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Spam Kings

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the revolting dept.

Spam 127

Michael Gracie writes "Spamroll is a recently launched blog and information resource on spam, phishing, and other internet security issues, the purpose of which is to bridge the gap between information and discussion among technical professionals, and that targeted for end users. As part of the research for Spamroll, I picked up Spam Kings - The Real Story Behind the High-Rolling Hucksters Pushing Porn, Pills, and @*#?% Enlargements, written by Brian McWilliams and recently released by O'Reilly. , With Spam Kings, Mr. McWilliams has put together a book suitable for shelving next to The DaVinci Code and the Bat Book (Sendmail 2nd edition, by Brian Costales and Eric Allman). It is a compellingly detailed account of the burgeoning of spam, spammers, their foes, and the intricate community that intertwines them." Read on for Gracie's review.

Spam Kings is a pseudo-chronology of the exploits of the biggest spammers of the late nineties and new millennium, following their trail right down to the lunch menu, with the underworld's anti-spam fighters of the day taking the order. The book details the comings and goings of the likes of Sanford Wallace, an early spam king who claimed constitutional authority to send UCE, up to the present-day powerhouses such as Ron Scelson and Scott Richter, whose wealth and influence keeps the heat off of them. [Though Richter's finally gotten some heat where it counts -Ed.] In between, it runs across characters such as Jason Vale, Thomas Cowles, and Rodona Garst, who have all seen some serious time in court and/or jail for their actions, and some, like Brad Bournival, who tangled with the monster called AOL and is still awaiting his fate, and Karen Hoffman, a one time spam hunter who has turned to "the dark side."

But the real (and underlying) story is about two individuals, Susan Gunn, of NANAE fame, and David Hawke, a former neo-Nazi and notorious spammer who continues to elude the massive AOL lawsuit judgments against him.

The antagonists' and protagonists' paths cross often, but they never seem to directly butt heads. What makes the saga so interesting is that their actions affect each other's lives in profound ways, exemplifying the intensely close-knit nature of the spammer and anti-spam communities that surround them, and sometimes, their disloyalties. Furthermore, the lines between spammer and "anti" sometimes blur beyond natural reason, reflecting the deep knowledge of systems and processes each side attains during their trials and tribulations, and the monetary value of that knowledge in the open (if sometimes seedy) market.

What I found most appealing during the read was the relevancy of events that take place throughout, and the meticulous references to the news of the day. I found myself wondering where I was, how much spam I was getting, and whether I could remember receiving any scurrilous product pitches from the characters within. I am now checking old email archives, just for posterity.

The book ends with an epilogue that outlines what is happening in the spam world, right this very moment. CAN-SPAM doesn't seem to be working, other countries have instituted new laws that are, and people of all shapes and sizes may be complicit in the ongoing problem. The epilogue winds up with a "where are they now" for most of the major characters. Many are retired and/or have moved on to new (but not necessarily unrelated) professions, some are still drowning in legal judgments, while some are...educating your children! But you can be sure others have stepped in to take their places; just check your junk mail folder.

The book also contains an excellent glossary of technical and business terms used throughout. If you are a sys admin who saw the term chickenboner or mainsleaze on a help forum, and are embarrassed to ask what that means, then your bases are covered in this book. If you are a regular everyday email user, and are curious what these "blacklists" and "whitelists" are and what they mean to you, the glossary will again prove very useful during and after your read. The work also contains a deep notes section, which I found extremely helpful -- McWilliams conducted in-depth interviews with many of the characters (and they are characters). And let's not forget the center illustration section, complete with numerous photos of the biggest spammers of all time, at work and at play, as well as some gratuitous mug shots (which I am sure is all you really want to see if you despise spam as much as I do).

I knocked this puppy off in two quiet evenings. While the type is appropriately sized and spaced, and the material not overly technical, what drove me was the fact that the work was a bit of a "page turner" -- I had a hard time putting in down.

In my opinion, Spam Kings is a publication for both the technology/history buff, as well as the everyday email user still wondering where the heck all those Viagra ads in their inboxes really comes from.


