

rodgerd (402) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980174)

A shame if there are legitimate users impacted along the line. DDoSing one server will fuck up the networks on the way, to the detriment of innocent parties.

It's like using an uzi to hit a crook at a crowded party.

what's the matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980014)

does the server not like getting butt-loads of unsolicited junk sent to it?

-bradly

Great, so it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980015)

I'm sorry, I just can't get myself upset about spam sites being brought down. I downloaded it to hurt spammers. If it hurts spammers a lot instead of only a little, then I'm all the happier.

I honestly don't care (4, Insightful)

nzgeek (232346) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980016)

I don't care if the spammers' servers are DDoSed. They can take their fucked-up business model and shove it, as far as I am concerned.

Good on Lycos for finally having the balls to stand up to these guys. The spammers have been stealing bandwidth off all of us for far too long now.

Wrong answer (0)

MJArrison (154721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980017)

This is not the right answer. Whether it's:

cutting off your nose to spite your face or
shooting yourself in the foot

you can choose your own cliche.

Re:Wrong answer (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980064)

This isn't cutting off my nose, it's cutting off some other guy's nose. And he keeps putting his nose in my face even if I don't want him to.

Re:Wrong answer (2, Insightful)

colman77 (689696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980193)

Spammers neither detect odors around me, or allow me to walk. They're more like bacteria than a nose or a foot. So, on a side note, when was the last time you took antibiotics?

Instant DOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980021)

Now spammers will just include URLs of normal, unaffilliated sites in with the other links. Then you have Lycos being responsible for DOS attacks against innocent bystanders.

Can't have that (1)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980025)

It's being a little overzealous in it's effects on the spammer's systems? Maybe they set it up to be proportional to the amount of "legitimate" advertising messages that the user receives from those sites.

Re:Can't have that (1)

angryelephant (678279) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980214)

I doubt it. The screensaver works by downloading the attack list off of a Lycos server. I imagine they will be careful about what gets on to that list.

Unmoderated system? (5, Insightful)

rubberband (731966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980036)

As the admin of my mail system's spam filter, I would like to see nothing more than "drag a spammer in to the street and beat them with a keyboard until they repent day" but I worry about this system.

Who controls the list of "spam sites"? What are the criteria for becomming a victim? I would personally like this process to be transparent before I encourage anyone to participate - I do think they have the best intentions, but the potential for abuse is a bit scary.

That's what sucks about the spam war.. the good guys have to be careful how they deal with the problem to avoid accidentally screwing someone innocent. The bad guys just double their output.

I R FRIST PSOT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980037)

PSOT!

Mine doesnt work... (1)

Folmer (827037) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980039)

My screensaver (that i run even though i cant get it to run through the proxy i have to use) has been acting weird.. instead of showing a status of the "attack" it writes: "please wait"...
I think that some spammers put the update server down, and now the screensavers wont stop connecting to some of the sites even though they are down.

What I think will happen (2, Interesting)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980061)

Spammers will hire scumware authors to write apps that packet sites who target spammers, making the circle complete. Then, the masses (tm) will get infected with the scumware. It isn't that hard to figure out.

Think of the servers... (0, Redundant)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980067)

Sure we're pounding spammer sites, but does replacing one form of useless traffic with another really accomplish anything?

Re:Think of the servers... (1)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980144)

" Sure we're pounding spammer sites, but does replacing one form of useless traffic with another really accomplish anything?"

Sure, we have double the traffic for a while, but after the spammers die out, this screensaver will no longer need to be used on those dead spammers sites, being removed from the target list and thereby traffic being eliminated.

See my related post http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=131532&cid= 10980078 [slashdot.org]

Fun, but potential for misdeeds arise (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980068)

Say you start expanding your list with anyone who spams your email. So someone gets mad with Joe and starts spamming and redirecting traffic to Joe in emails. The Anti-Spammers think its Joe that's doing the spamming, and slap his website in the doomed spammer's list.

