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View Full Version : A way to fight spam?



the dead tree
11-30-2004, 09:32 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4051553.stm

What you guys think?

Govtcheez
11-30-2004, 09:46 AM
It's a bad idea and I can't see any positive results coming from it.

the dead tree
11-30-2004, 09:47 AM
Why?

Govtcheez
11-30-2004, 09:54 AM
First of all, they're not throwing a ton of traffic at the servers - only a couple MB a person a day. Unless a crapload of people download it, it won't make a huge impact. Besides, don't you think they're made to take a beating?

Secondly, the excess traffic for no real reason just clogs up pipes

Finally, what happens when the spammers retaliate?

the dead tree
11-30-2004, 09:59 AM
Well, a lot of people using is supposed to be the point of it.


don't you think they're made to take a beating?

Secondly, the excess traffic for no real reason just clogs up pipes

About that, I donīt know enough to have an opinion.

About spammers retaliating, I'm not so sure what they can do. I donīt think they will flood me even more out of spite. And even if they do, maybe we would have a lot less new spammers in the future.

Govtcheez
11-30-2004, 10:31 AM
>Well, a lot of people using is supposed to be the point of it.

Duh, but I don't think enough people will to make a difference.

> About spammers retaliating, I'm not so sure what they can do.

DDOS other sites? Find the IP the attacks are coming from and attack those right back?

I doubt other sites would be as excited to do something like this if they so Lycos go down all of a sudden.

Am I the only person that read this and thought "Lycos is still around?"

GanglyLamb
11-30-2004, 10:55 AM
Only thing i have to say is this:

i installed it yesterday evening, this morning i didnt had any internet connection since my isp was having problems, still the screensaver was "working" like it was doing the night before when i was connected to the internet....

I dont know what i should i think of it , if it really does what it says it needs an internet connection; which i obviously didnt had this morning when i saw this thing going on....

Weird things and i already uninstalled the thing since im almost at the max of my upload limit ( only get 2 G a month to upload :( )

Greets,

Ganglylamb.

the dead tree
11-30-2004, 10:58 AM
Boh :(

whackaxe
11-30-2004, 11:02 AM
hehe yeah govtcheez, i thought the lycos dog died already? :p

but the traffic generated will be qute big, 20.000 people as of yet, in one day thats 60 gigs a day (ie: 1.2 terabytes a month, however much bandwith their servers have, I doubt any spam company has got the the wallet to foot that) counting 3mb as minimum generated traffic. and thats 20.000 people in 4 days,(ok firefox gets more, but hey :p) that figure can only go back up.

if the spammers decide to spam people back, they'll be using even more bandiwth (more costs) and DOSing 20.000 people, thats alot of people to get through

on the other hand, there propbably alot of spam companie to get through

Govtcheez
11-30-2004, 11:19 AM
> that figure can only go back up.

Maybe, but that's not for sure. If people like GanglyLamb have problems, they'll probably uninstall it. Also, I know he's not one of the only people that have limits on upload/download imposed by their ISPs.

> if the spammers decide to spam people back, they'll be using even more bandiwth

I don't think you understand what these people do for a living.

I dunno, if you want to clog up the internet with pointless traffic like this, you go ahead, I guess. Seems like a waste when there's actually worthwhile distributed computing apps (SETI@home, folding@home) out there. There have to be ways to stop spam, but I'm pretty damn sure this isn't an effective one.

Driver
11-30-2004, 11:40 AM
...only get 2 G a month to upload...
More and more ISPs seem to be imposing limits these days, and this one is true for mine also.

2GB per month works out at roughly 66MB per day, so 3MB is significant but not crippling.

I'm really not certain about using DDoS attacks against the spammers. After all, only one or two spam sales justify the next 10,000 spams, including the pr0n0 spam sent to kids.

They'll get their money. After all, much of it is funded by criminal activity so it could serve to boost more of the same criminal activity in order to finance the extra load.

But I haven't thought it through fully, so those thoughts really are random.

CornedBee
11-30-2004, 01:48 PM
I see two main problems with this.

First, there are two kinds of internet users. Those who have to pay the time they're on. And those that pay for transfer volume. The first kind can't use this screensaver, because they're only online when they're actually doing something, i.e. the screensaver isn't running. The second kind, well, it depends on the limit. A very common limit is 500 MB per month. 3 MB * 30 days = 90 MB, that's nearly 20% of the limit. Does the user want this? Most people will say they don't. The number of people who have no limit (such as me) is very small.