Spamroll is the latest creation of Michael Gracie, who thinks spam and phishing represent some of the greatest threats to ecommerce and online world in general. You can purchase Spam Kings - The Real Story Behind the High-Rolling Hucksters Pushing Porn, Pills, and @*#?% Enlargements from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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127 comments

bat book and DaVinci? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12104951)

Time to expand your library dude. May I humbly suggest some pr0n?

A Keeper (2)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 9 years ago | (#12104961)

This is definitely going to be a keeper. The content will never go out of date, and will always have an audience. Well worth the inflated price. Bah.

Re:A Keeper (1)

`Sean (15328) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106700)

Ha. I just bought it because I'm in it (a victim of a spammer sending as my domain [inertramblings.com] ).

Here it comes (0, Offtopic)

froggero1 (848930) | more than 9 years ago | (#12104965)

Where's the GNAA post?

Re:Here it comes (1)

MMMDI (815272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105263)

My review buddy actually gave that movie a watch. Check out his thoughts [musicmademe.com] if you're interested.

Future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12104969)

I hope to god we can finally rid ourselves as an internet society of these ringleaders, the druglords of the internet.

Re:Future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105033)

Why, I welcome our new Spam Overloards!

Re:Future? (2, Informative)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105060)

In keeping with the drug lord theme, you could read Inside the SPAM Cartel [amazon.com] ! Who knew?

Re:Future? (1)

Vombatus (777631) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105883)

In the same way as we have ridded ourselves of the [drug] druglords?

/sarcasm

This article is a troll for spammers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12104970)

Spammers run the Spamroll website!

This story wreaks of Piquepaille!

BTW.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12104975)

"You can purchase Spam Kings - The Real Story Behind the High-Rolling Hucksters Pushing Porn, Pills, and @*#?% Enlargements from bn.com. Sla"


ugh, no comment.

Re:BTW.... (2, Funny)

Vombatus (777631) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105894)

Hmmmm, I heard about it in an email I received recently

Suitable for shelving next to The DaVinci Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12104987)

I'll put my copy between the unread copies of DaVinci and Atlas Shrugged.

Re:Suitable for shelving next to The DaVinci Code (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105304)

Put it between the floor and the fridge if it needs leveling and your copy of Dianetics or anything by Stephen R. Doorknobson is wearing out.

Punishment (4, Funny)

downward dog (634625) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105010)

Anyone else think the best solution to spam is to bring back the stocks [wikipedia.org] ?

No really, I'm serious.

Re:Punishment (2, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105062)

In all seriousness, that would be considered cruel and/or unusual punishment by the Supreme Court.

But, of course, it would be fun to see.

Re:Punishment (2, Insightful)

downward dog (634625) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105237)

In all seriousness, that would be considered cruel and/or unusual punishment by the Supreme Court.

You're right, of course, but sometimes I wonder why some punishments are considered cruel and unusual. Why is corporeal punishment cruel, but solitary confinement and the death penalty are not?

Re:Punishment (0, Flamebait)

norkakn (102380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105436)

because we don't have to look at them silly. And most of them are black anyways, not actual people

Re:Punishment (1)

norkakn (102380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105714)

I really hope that whomever modded this realizes that I was being half sarcastic and half pointing out how fucked up our reasons are

Re:Punishment (2, Interesting)

fossa (212602) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105409)

Oh come on, I receive about 50 spam emails per day (which makes me lucky). It wouldn't take long for it to become "usual".

Cruel and Unusual (1)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12107268)

For three days the world had watched while chirpsithtra executioners smothered four men slowly to death. In some nations it had even been televised. "Don't you see, we don't *do* things like that. We've got laws against cruel and unusual punishment."

"How do you deal with cruel and unusual crimes?"

I shrugged.

"Cruel and unusual crimes require cruel and unusual punishment. You humans lack a sense of proportion, Rick Schumann."

