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Spam King Lives Large off Others' E-Mail Troubles 294

An anonymous reader writes "Those who are fighting spam will tell you that one of the most notorious spammers out there is Alan Ralsky. Well, the Detroit Free Press has a very interesting article on him. This guy is about as unrepentant as they come, and he's saying he wants to branch out into delivering pop-up spam via the Windows Messanging service present on most Windows boxes. If you sysadmins out there have been wavering about whether to block spam-friendly networks, read this article, then go to The Spamhaus Project and SPEWS and start getting IP ranges to block." Update: 11/25 12:35 GMT by H : Yep, it's a dupe. Nope, I haven't had my coffee yet.
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Spam King Lives Large off Others' E-Mail Troubles

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  • Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

    by Koyaanisqatsi ( 581196 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:06AM (#4750274)
  • Alan Ralsky? (Score:4, Informative)

    by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:06AM (#4750275)
    This Alan Ralsky?

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/11/22/1658 25 6&tid=111

    As described here, quite recently?

    http://www.freep.com/money/tech/mwend22_20021122 .h tm

    Furrfu... So, what's new? Now we know it's SMB popups for sure, then? What were those two Romanians doing telling him that would get through people's firewalls?
    • Re:Alan Ralsky? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gmack ( 197796 )
      Must be the same guys who sold him that "uncrackable encryption" for hiding links he one thought would keep my former employer's buisness free of spam complaints.

      You would think he would have learned by now.
    • So the Romanians lied to him, isn't this a good thing?

      Dear Mr Ransky
      !!!!DO NOT DELETE THIS!!!
      !!!!THIS IS NOT SPAM!!!!!
      Please read on to find out the latest trends in internet advertising, make $5000 per week just by sitting at your computer. Thanks to the world wide web and microsofts security become a millionaire in weeks!!! New advertising techniques developed by a crack team of romainian programmers allow direct-market-content-delivery-infrastructure-syst ems to be deployed on your PC. Market to millions realtime...


      lalala, at least I hope it went something like that :-/
    • Re:Alan Ralsky? (Score:4, Informative)

      by reaper20 ( 23396 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @09:06AM (#4750511) Homepage
      Pretty sure this is him [switchboard.com].
  • by Dunark ( 621237 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:10AM (#4750286)
    This guy Ralsky sends a billion spams a day, which has got to be costing the unwilling recipients a huge amount of money in wasted resources and time, but the FBI is busy busting a few people who uncap their cable modems in Toledo Ohio.
    • by Christopher_G_Lewis ( 260977 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @10:54AM (#4751152) Homepage
      Very simple. One act is against federal law, the other act is not.

      It's a Good Thing(tm) when the FBI/Police are allowed to only enforce laws that exist.

      What we have to do is change the laws. Write (spam :-) your congress person. Call them. Do anything.

      During the recent campaign/election I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of candidates. I made sure that I understood their stance on my current pet peeves (H1B, DMCA, Copyrights), and voted accordingly. I also informed them as to *why* I was voting the way I was.

      Might not do anything.

      Might change the world...
      • Write (spam :-) your congress person.

        Since congresscritters tend to do things for their own benefit most of the time, maybe we could make things more personal. Grab their e-mail addresses (the public ones are probably OK, private ones better but more shady) and include them in your signature when you post to newsgroups, e-mail lists, what-have-you. Something innocent, like:

        I participate in the legal system, you should too!
        E-mail your representatives! Mine are:
        Sen. Bribetaker: bribetaker@senate.gov.fake
        Sen. Moneybags: moneybags@senate.gov.fake
        Rep. B.S.Artiste: artiste@congress.gov.fake


        or whatever. Then post furiously in public forums, let the address grabbers pick up on the addresses, and wait until pure annoyance causes anti-spam legislation.

        -SablKnight
  • Yay... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Omkar ( 618823 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:10AM (#4750288) Homepage Journal
    C'mon, I know this guy deserves to be hung, drawn, and quartered, but let's not repeat the exact same link.
  • by Moe Yerca ( 14391 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:11AM (#4750294) Journal
    Let me tell you, this crap is uber annoying. It's enough to make me want to shut down the Messaging service, or at least get off my rear end and set up a firewall. Hell, ZoneAlarm should be able to block out the WinPopUp spam, but there will always be schmoes like me too lazy to protect their home networks for these guys to annoy...

    Oh well, time to go to work.