Second, what about the legal and ethical aspects? There were worms that launched DDoS attacks on pages. As long as the spammers aren't doing anything illegal - and under most countries' laws they aren't, if I recall correctly - then this screensaver would be a direct attempt to disrupt profits of companies in a way that is surely illegal, isn't it? Or even if the companies are illegal, that still doesn't make it right. It's lynch justice. It's taking illegal steps to bring down illegal things - no one will object, probably, but it's still unethical.

Govtcheez
11-30-2004, 04:17 PM
> Those who have to pay the time they're on. And those that pay for transfer volume.

And there are people who pay a flat fee for everything. I download and upload several gigs a month and my bill never changes.

CornedBee
11-30-2004, 04:20 PM
> Those who have to pay the time they're on. And those that pay for transfer volume.

And there are people who pay a flat fee for everything. I download and upload several gigs a month and my bill never changes.

I know. I'm one of them, thanks to my special student account. However, I believe we're in a small minority.

Govtcheez
11-30-2004, 04:33 PM
No, I don't think my Comcast account is anything special.

I don't know of anyone in the US who has broadband and pays either for the time they're connected or for how much they upload. It's all unlimited, AFAIK.

the dead tree
11-30-2004, 04:43 PM
I'm one of them too... ( no limit )


Second, what about the legal and ethical aspects?

When people use cowardice and power to override our choices, we have a situation where itīs difficult to be ethical. If there is a way to fight those situations back in a way where a clear message can be sent to abusers with a way to pressure them to stop their actions, I donīt see a problem with it.
They make their bussiness by spamming our emails, something we donīt want, and that would be the extent of what we would be taking from them.

CornedBee
11-30-2004, 04:56 PM
The program is primarily targeted at Europe, though, and the situation is somewhat different here.

GanglyLamb
11-30-2004, 05:02 PM
For me the way i see this thing its like fighting fire with fire, which indeed can help some times but as said before in this thread, alot of ppl have limits imposed by their ISP ( just like me ), although 3 Mb a day is not much i agree.

But since i cant see any good reason to do something which leans very close to illegal (DoS attack like ) actions.

Thats the only reason i uninstalled it, and the only reason for me installing it was to see what it actually did and what, to where and which amount to which location.

I guess weīll see what the future holds for this one.

Greets,

Ganglylamb.

jwenting
12-01-2004, 05:58 AM
Most ISPs here charge a flat fee for DSL or cable access.
There's usually a clause that states that traffic above a "reasonable" amount might get them interested and cause you to be throttled but I've only heard of few cases where that was enforced.

One of them was a friend where they had unintentionally put a block at 100MB downstream a day into effect that was meant for another type of account (oops), another a case where someone was downloading massive amounts of movies and music over a cable connection and on his own used up some 90% of the available bandwidth for several hundred subscribers. He got a firm warning to slow down or face the consequences...


But back to topic :rolleyes:
In many countries aiding in an attack on another computer is a criminal offense even if the other computer is harming you directly.
I believe this is the case in the US as well.
On more than one occasion people have been arrested and prosecuted for launching DOS attacks or even probes in retaliation for DOS attacks on their own machines.
Usually the criminal walks while the person defending himself pays the price and is branded a dangerous vigilante.

hk_mp5kpdw
12-01-2004, 06:44 AM
A followup article (http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/0,2000061744,39168558,00.htm), seems the site offering the screensaver was hacked by a pro-spam group.

Govtcheez
12-01-2004, 07:15 AM
>seems the site offering the screensaver was hacked by a pro-spam group.

> Finally, what happens when the spammers retaliate?

That didn't take long. First time I've been happy about a spammer's actions.

the dead tree
12-01-2004, 09:44 AM
Frodo would never win in our world, Aragorn and Legolas would arrest him for being illegal in his actions.

jverkoey
12-01-2004, 09:51 AM
haha, the site's still down:
makelovenotspam.com

and up here in Canada, I've got unlimited cable, we play one flat fee and get unlimited upload/download. I've never had an ISP that did otherwise.

Govtcheez
12-01-2004, 09:51 AM
How is what the spammers are doing cowardly? Sure, it's annoying and intrusive, but they're just trying to make money like anyone else. Yes, there needs to be some way to regulate it and penalties for acting the way they do now, but I don't see how that's cowardly.

edit: I see you've changed your post.
Now I'm just going to quote what you changed it to and laugh at you
Frodo would never win in our world, Aragorn and Legolas would arrest him for being illegal in his actions. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

the dead tree
12-01-2004, 09:57 AM
I added that about frodo, but then I changed what I orginally posted because I thought people might not know exactly who I was referring to as cowards.
But yes I meant spammers in general. How is using power and dissimulation to do to us something we donīt want not being coward?