Re:Punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105429)

along the lines of the unsensible. how the hell is spam a security issue? now i get as much spam as the next guy (at least i assume, i mean across 4 or 5 inboxes only less than 20 a week and i have never seen anyone elses inbox) what is with this hate issue? it is not like they are forceing you to buy stuff. and from the story about a week ago (i think it was 1 in 10 have found a product their life needed) it seems to me that some people are wanting this service. email is just another advertising channel that has very little control over what can be sold (i mean try showing a commercial for ciggeretts or porn on daytime tv) and is easy to access, no wonder it is so popular. now the hate against phishers and other people out trying to take your money (unless by some very stupid way you give it to them then you get what you have had comming) or some other scam i can understand. if some spammer contacted me and had something to sell me that i wanted i would have no poblem buying it. an advertiser's job is to show you products you need/want.

Re:Punishment (0)

mjfgates (150958) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106385)

Nah, they should just make the spammers buy Internet stocks. Scott Richter, you must go and buy five million shares of InfoSpace... AT TEN DOLLARS EACH!

And I just got an email selling stocks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12106620)

Coincidence? I think not!!!

wow (0, Offtopic)

meyerj88 (844173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105015)

ive never posted this early before

potential audience: zed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105020)

"as well as the everyday email user still wondering where the heck all those Viagra ads in their inboxes really comes from."

that puts the potential readership at zero.

Shelving suggestions... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105039)

With Spam Kings, Mr. McWilliams has put together a book suitable for shelving next to The DaVinci Code

So that would be the recycling bin?

Re:Shelving suggestions... (1)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105068)

ditto to parent. davinci code is crap. its dressed up nice, but its still crap.

and you've asked yourself... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105041)

...why doesnt someone just go kill those motherfuckers"

Does O'Reilly consider "penis" a profanity? (4, Funny)

g0at (135364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105045)

or is it supposed to be read as "Spam Kings - The Real Story Behind the High-Rolling Hucksters Pushing Porn, Pills, and Fucking Bullshit Enlargements"?

Weird title nonetheless.

-b

Re:Does O'Reilly consider "penis" a profanity? (1)

skitz0 (89196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105071)

You sound bitter that those enlargement pills didn't work :P

Re:Does O'Reilly consider "penis" a profanity? (1)

g0at (135364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105121)

Heh. Well, they didn't do much for my fucking bullshit (not to mention my bullshit fucking), that's for sure.

-b

Re:Does O'Reilly consider "penis" a profanity? (4, Insightful)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105290)

Try getting a book with penis in the title a prime spot in Borders. Yes it is sad that this is the case but you can't really blame them for simply playing the game.

Hello, where's the penis? (2, Funny)

weharc (852974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105053)

I can't believe that they have to replace the word penis in the sub-title with "@*#?%". That's political correctness gone overboard.

Re:Hello, where's the penis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105080)

Couldn't they have at least used a synonym for it that wasn't as "offensive" as penis? Like member?

Re:Hello, where's the penis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105090)

You can say "porn" but you can't say penis. Cause, y'know, if a little kid sees the book, which of those two words is easier to explain?

Re:Hello, where's the penis? (1)

kaosrain (543532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105093)

I know, it's absurd. They SHOULD have replaced it with "%#?!$."

Re:Hello, where's the penis? (1)

Big_Al_B (743369) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105908)

I just assumed it was done to generalize between penis and breast enlargement spam, or to play on the subject-line garbage-characters that spammers use to confuse filters.

Re:Hello, where's the penis? (1)

the Penis (872440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106239)

I'm right here. God, would you stop asking alread?

2nd edition? (3, Funny)

Mike Markley (9536) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105088)

Real geeks know we're already up to the 3rd edition of the Bat Book... ;)

Re:2nd edition? (1)

_Stryker (15742) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105397)

Ah, yes we do, but real geeks that have been around for a little while bought the 2nd edition when it came out and now just use google to find info on things that have changed since then (or just go directly to sendmail.org). That way you can take the money that you save and apply it to other geeky purchases.

Re:2nd edition? (2, Insightful)

zaphod123 (219697) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105505)

Real geeks have moved on to Postfix or qmail....

That's RIGHT Robin..... (1)

ZoomieDood (778915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105530)

With Bat-counting... 2+1=3, but occasionally 4, but only when Joker's around.

But there's that issue of copyright infringment. *I* am the BAT, and I'm not mentioned anywhere inside "The Bat Book".

But enough of that, Robin. There's a sale on tights at Walmart! To the batcave!

And then to Borders for a latte... and a 3rd edition bat book.

