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Thread: Attacks prompt shutdown of antispam lists

  1. #1
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    Sep 2003

    Attacks prompt shutdown of antispam lists

    Three Web sites that provide spam-blocking lists have been forced offline as a result of crippling Internet attacks in what experts say is an escalation in the war between spammers and opponents of unsolicited e-mails.
    Antispam experts said Thursday that they believe spammers are behind the attacks, although they have no way of proving it.

    The technological war comes as Congress considers a federal antispam law and California adopts what is widely considered to be the toughest such law in the country. The California law, signed Tuesday, allows people to sue spammers for $1,000 per unsolicited e-mail and up to $1 million for a spam campaign.

    "This definitely marks an escalation in the spam wars," Andrew Barrett, executive director of the Spamcon Foundation, a spam watchdog group, said of the recent Internet attacks on lists used to block spam. "Before, it was a guerrilla war...This is the first time we've seen (spammers) employ such brazen tactics."

    Antispam advocates maintain hundreds of spam-block or "black hole" lists, which are Web sites with lists of the numerical Internet Protocol addresses of specific computers or e-mail servers that are unsecure or are known sources of spam. Network administrators and Internet service providers consult the lists and block e-mails coming from those computers as part of their spam-filtering techniques.

    Two of those spam-block lists have shut down after being attacked by denial-of-service attacks, in which compromised computers are used to send so much traffic to a Web site that it is temporarily taken down. The operator of another list shut down fearing a pending attack.

    "There seems to be a methodical, well-planned attempt to use preassembled networks of zombie machines to create sustained denial-of-service attacks on servers where these block lists run," said Barrett.

    Monkeys.com shut down on Monday following a three-day denial-of-service attack over the weekend and an attack last month that lasted 10 days, list operator Ronald Guilmette said in a posting to an antispam news group. By Friday, the site was back online.

    "The handwriting is now on the wall," he wrote. "I will simply not be allowed to continue fighting spam."

    Spam-block list operator Osiriusoft.com also recently shut down its list after a denial-of-service attack. And on Tuesday the list maintained at Tennessee Internet service provider Compu-Net Enterprises was taken down.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    I can see antispamming laws being overturned eventually as not constitutional. I use the latest court decision on the national do not call list that 2 separate judges have stopped. The argument? Freedom of Speech. And a telephone call is a whole lot more intrusive than an e-mail.

    Of course this type of behaviour of pursuing illegal means to destroy a site is not conductive to what I would think would be in their best interest in trying to get goverment approval to continue to operate? Doesn't make sense to me?

    But then again Spammers are like the scum that grows on a pond, stinky.
    West of House
    You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here.

  3. #3
    Member GandalfTheGray's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    By the way, as I read the stories, the rationale for the latest overturn of the do no call list was on the grounds that charities were excluded from the law. While this was couched as a Freedom of Speech issue, it did not say that a do not call list was unconstitutional in general, just one that said that some could be fined for violating the do not call provision and others could not, based on the lawmaker's view of which groups should interrupt your dinner.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
    Originally posted here by RoadClosed
    But then again Spammers are like the scum that grows on a pond, stinky.
    Stinky? Stinky rich!

    Not exactly rich, but hey, they got to make a living! Not that Im condoning their actions-- Im annoyed as hell with the amount of spam I receive each day. Why not make an anti-spam list? Oh wait....they are people too...

    Id have to agree with you nevertheless, but its gonna take a long time for me to acknowledge those dirty spammers!
    It\'s 106 miles to Chicago, we\'ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it\'s dark and we\'re wearing sunglasses.

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  5. #5
    BIOS Bomber
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    Jul 2003
    Lol, Doesnt anyone get sick of DDOS attacks? It gets old. Damned lamers. Heh.
    "When in doubt, use Brute Force."

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2003
    Lame but it works in them getting the headlines and their message across. And also this effectively shuts down the antispamming sites. even if for a few days.

    I think spammers suck. but at this point there is not much we can do except spam filters until the law does something about it. i dont see that happening anytime soon cos telemarketers have been allowd to do what they are doing for ages and only now is something being done about it. although so far it has not been effective.

    what abt junk mail in your mailbox. i live in an apartment and i get lots of junk mail daily. after complaining for a while, the management installed a door at the back of the rows of mailboxes. the only people with the key are the management and the postmen. We can still open the doors in the front to take our mail but noting can go in except thru the back which only a few people have the key. This drastically reduced the amount of junk mail we have been getting.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    I find this one very difficult to call. We all get "unsolicited communications" by a caller at the door, a telephone call, snail mail and e-mail?

    If the caller does NOT hide who they are, and does NOT use the resources of computers that they do not own, then I think that they have the right to do so, even if I am not interested in their product? Otherwise, I would say that the logical conclusion would be to ban all advertising as "intrusive".

    What really gets to me are these adverts that come via all sorts of unprotected servers, and are totally irrelevant..."offer applies to the US and Canada only"...........I live in bloody England mate! so why send it to me?

    I am in the process of renovating an old house, and I would guess that the unsolicited communications I have received saved me in excess of $50,000 in the past two years. Why? because if I call them it is a seller's market; if they call me it is a buyer's market I have even had around $5,000 "income" in money or extras, because neighbours have seen what was done for me, and got the same guys in to do it for them. That I call normal commercial activity.

    I go back to the relevancy..........if they do not "profile" and they use other people's resource they are pond life.

    At the moment, I think that the best solution would be the public castration of the sysadmins of those servers that the spammers use


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