Law has made so many mistakes over years, I believe we should judge things by what damage they do to others and always letting people live in the most individual way possible without harming others, and not wheter they are legal or not because that always needs changing.

And you can laugh, it was a joke, even though I really mean it.

Govtcheez
12-01-2004, 10:37 AM
> How is using power and dissimulation to do to us something we donīt want not being coward?

Dictionary.com defines a coward as "One who shows ignoble fear in the face of danger or pain." I fail to see how people running a business that's a nuisance but still inside the law fit inside that definition. Just because you say they're cowards doesn't make it true.

> I believe we should judge things by what damage they do to others and always letting people live in the most individual way possible without harming others,

That's the point of the law. Your problem is that you only want the law to protect who you like, which isn't the case. Taking away their businesses would harm these people and help you. The law decides who can be hurt.

the dead tree
12-01-2004, 11:05 AM
When someone older and stronger hurts a kid, he is called a coward, I 'm using the word in this sense.


The law decides who can be hurt.

The law doesnīt decides for me. Which is why I said I believe people should be able to live in their most individual ways as long as it doesnīt harm others.
I donīt want spam, and I'm not being selfish not wanting it.

The way you seen to be putting it, looks like to me that if I start calling your house non stop, I'm not the one doing something wrong, you are the one who should disconnect your phone.
To me thatīs dissimulation, itīs one person acting in a selfish way ( spammers ) claiming the other is responsable for everything and/or selfish by trying to stop them ( which is how all selfish people react, others are selfish, not them ).

Also, talking about being ethical or not against fighting spammers, It might be that people make an error in judgement much like when someone who is really nice does something bad, everyone treats him as a horrible person and when a horrible person does something good, everyone treats as the best of guys.

Emotions most of the time will decide our opinions, and we feel that some things are so natural that when someone tries to stop it in a bad way, they are monsters, and the real monsters are never doing something wrong.
But if you really look at it, most of the times people are just fighting for a basic right to live freely that is being denied.

Govtcheez
12-01-2004, 12:15 PM
> The way you seen to be putting it, looks like to me that if I start calling your house non stop, I'm not the one doing something wrong, you are the one who should disconnect your phone.

I didn't imply that at all. What I'm trying to say is that jsut because you're being a jerk it doesn't give me a right to go to your house, rip your phone out of the wall, kick you in the balls, and take your wallet.

> Also, talking about being ethical or not against fighting spammers, It might be that people make an error in judgement much like when someone who is really nice does something bad, everyone treats him as a horrible person and when a horrible person does something good, everyone treats as the best of guys.

This is entirely different. No one's saying the spammers aren't bad people, just that actively attacking them is also wrong.

>Emotions most of the time will decide our opinions, and we feel that some things are so natural that when someone tries to stop it in a bad way, they are monsters, and the real monsters are never doing something wrong.
But if you really look at it, most of the times people are just fighting for a basic right to live freely that is being denied.

Wow, you are blowing things WAY out of proportion. Spam violates your basic right to live freely? Give me a break.

the dead tree
12-01-2004, 12:30 PM
Well off course itīs not a huge thing. But in a way it does, I donīt mean spammers should go to jail or something like that.
When there was a link here for a news about some spammers getting 9 years in jail, I felt sorry for him ( although I think he ripped off a bunch of people, donīt remember ).
but,


I didn't imply that at all. What I'm trying to say is that jsut because you're being a jerk it doesn't give me a right to go to your house, rip your phone out of the wall, kick you in the balls, and take your wallet.

Thatīs why I said before that if they make their bussiness by spamming our emails ( something we donīt want ), we wouldnīt be doing anything wrong by just taking that away from them.

Govtcheez
12-01-2004, 12:41 PM
Thatīs why I said before that if they make their bussiness by spamming our emails ( something we donīt want ), we wouldnīt be doing anything wrong by just taking that away from them.That's not what this is, though. This is actively attacking their servers and costing them a lot of money in bandwidth.

Nyda
12-03-2004, 01:19 AM
To follow up on this, slashdot has another news article on this. It seems the Lycos site was not hacked. It's just under havy load because of sites like slashdot reporting about it. Those reports about hacked screensavers seem to come from the spam companies themselves to slow down distribution of the screensaver.


First of all, they're not throwing a ton of traffic at the servers - only a couple MB a person a day. Unless a crapload of people download it, it won't make a huge impact.

In contrary, it seems the screensaver shut down several spam sites completely instead of just bringing them to 95% of their capacity.

adrianxw
12-03-2004, 09:18 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4065751.stm

adrianxw
12-06-2004, 12:01 PM
And dead. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4073547.stm)