Spam greatest threats to ecommerce (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105095)

Like it or not, spam IS ecommerce as long as a certain percentage of idiots respond and pony up the due for the advertised product.

the typical stereotype (3, Insightful)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105104)

They are playing on the stereotype that all spammers live extremely well off their activities, although this may have been true up until recently, and there are still people making huge amounts of money from it - the reason phising and stuff is becoming more common is because the profits from spam are becoming lower

You can't just pick up a mailing software, buy a list and sit back and watch the money roll in anymore, so the new kids wanting to be millionaires have to result to more devious tactics

Let's hope this book realises that. Either way it should be a great read on the huge industry that is/was spamming.

Da Vinci Code (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105115)

With Spam Kings, Mr. McWilliams has put together a book suitable for shelving next to The DaVinci Code and the Bat Book

It's pretty impressive when even the poster manages to be OT.

I'm in the book (5, Informative)

SSpade (549608) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105124)

I'm only mentioned once, but it got your attention... Much more importantly I know a lot of people who are mentioned in the book, what they said to Mr McWilliams, and I know a lot of the reality behind the story it pretends to tell.

Spam Kings is bad fiction, created by a hack reporter. It bears no resemblance to reality, and contradicts statements that were made by those who were interviewed by Brian McWilliams.

It's something that should really be serialised by the Sunday Sport or the Weekly World News.

That a publisher like O'Reilly published it is very sad.

I'd never heard of spamroll before, which in itself says a lot about it given the business I'm in, but this positive review of a book that's widely accepted to be badly written fiction says a lot about its credibility.

Re:I'm in the book (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105282)

what they said to Mr McWilliams

And especially what they didn't say to Mr McWilliams, so he filled in the gaps himself.

Re:I'm in the book (3, Funny)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105345)

Spam Kings is bad fiction


Ah! I was wondering why the submitter deemed it in the same class as [u]The DaVinci Code[/u].

(Slashdot won't accept underline markups?)

Be specific (5, Interesting)

BMcWilliams (621149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105852)

Steve, care to produce some specifics about where Spam Kings departs from the historical record? The book is carefully documented/footnoted and is based entirely on fact (court documents, spam samples, chat logs, newsgroup postings, website archives, interviews, etc.). If you really care about getting this bit of Internet history right, you'll submit something to O'Reilly's errata page [oreilly.com] . Otherwise, your posting just sounds like sour grapes.

Re:Be specific (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12106261)

You want some factual errors. OK.

Afterburner did have a signature line claiming he handled spam complaints for Erols.

AOL didn't use the RBL to filter mail.

Sam Al of BulkISP didn't call Kelly a bitch, he called another MAPS staffer who was not involved with the RBL, a bitch.

Sanford Wallace stopped spamming in late '97, long before he started discussions with Jim Nitchals about "going straight" in '98.

Those are errors that even the laziest intern can disprove in a few minutes. I'm sure they're not the only ones, but I'm not going to do your research for you.

SamSpade deserves its credibility (2, Interesting)

Spamroll (870820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106181)

Steve,

There is no doubt you, your site and your work deserve lot of credibility in "the business." What I am trying to do with Spamroll is not upend anyone's credibility, but instead try to enhance it by letting the general population know that you actually exist.

Whether or not Brian's book appeals to the technical set, it will get good shelf space. That means an everyday email user may get curious and pick it up. And that means they will realize a fight IS going on, and quit complaining to their sys admin or ISP everytime they get spammed. They become more aware, and learn to deal with the problem in the interim, as well as avoid the "user errors" that exacerbate the problem in the first place.

That makes yours and your colleague's job easier, and that should be a good thing, eh?

Also, note in the introduction that Spamroll is classified as "new", hence there is no reason to believe you would or should have heard of it. If you have some suggestions on how I can spread the word in a more effective (or more credible, which ever you prefer) manner, please let me know. I have provided a link to your sites tools section (long ago), but would be overjoyed to get your additional input.

Regards,

Michael

Re:SamSpade deserves its credibility (2, Insightful)

SSpade (549608) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106498)

There's nothing wrong with yet another blog about spam issues at all. At a brief look yours looks as good as most, better than some.