    • It's enough to make me want to shut down the Messaging service

      So why the don't you? Second thing (first thing is downloading PuTTY) I do when getting on a Windows box is shut off the Server and Messaging services.
    • Countermeasures (Score:5, Interesting)

      by osolemirnix ( 107029 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:29AM (#4750364) Homepage Journal
      Yeah but can't we do something about it? AFAIK, in contrast to email that comes in via someone elses open relay, a windows messaging request is a direct connection, so it's possible to get the senders IP adress.
      Instead of firewalling the port, hack a small script that listens on the port and launches a "countermeasures" against the source IP adress.

      Would some kind Windows hacker please program this?!
      Yes I am aware that there may be legal implications, I'm just thinking about the tech here. That's why I'm saying countermeasures and not counterattacks, e.g. some kind of teergrube [everything2.com]

      • Re:Countermeasures (Score:2, Interesting)

        by clone304 ( 522767 )
        How about a program that turns around and spams the hell out of them with Pop-ups? Surely they couldn't sue you for exercising your 1st amendment right to advertise to them. I'm sure what's his name needs some herbal viagra, or maybe he'd like to help the Nigerians with a little financial snafu.
      • You've got to understand that the computers that are sending this crap are generally just some poor schmoe that got trojanned, not the actual culprit. (Sure, you may be doing everyone a favour by blasting them off the net, but you're hurting innocent people).
  • by imag0 ( 605684 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:16AM (#4750310) Homepage
    Ralsky agreed to this interview and the tour of his operation only if I promised not to print the address of his new home, which I found in Oakland County real estate records.

    Hehe. Looks like someone is going to get some hatemail. Nice of Mike Wendland to slip that in there like that.
  • by e8johan ( 605347 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:17AM (#4750314) Homepage Journal

    The response rate is the key to the whole operation, said Ralsky. These days, it's about one-quarter of 1 percent.

    "But you figure it out," said Ralsky. "When you're sending out 250 million e-mails, even a blind squirrel will find a nut."

    Has he never figured out that if he spewed out less shit to people not wanting it, he would have to spend less dollars on hardware, bandwidth and personal security.

    Also, it looks like he is trying to hide (stealth spam, etc.). Why does he do that as he is claiming that his business is legitimate. Why not admit that he is a shit-bag, sending loads of e-mails nobody wants, eating bandwidth from research and serious commercial sites.

    • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @09:02AM (#4750497)
      Have you not figured out that the millions that he makes makes all that irrelevant? No, really. Hardware is dirt cheap (see beowulf clusters under $1k/node) these days, he's already paying for bandwidth (might as well keep the pipe flooded, unlimited access is great, no?), no one is actually taking shots at him through his windows (yet), hurling bombs through his garage or anything like that. Getting an unlisted number is relatively cheap, and the $50 or so he spends on a new cell phone is PEANUTS to what he really makes (seriously, if you're making $6-10k/WEEK net, does $50 every few months really make a difference on your bottom line?).

  • by Konster ( 252488 )
    Mmm. SPAMNet, I love you. I get 1-2 SPAM e-mails a day, down from 20 or 30. Windows Messaging Service has been turned off by me minutes after installing XP, thank you. He'll do this, it'll be a pain for a week, then Steve Gibson at GRC.com will slap some binary together that will turn off WMS for those people that don't know how. It'll then show up all over the web and people careful about their computing environment won't be bothered by this SPAM shit. There should be laws against this!
  • by brinko99 ( 140880 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:20AM (#4750324) Homepage

    Regardless of what Mr. Ralsky says, I don't feel that this new breed of Spam will ever come close to the problem e-mail Spam has. It seems to me that this type of spamming is just too easy to block. If this starts to become widespread, ISP's will likely ban any offending account. Any halfway secure corporate intranet should already prevent Windows messages to be passed in from the outside.

    Ultimately, it's a lot harder to hide the identity of the sender here. There's no spoofed headers to fool people. Furthermore, most of the public doesn't _need_ Windows Messenging but they do need e-mail.

    -- Brinko
    • Any halfway secure corporate intranet should already prevent Windows messages to be passed in from the outside.