Bad? No way (-1)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980076)

Dupe? Yes way

Re:Bad? No way (1)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980156)

dupe [slashdot.org]

Why not make this legit .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980083)

How about a plugin for Outlook/email client of your choice that simply loads every URL in every spam email you receive (socket, not web browser based), properly accessing inline images etc .. Not a DDOS since the spam specifically asks you to go to the requested URL ..

The more successful inbox spams received, the more the spammer's website gets pounded with the supposed traffic he/she is looking for. Of course, put some kind of limit on it so your own connection doesn't go down.

Wanna spam? Front the bandwidth.

Worrying (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980084)

Yes, spammers are evil scum who need a standard NATO round square in the forehead. But this sort of rough and ready justice worries me. An attack on the network is an attack on the network, period. If this sort of thing becomes respectable where does it end?

If it is OK to DDoS spamers, who else is it ok to knock off of the net?

Kiddie Porn?

Regular Porn?

Nazi/Skinhead sites?

Anything YOU think is a 'hate site'?

Anything ANYONE things is a 'hate site'?

Anything anyone objects to for any reason?

Business competitors?

Political opponents?

Anyone applauding Lycos for this had better be ready to draw the line somewhere on that list above and defend why their line is the absolute correct one in language all can agree on or that line will creep down at Internet speed.

Re:Worrying (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980194)

I draw the line at kiddie porn.

Re:Worrying (2, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980200)

If it is OK to DDoS spamers, who else is it ok to knock off of the net?

"News for nerds, stuff that matters"?

How can this be 'Too Successful' (1)

mtb_ogre (698802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980091)

The goal is to flood the sites with traffic to eliminate their source of income. If they shut the sites down all the better. How can anyone who sends out millions of requests for people to go to their website complain about millions of hits on their server? -- Dennis

Not a DDOS (4, Interesting)

renehollan (138013) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980092)

People voluntarily chose to run this, no? It isn't like there's one person using a bunch of machines (with or without their owner's permission) to launch a coordinated attack.

Rather, it's a bunch of people coordinating their requests for information. At worst, it's civil disobedience (though not directed at government) or an organized, peaceful protest.

I had a similar idea a while back, where people supportive of a cause could voluntarily elect to permit their computers to engage in simultaneous activity coordinated from a single point. It's cool to see this.

Spammers attack back? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980093)

BEGIN TIN.FOIL.HAT

1) What if the spammers are taking down the server(s) deliberately, so that they can claim an effective DDoS? (and perhaps sue Lycos?)

2) What if they update their DNS to point to 213.115.182.123 (IP address for www.makelovenotspam.com) instead of wherever it is now? /TIN.FOIL.HAT

justice? (1)

blew_fantom (809889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980097)

for all intents and purposes, DDoS = illegal. but DDoS'ing spammers? i think most of us are willing to turn a blind eye. ;)

Summary of the article (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980101)

Netcraft confirms it: Spam is dead.

Spammer sites going down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980102)

Who really gives a shit? All spammers should burn in hell.

BRUTAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980117)

Joining the ranks of spammers by using a tactic that compares on a network level to their 'advertising' just couples the problem ... this is a cat and mouse issue ... you attack them - and they will go elsewhere... they will not go away.

spamming is profitable ... and untill it isn't profitable .. some asshole will be attempting to profit. PERIOD.

Lycos should be embarassed to stooping this low. and any of the lowlives running this 'screensaver' should be equally embarassed for being such a dumb ass.

Collateral damage = bad (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980133)

Any time you attack a site like this, there is a risk of collateral damage.

Imagine two sites in the same city. All traffic in or out of that city goes through one of a handful of backbone pipes. If you attack a spammer enough to flood his backbone, everyone using that backbone will suffer.

"Good, the backbone deserves it" you say? If the backbone is in a country without spam laws, the backbone may not have any choice unless it wants to risk losing "common carrier" status.

"Good, the whole country deserves it," well, given what I've seen coming out of a few unnamed countries, you'd have a point.

Seriously, throttle or no throttle, deliberately pulling traffic from a site for the purpose of making it waste resources is as immoral as getting all your friends to help you steal all the free newspapers on a college campus so the newspaper will have to spend money to print more. By the way, stealing "all the papers" like that is illegal in some parts of the USA.