Reviewing a book that is simply not an accurate history of events and not commenting on that leaves the impression that you're not aware of the reality of what actually happened during the period the book attempts to document, and that you didn't notice from some of the obvious writing techniques used in the book that it's, at best, a fictionalised account. (Not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with a fictional account based in a real universe and mentioning some real character either, as long as it's not mistaken for an accurate description of history.)

None of which is a particularly big deal, but if you post a glowing review of a badly written book to the front page of slashdot, expect to get called on it.

Re:I'm in the book (2, Insightful)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106508)

Agreed. I watched the story in Spam Kings unfold, having started reading NANAE regularly a month or two after Shiksaa joined in. Most of the material in the book is derived from NANAE postings from fall of '99 up to early '04. Read the book, then google for some of the subject material. You'll find it on NANAE. It's not all fiction, but don't give much credence to the glamourization of Shiksaa and Hawke. Let's call this a badly spun and/or embellished reference.

Next to The DaVinci Code ? (4, Funny)

CommieOverlord (234015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105131)

You're talking about the shelf I keep in my closet to hide all the books I'm embarrassed to have bought?

Re:Next to The DaVinci Code ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105182)

Next to Da Vinci Code seems approrpriate, assuming SSpade's opinion is correct: "Spam Kings is bad fiction, created by a hack... It bears no resemblance to reality."

Re:Next to The DaVinci Code ? (1)

Wescotte (732385) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105353)

Next to Da Vinci Code seems approrpriate, assuming SSpade's opinion is correct: "Spam Kings is bad fiction, created by a hack... It bears no resemblance to reality."

I'm about 50 pages away from finishing Da Vinci Code (and will finish it later tonight) but I'm just wondering why you considering it bad fiction created by a hack?

Eric

Re:Next to The DaVinci Code ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105442)

I'm about 50 pages away from finishing Da Vinci Code (and will finish it later tonight) but I'm just wondering why you considering it bad fiction created by a hack?

If you've gotten that far and don't see his point, well, then don't worry your pretty little head about it. It's a fine book. Really. Honest.

Re:Next to The DaVinci Code ? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105348)

You're talking about the shelf I keep in my closet to hide all the books I'm embarrassed to have bought?

That's what reviews [leaderu.com] are for ;-)

Read It While You can (2, Funny)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105132)

suitable for shelving next to The DaVinci Code

So, if this thing is a huge success and still in print two years from now, the Vatican will ask us to stop reading it [cwnews.com] , right?

Errata (1)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105148)

Please attach a chapter on Wordpress in the next update of this book.

Re:Errata (1)

basilpronoun (700414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105383)

that's only one error. Better add..
Erratum: For errata read erratum.

Now that there's more than one, better change it to:
Errata: For erratum read errata.

Re:Errata (1)

JimmehAH (817552) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105483)

Gemsites Standards Compliant Open Source CMS

One could be forgiven for thinking you have an ulterior motive for making this statement :P

Re:Errata (1)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105864)

One could be forgiven for thinking you have an ulterior motive for making this statement :P

I see what you're saying, but I will suggest that what Wordpress did will have an impact on every other CMS out there. It's changed my perspective. I have to be twice as careful about my CMS and so as a result, this action from Wordpress has cost me valuable time rethinking SEO decisions...etc.

Re:Errata (1)

JimmehAH (817552) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106034)

Very true.

If the developers (of WordPress) were having financial difficulties perhaps they should have tried a fund-raising drive. They accept PayPal donations so it's not as if they're above such a thing.

Spam with trigger words in the pictures (4, Interesting)

kuriharu (756937) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105149)

I get Spams now that have about 2-3 paragraphs of text that are mostly plagurized poetry, then all of the words that trigger spam filters are in the grpahics included in the HTML email. It's a smart tactic (albeit annoying). It really throws off the spam filters. Does anyone else get a lot of these? Anyway to filter them out?

They change the bogus names and email addresses, of course, but the ads clearly are coming from the same source.

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (2, Informative)

chmilar (211243) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105240)

To begin, disable HTML email!

E-mail should be plain old text.