      For those that don't know, the way to configure a firewall is to first block everything then selectively open only the ports that you need inbound. You can run a fully functional network with no inbound ports open at all, for example if you retrieve mail from your ISP you are initiating the connection. If network administrators are even only half competent, Windows Messaging will therfore be blocked by default.
  • by FeatureBug ( 158235 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:20AM (#4750326)
    So if Blocking Popup Ads is Theft [slashdot.org], anyone wanna bet he has a good business model?
    • By that logic, blocking spam is also theft.
    • You're comparing apples and oranges here. In one case, we're talking about pop-up ads tied to (otherwise free) content being provided on the web that the user is actively seeking out. On the other hand, we're talking about a spammer invading your computer, exclusively for the purpose of sending you unwanted ads.

      Furthermore, in the case of "blocking pop-up ads being theft", it was a technological solution rather than a legal one. All it was was website content producers only providing content to users who don't block pop-ups. That're you're trying to draw some connection between the two scenarios is just absurd.

    • Well spam is really is theft. Compared to other forms of advertising.

      Banner and even Popup adds: Although they use extra bandwith they help defer the cost of opertating a web site, thus keeping the content free for the site.

      TV and Radio Adds: Help defer the cost of your TV shows that you watch.

      Junk Snail Mail: Keeps the USPS running and keeping stamp prices low. With out Junk mail Stamps could be well over a doller for a a letter.

      Some Bill Boards: Depending on their location. If they are located on City Busses and Shelters they help defer the cost of public transportation. But I dont like them just standing in on the road side distracting drivers.

      All these other forms of advertising help the echonomy in the large. By causing movement of money to different indrustries. Spam Mail generally pays no one to send out the junk mail it looses productivty of its readers. So the only people really making money with SPAM are the Spammers, and they are not helping the echonomy they are just sucking up the money that could go toward better things.
  • The bit about the 2 romanian programmers writing something that will pop up messages on your screen. How will that work exactly? Is he being taken for a ride (we can only hope) or are these romanians going to exploit a bug in Windows (unix is safe unless someone is dumb enough to allow all hosts access to their X server) in which case it will be a crime and this f*ckwit can be busted for hacking?
    • " The bit about the 2 romanian programmers writing something that will pop up messages on your screen. How will that work exactly?"

      This is real and it does not exploit a windows 'bug' so to speak. There is a messaging service built into win2k/xp that is automatically enabled that can be used by network admins to send messages to clients. Unfortunately it will receive messages from any sender, not just a designated admin, and display them on the screen.

      There was a previous article about this on /. describing it and how to turn it off.

  • by Ari Rahikkala ( 608969 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:22AM (#4750336) Journal
    All the +5 funny responses about digging up +5 insightful and +5 informative responses that have already been posted on repeat stories!
  • by clickety6 ( 141178 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:25AM (#4750346)
    ... we should be sending all our AOL CDs to ?
  • false logic? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by deathcloset ( 626704 )
    I think people who copy the interview and then re-post it on slashdot as the first reply are great!
    That said, From that response, Ralsky can monitor the effectiveness of his pitch and the subject line on the e-mail to make sure he's getting maximum return. Does this mean we should start opening e-mails that we are certain not to buy the product of?
  • by DocSnyder ( 10755 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:32AM (#4750373)
    In Germany we have a BIG problem with porn dialer spam. Most of these spammers use accounts on the Canadian freeweb hoster "netmails.com [netmails.com]", who refuses to kick spamvertized sites even on several spam incidents which have been spamvertizing the same accounts for weeks. We suspect "pink contracts" between the spammers and Netmails as well as between Netmails.com and its uplink AT&T Canada to keep these accounts and the spamhaus Netmails.com online.

    Lots of the spam recipients are just fed up, and after each spam run thousands of annoyed people slashdot spamvertized accounts on Netmails.com until it blows the whistle [netmails.com]. With the effect that "paying customers" look for a new hoster with better performance and will no longer supply Netmails.com with money. Hosting costs (traffic) on Netmails.com's side are growing, income is shrinking - so finally Netmails.com will have to change their spamfriendly business model or go down.

    If spammers and spamfriendly hosters will make the experience of each spam wave resulting in an enormous amount of network traffic and server load, they will have to think twice whether their infrastructure withstands the next spam run...

  • spamhouse/spews (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Random Walk ( 252043 )
    As much as I dislike spam (2/3 of my daily mail
    is spam), I dislike spamhouse/spews as well. Their
    idea of blocking complete netblocks is IMHO
    an utter failure - the damage is done to many small
    websites that are on the netblock perchance.