Besides, it's ineffective in the long run - within a month, spammers will figure out a way to mitigate the damage to themselves.

Internet version of Mutal Assured destruction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980138)

Hmm, it looks like we might be edging closer to some sort of internet version of mutual assured destruction. One side fires at the other, the other fires back, and then instead of all hell breaking loose, nothing works anymore on the internet. Of course we can turn our computers off, go outside and get some fresh air.

Yes, I know we haven't reached that point yet, but with all those taken over PC's out there, plus enough folks tired of spam, there is plenty of bad feelings out there for something to get out of control. This is just a small example of it.

These vigilante types... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980141)

...who are always steamed up because the internet is an unperfect place or someone is billboard posting in some usenet group of you didn't read the faq are going to mad at something forever. Why even run anti-spam screen savers when you could be looking for seti or doing some folding or something useful. 1000 years from now spam and drugs and guns and all kinds of potentially bad things will still exist. You won't. Use your time on something useful.

Quick! (3, Funny)

UberOogie (464002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980149)

Someone get the world's smallest violin immediately!

Sets a bad precendent (1)

chiph (523845) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980161)

I'm not too sympathetic to the plight of the spammers, but I think it sets a bad precedent, and will only result in an arms race.

Chip H.

*manic laughter* (1)

DeathByDuke (823199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980166)

come on, give us the URLs, we can give them some slashdot lovin' ;)

hell spammers take down the global mailsystems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10980178)

... who the fuck cares if we take their sites down now?

think again, now who the hell started this whole ware in the first place?

spammers must die. no question.

A new DDOS attack (2, Interesting)

Random Hacker (748151) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980204)

Say you don't like Nabisco (pick company of your choice). Pay a spammer to send out millions of spams advertising Nabisco. Now Lycos adds Nabisco to its list, and all those guys running its web server do a DDOS attack on Nabisco.

Slashdot in the Mainstream (1)

john_sheu (755802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980208)

Is it just me, or am I seeing more mention of Slashdot on mainstream news media lately? Even the BBC makes a vague reference to the "Slashdot Effect".

I love spam (5, Funny)

sparks (7204) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980213)

I am always interested in novel commercial propositions. There's nothing I love more than seeing what exciting offers are available in the way of bodily enhancement, alternative medicines, and high-return investment opportunities.

Don't you feel the same? I'm sure you do.

Wouldn't it be great if someone would create a screensaver that would automatically visit the websites of the vendors of these enticing offers and display them on my screen? I'm a fast reader so it would be great if it could show a few each second.

That way, I'd be able to read all about their exciting products without having to do anything at all.

If there was such a screensaver, maybe lots of people would download it. After all, I'm sure we're all interested in the products on offer. And what e-entrepeneur wouldn't want to have thousands of interested potential customers visit his web site every second?

Who died and made Lycos vigilante of the Net? (4, Interesting)

discord5 (798235) | more than 9 years ago | (#10980217)

Hey, I like the idea of punishing spammers, but Lycos is playing a game that's very dangerous. They're doing DOS-attacks (by proxy) on servers, and where I live that's actually a crime. While sending lots of unwanted e-mail will get you a slap on the wrist, DOS'ing a machine without written consent actually gets you jailtime. Where is the liability here when someone installs this screensaver? Is the end-user responsible for the DOS, or is Lycos responsible?

Another point on this is that this only brings more traffic to the Internet. I know, what's a few measily packets when people are leeching torrents like mad, but still. While this effectively disables spammers for a while, remember that you can't fight fire with fire (or SYN with SYN in this case).

And what about machines that accidentally get on the list of machines to be abused? Hey, I know that in theory only bad guys get on the list, but I've had enough customers actually get on an RBL while they don't spam.

This is dangerous ground we're walking here, and sooner or later someone is going to call their lawyer. The ISP that provides internet access for the spammer perhaps, or perhaps even the spammer who knows that where he lives sending spam is nothing compared to DOS.

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