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (2, Informative)

kuriharu (756937) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105358)

To begin, disable HTML email!...E-mail should be plain old text.

I agree. It's already set to that. That won't keep the spam from getting in my mailbox, since the messages don't contain any trigger words.

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105246)

yeah, read and send all your mail in plain text format..

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105299)

yeah, read and send all your mail in plain text format..

Doesn't everyone have WebPine [washington.edu] ? It makes it oh so easy to avoid spam.

Especially when you run it inside Firefox 1.0.2

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (1)

kuriharu (756937) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105335)

yeah, read and send all your mail in plain text format..

That will keep me from reading the SPAM, but it will still get through the filter. I already do that.

Thanks anyway.

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105326)

how many people do you know that send you html email?

my rules are set to roundfile anything with html in it that's not from a known source. (some of my online billpayments send html confirmation emails that I want to see)

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (1)

kuriharu (756937) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105403)

What email client are you using to set the rules that allow you to do that? I haven't looked at rules setup long enough to see if I can route HTML mail.

The bigger question is: how do we get filters to stop spams that don't have any trigger words, other than by using black/whitelists? Since there's no words like vi@g.ra or pe!nis in them, they'd be pretty hard to catch.

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106260)

mail.app (in OS X) has a very nice ruleset in preferences under Rules.

I had quite a collection of antispam rules that caught 99% of the spam. Then I started using my own mailserver, which subscribes to RBLs. RBLs + a new email address (no more spam fished from usenet posts 10 yrs ago!) means no spam for me, and no filters needed anymore.

Re:Spam with trigger words in the pictures (2, Insightful)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105993)

If you correspond with Windows/Outlook users who aren't geeks, I'd say the odds are almost 100% that you'll get HTML email from them.

In fact, I even send it myself. As a Mac user, it comes out in pretty fonts, and I actually like things that way.

What might work is to round file HTML email with images since most people aren't going to send that to strangers. Unless, of course, you've placed a personal ad asking for a picture.

Then you might wind up throwing away all your responses and wondering why nobody loves you!

D

"Spam Kings" is Crap (5, Interesting)

Caveman Og (653107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105244)

I'm sorry, but many of my friends, colleagues, associates, and fellow anti-spammers (as the case may be) who were "profiled" by Brian McWilliams for his book, were dealt a raw deal by this putative "reporter".

The resulting book does not only not tell the full story, but engages in several rounds of make-believe, inventing situations and supposing events and circumstances which could not have been known by the author.

His focus on Susan Gunn after she explicitly asked NOT to be included in his book has done naught but damage to her.

The reader will not know this, however, and think that they are getting a front-row seat on what's really going on out there. McWilliams has done a massive disservice in this.

Far from telling a true story, this book contains much that is fabricated from the whole cloth.

I should note that while he was writing this book, I had several contacts with Mr. McWilliams. I am thankful that he chose not to include me in it, but rather disgusted at what he managed distort of what others told him.

Re:"Spam Kings" is Crap (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105376)

His focus on Susan Gunn after she explicitly asked NOT to be included in his book has done naught but damage to her.

Do you have anything to back this statement up? I'd like to know more about this.

Re:"Spam Kings" is Crap (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105746)

I'd like to know more about this.

I imagine that her wishes would extend to comments about a review of a book that she asked not to be in in the first place.

Re:"Spam Kings" is Crap (2, Informative)

Caveman Og (653107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106421)

You would imagine correctly. Nor am I willing to discuss details of private conversations.

Re:"Spam Kings" is Crap (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106632)

Then, with all due respect, I will have to take your comment with a grain of salt, as I have nothing further to back up your statement. No offense is intended.

Re:"Spam Kings" is Crap (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106615)

A link would be nice. If it is a link to a post on Slashdot, a link to the post and something showing that person is who she says she is would be nice.

No offence is intended to Ms. Gunn by this request, however, the nature of Slashdot and message boards in general lend themselves to not only a certain amount of anonymity, but also make it easier for people to pose as someone else, within limits.