    The 'bad guys' are too high up to care if one of their
    C-class netblocks has some problem. After all,
    it is the webhosting companies on that netblock
    who will loose customers, not the network operators.
  • ... let's fight spam instead!
  • The Messenger Service hole was patched by MS weeks ago. Anyone running automatic updates, or anyone who does it reasonably often won't have this problem.
    • The spam wasn't happening because of a hole in messenger. That's exactly how the thing is supposed to work, it's just mostly useless outside of a network.
  • by siasl ( 541853 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @08:51AM (#4750463)
    Yep, you got to love it. In America only two things are considered when in business. 1. Can it make money?....Duh. 2. Is it legal? The question never gets asked. Is it the right thing to do....? We have become a totally amoral society.
    • So which one? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tacokill ( 531275 )
      ....and which version of "morality" do you suggest we use? Southern Babtists? Raging Liberals? Staunch Conservatives?

      You see, therein lies the rub. Defining what is moral and what is not is a subjective guess -- at best.
    • We should do something about this now. The United States of America is the only country that revolves around currency and it's time for a change.

      I declare myself ruler of the USA. My first change will be to run this country according to my religion, Nintendorkism. All business decisions will have to be approved by my ethics office. It doesn't matter if the general public would buy into something manufactured through shady, but legal means. I'll stop it before it gets on the market. There shall be no money. Everybody will be financially equal, thereby removing the need for innovation. It's about time we had another dark age!

      Unethical business practice isn't just in the USA. It happens in every human society and hierarchy. Even the Catholic church screws up and hides crimes. Get used to it and quit ripping on the USA (Probably your own country, asshole). If you want to get a company to play nice, raise awareness about their poor business practices and convince the consumers to take their money elsewhere.

    • >>>"We have become a totally amoral society."

      Since when has business been a "moral" activity? That's for the society as a whole to undertake. If the society as a whole develops rules of behavior which are imparted to children in school and adults in houses of worship or other community meeting places, business will tend to be more moral simply because people will tend to have more morality. Unfortunately there will always be a few immoral people who take full advantage of the system (e.g. our friend the spam king), but that's the price of a free society. With a generally moral populace, the immoral minority would be more or less controlled. For example, the spam king outrages others' sense of justice and causes them to take various kinds of action against him.

      The questions you should be asking is, how can we improve our school systems to impart moral education to our children?
  • address (Score:2, Informative)

    by sacevoy ( 260692 )
    found this at http://www.spamblocked.com/

    6747 Minnow Pond Dr, West Bloomfield, MI 48322

    The Mapquest search seems to bear out what Mike Wendland's column
    reported since Minnow Pond Drive is very near to Halsted/Maple.

    http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?mapdata=yNJ u1 Eg45fdtL0I1l7A%252bRXryNLPs0tgSXSzgCSYyXdlhnNA5GuI mU26ugsD9TleE3bAJDCkCeR1KHPRAN3eOguDm6GJlXfBQ%252f %252bytAvtEFOk1KIRMQrYhzhCb2%252fQQoDd%252bv6en1TF YgC5qnNLhyvhLoB5SGUpVu6iKfCDtashTT43qqVZrXSD8%252f RiCttILGiR53V3Ej9PwP%252b2eBXeaOfUXhC%252f2kGv9gBL BEbjZkBT5BZE1jokd0tLX47qLUho9KLPMBh4MrQoqSQSTCxhKt LbVavysiAwiD%252f0%252bB0Fw1YlrXnHnr%252bajvdQO%25 2bMJbh0QsBcTlXRdSAMEAAe4%252fdBTKr6X75XKoOdqokT1th 4hOTrPl0cjmcP4pjqlTs48gqJepStYr6ONr59CQFSw%253d&cl ick=center&mqmap.x=159&mqmap.y=88

  • I want to go shove a whole lot of prawn shells in his letterbox and see how he likes it

    -- james
  • by QuietYou ( 629140 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @09:54AM (#4750760)
    I was living in an apartment complex while I was attending University, and I got on my neighbours last nerve a few times by playing music too loud in my apartment. A couple of times I got a visit from the local Police, kindly informing me that I was disturbing the peace. They had every right to get angry with me. I was disrupting their lives, in one way or another.

    Sharing the Internet with SPAMMERS is a lot like living next door to an inconsiderate neighbour. Sure SPAM is "commercial", but just because something is commercial doesn't make it ok. Would it have been ok for me to blast commercial messages from my stereo into my neighbours apartments? I think not. And just because SPAM can be blocked if you don't want it doesn't make it ok either. My neighbours could have worn ear plugs to block out the sound, but they shouldn't have to.

    I wonder how Alan Ralsky would feel if a few inconsiderate neighbours moved in next door to him.
  • The real problem is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tincho_uy ( 566438 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @09:55AM (#4750764)
    that spam actually works... If scumbags like this can make millons it's because there are enough clueless users that actually buy the shit they advertise.

    If hotmail, yahoo and the likes started using a more agressive filtering default policy (bayesian filters, and the like), and most mail clients had this kind of filters on, it's almost certain that the success rate of spam would go down.

    As a side note... This guy being a known spammer, and spam being illegal in the states...Why the heck doesn't somebody put him away???

    just my 2x10^(-2)$
    • that spam actually works... If scumbags like this can make millons it's because there are enough clueless users that actually buy the shit they advertise.
      There's been a lot of talk here lately, sneering at media companies with "outdated business models". Well guess what folks:

      I think we have found out what the updated business model is. Whoops.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As an Englishman with a Hotmail address, it has always annoyed me that all of the spam is advertising American companies.

    Of course, all spam is annoying regardless of its source.

    However, is this an American problem, or does anyone ever get any remortgaging/sex offers from Europe?

  • What I don't understand is, there's a small # of /. editors, posting a small # of stories in any given 3- or 4-day span. How is it possible that so many stories get reposted ? In other words, how is it possible that editors are so frequently unaware of what gets posted ?

  • When I am dialed up to XO Communications, I receive 1-2 pop-ups a day via Windows Messaging Service. The solution is to turn it off, since its fairly useless anyways.
  • by leereyno ( 32197 ) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:06AM (#4751225) Homepage Journal
    With all of the instant messaging tools available out there, is there any reason to run the messenger service to begin with?

    This is why I really don't understand what the big deal is about the messenger spam. Just turn the damned thing off.

    The same thing goes for spam from the 3rd world. I don't know anybody in China, Rangoon, Nigeria, so I see no reason to accept e-mail from these places. In fact, I would be willing to make the argument that the best way to prevent spam is to ONLY accept email from networks owned by companies that strictly forbid spam. If everyone were to do this, the market for spam hosted on legitimate servers would essentially dry up. That doesn't solve the problem of crackers breaking into systems and setting up spam-relays, but then that problem will only be solved by the owners of the boxes being competent and taking responsibility for securing and updating their systems. If people were keeping an eye on security holes and being vigilant about closing them off, most of the cracker activity online would cease to exist. Lets just see some "1337 d00d" try and break into a system that has been locked down properly and kept up-to-date.

    Lee
    • With all of the instant messaging tools available out there, is there any reason to run the messenger service to begin with?

      Uh, that's not what Windows Messenger Service is.

      It's a service that allows windows computers to talk to each other. It's primarily for messages like "Load new tape" or "UPS on Battery Power" or "File Server going down" that are sent by automated services/daemons on other windows machines. However, MS included the functionality for a person to send messages by hand, for example, a sysadmin can send "Printer outage this afternoon" to the entire domain. It wasn't designed with spammers in mind. It's been around since NT 4.0 at least....

      Yet another reason why we need a "-2, Just Plain Wrong" moderation.

  • OK, clearly people need to start dying over this if we want spam to stop. One of you in the audience has to be an ex-marine with a stockpile of guns. Everyone knows that murderers are only caught if they want to be caught. Pick the top 3 spammers and go out and kill them.

    In a trust-metric based world, spammers would be considered so disgusting that you would actually gain karma by killing them.

    Lets see how quickly new spammers take their place when spamming runs the risk of having someone explode your head over it.

    That or write "MAKE MONEY FAST" on a cinder block and drop it in his mailbox.

  • One of the ways SPAM manages to propogate so readily is the fact that it is often bounced off systems with open relays. This is done unknown to many of the remote sysadmins, who either don't know or don't really care about their open relays. "I've gone overseas," he said. "I now send most of my mail from other countries. And that's a shame. I pay a fortune to providers to do this... This article does indicate that there are a certain amount of foreign ISP's willing to allow the spamcrap through though, some in Canada no less (which means me, as a Canadian, very unhappy).

    Is there an equivilent "open relay" for Windows Messaging Service? If not, addresses could probably be much easier to block via IP, as they would have to be broadcast by "willing" recipients (or those trojan infected, etc). As above, I suppose some scummy ISPS would be willing to host the infectious service, but hopefully they wouldn't be as hard to blacklist as the fluxuous number of open relays?
  • Does this go on the client machine? This the only way I could think of that this would work. In such case, sounds like a trojan to me, and I'm fairly sure the Kazaa people already figured this one out...