Susan Gunn (4, Informative)

BMcWilliams (621149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105779)

Susan Gunn may be feigning unhappiness with Spam Kings in anti-spammer forums. But in a recent conversation with me, she asked whether she could buy a large quantity of books at a discount, so she could give them away to friends. (This is on top of the three copies I've already sent her gratis.) That doesn't seem like the behavior of someone who thinks she's been "damaged" by a book. Unless, of course, she wants the copies to distribute to her team of 15 attorneys. ;-)

She will sue in in multiple jurisdictions. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105905)

She wants a book for evidence in each. Makes sense to me.

Good? (4, Funny)

sparkz (146432) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105248)

With Spam Kings, Mr. McWilliams has put together a book suitable for shelving next to The DaVinci Code and the Bat Book (Sendmail 2nd edition

The context implies that this is a Good Place For a Book To Be.
That strikes me as odd though - I recycled both: "DaVinci Code" for being a bunch of unfounded hokum, and Sendmail (the software, and therefore the book) for being too obfuscated for our simple few-dozen-domains setup (switched to Exim a few years ago, haven't looked back)

Maybe the implication is that I should do with Spam Kings what I do with spam... trash it (er, I mean, read it thoroughly and believe every word???)

Alongside DVC is a warning of crapness (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105430)

DaVinci Code is crappy cyber-fiction. just like most sci-fi is a comlete fabrication not rooted in science, DaVinci code is not rooted in reality either. I would not read DVC again.

It seems from some posts that Spam Kings is similar. The author has chosen his facts to make a nice read for the tech-non-savvy. I won't be buying - thanks to the warning that it belongs alongside DVC.

Re:Alongside DVC is a warning of crapness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105995)

Whether or not it's rooted in reality doesn't have much to do with how good a book it is. It's called fiction for a reason (DaVinci Code not Spam Kings).

Re:Good? (2, Funny)

stev_mccrev (712012) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106532)

"DaVinci Code" for being a bunch of unfounded hokum

Totally. All these books I keep buying from the fiction section always turn out to be completely made up!

Re:Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12107095)

Well, I know that, and you know that (and Ringo here definitely knows that), but the problem is that there are a lot of really stupid people who take it seriously and think there is some truth behind it.

In any event, it really is poorly written sensationalistic mush besides.

Cool (4, Funny)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105297)

I just bought this book after receiving a series of fascinating emails telling me about it.

fagor2 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12105406)

be a 3ock-sucking mechanics. So I'm

for a moment I thought it said (1)

basilpronoun (700414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105508)

> ... resource on spam, phisting, and other internet ...
Luckily it doesn't say that but I wonder what that term will eventually get used for.

Re:for a moment I thought it said (2, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105935)

phisting

That's when someone emails pretending to be your bank, asks for your account info, and offers sexual services.

The blog for Spam Kings (1)

AssFace (118098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12105778)

Note that the author of Spam Kings runs a blog too [oreilly.com] .

I was going to make some snide remark of why another spam blog needs to be created when the author of the book this guy is telling us about already has a blog up and running... but I run a spam blog too (anti-spam that is) - so I guess I'd be a bit of a hypocrite there :)

fuck a Bcock (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12106012)

ass of the8 all,

I'll only buy it (3, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106183)

if it includes a DVDROM full of the latest spamming software and a bunch of emailing addresses to get me started in the biz.

Interesting tidbit about Sanford Wallace.... (4, Funny)

gm0e (872436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106233)

This guy started a dance club in rural New Hampshire after he "oficially" got out of the spam business. The funny thing is that every month or so he mass emails all of the University of New Hampshire students advertising his scummy club by pretending to be a girl talking about the place. At one point I sent him a snide reply "Why don't you just go back to spamming professionally?" I can't find his response but it was something to the effect that he has more fun doing it unprofessionally.

Question (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106235)

IANAL, so...now that we have all this wonderfully detailed information about spammers, how do we use it to have them locked up for 20 years or so with their very own girlfriend named Spike? ;-)

What about.... (1)

Quixote (154172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12106840)

Is there any mention of the following luminaries:
Alan Ralsky
6747 Minnow Pond Dr.
W. Bloomfield, MI 48322

Laura Betterly
717 Weathersfield Dr.
Dunedin, FL 34698-7437
(just keepin' the memory alive... ;-) )

YUO FAIL IT? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12107147)

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