    Ralsky, meanwhile, is looking at new technology. Recently he's been talking to two computer programmers in Romania who have developed what could be called stealth spam.

    It is intricate computer software, said Ralsky, that can detect computers that are online and then be programmed to flash them a pop-up ad, much like the kind that display whenever a particular Web site is opened.

    "This is even better," he said. "You don't have to be on a Web site at all. You can just have your computer on, connected to the Internet, reading e-mail or just idling and, bam, this program detects your presence and up pops the message on your screen, past firewalls, past anti-spam programs, past anything.
  • Sounds like a legend in his own mind or perhaps his victims. Never forget the Net.Admin.Net-abuse.Email rules :

    NANE Rules
    Rule #0: Spam is theft.
    Rule #1: Spammers lie.
    Sharp's Corollary: Spammers attempt to re-define "spamming" as that which they do not do.
    Rule #2: If a spammer seems to be telling the truth, see Rule #1.
    Crissman's Corollary: A spammer, when caught, blames his victims.
    Rule #3: Spammers are stupid.
    Krueger's Corollary: Spammer lies are really stupid.
    Pickett's Commentary: Spammer lies are boring.
    Russell's Corollary: Never underestimate the stupidity of spammers.
    Spinosa's Corollary: Spammers assume everybody is more stupid than themselves.


    news.admin.net-abuse.email Rules [google.com]

    Now reread the original article, amazing how similar it sounds to the last get rich scheme you encountered. [See #2]

    That is because it is in order for their dodge pyramid schemes to work these junk emails must convince both the advertising companies & their own pyramid's lower tiers that it 'works' and the market for spam is increasing. It is not it is just steadily stealing more and more bandwidth the cost of which is shared out by legitimate email users. 96% of the email received at one of my drop accounts is junk email; 3% not, that means we pay 32 times (yes times/not percent) more than we should for email.

    Angry ? You should get even not angry, don't rant and rave here: tell *everybody* you know UCE dirty little secret.
  • Alan Murray Ralsky, a complete asshole, 57 years old according to the article, based on publicly-available records. [ussearch.com]

    While the above information is marginally interesting to bring business to his local pizza, flower, dildo delivery guys, what i'd really like to know is:

    • Any class C of ip addresses assigned to this nice T1 line he's installing at his home.
    • the fucker's own email address
  • I've come to the conclusion that the advertising mediums that you see advertised are the ones that don't work. For example, a billboard or a mall map that says "You too can rent this space!" are obviously examples of advertising mediums that don't work (the "Rent this space!" ad is obviously not working because it's still there). Even ClearChannel is trying to fill up radio advertising time slots (that they obviously weren't able to sell) with "Advertise with us!" ads.

    With that being said, how many of us have gotten e-mails telling us about the wonders of spamming?
    • Interesting but flawed analogy. Bilboards and radio are mediums with limited space. One would only put an "advertise here" note in the ad space if they weren't selling enough to fill the space. The potential supply of spam is pretty much unlimited, so it doesn't "take any space" for them to send the ads.

      hmm, there's bandwidth and server time I guess, but they probably have far more of that than they need for their paying "customers".
  • I actually was getting a few (three total) SMB windows popup spams on a vanilla XP box i ahd running. I killed the service pronto.

    This tactic made me so angry that i'd probably be in shackles now had that spammer been within any damagable distance at the time.
  • And then I read this story. :)
  • OT to this particular spammer, but I just got a spam selling McAfee crap online. The order form says it's secure, but nowhere does it go to anything https! And of course it asks for a credit card number.

    How can we bust the crap out of these retards?

    For one thing, I filled out their form with "CUT THE SPAM YOU BLITHERING RETARDS" as my name, and "dslkfjsdlkafj" type data in the other fields, and 4111 1111 1111 1111 for the credit card #. And the hit submit repeatedly. :)

    www.wholesale-software.com is the offender.
    • ...getting tired of doing it manually...

      You know, this is the kind of thing that someone needs to write a little Perl program to do. Should be easy with the LWP::UserAgent (or whatever it's called) module. Just feed it a form URL, have it get all the fields and fill them with random trash, submit repeatedly, and walk away for a few hours. :)

How many weeks are there in a light year?

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