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Hacking the Spammers

  • Posted April 20, 2006
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I was talking with someone I know who is a real wiz with
computers. He was telling me that if someone is persistent
enough, they can basically break into any computer. Our service
provider was recently attacked and the hackers placed programs
in the system which were disruptive.

Their priorities were to first get the server back up and
running. In order to do this, they had to find and remove the
disruptive files the hacker had placed on the system. Their next
step was to identify how access was gained, and close that
doorway. Finally they will make a concerted effort to identify
the hacker. If, and when they do identify this person, they
intend to prosecute them criminally, and sue them civilly for
the damages they caused.

Surprisingly many of the Hackers are kids still in High School
taking computer science classes. As an exercise, not approved by
their teachers, they create viruses or hack into their friends
computers just for fun, and prove that they can do it. Every
once in awhile however, it backfires and they create something
that doesn’t work the way they intended. This can quickly spread
and have world-wide implications.

Other Hackers know exactly what they are doing and have a
malevolent purpose. These people are sick. Their intention is to
hurt others, which they do. These people should be prosecuted to
the full extent of the law.

Hacking is something that must be stopped. eCommerce is growing
everyday, and the actions of these cultural misfits can cost
millions in both money and lost time.

Spammers who send unsolicited ads to thousands by the hour are
also a major problem. While admittedly I have a high profile
email address, and probably receive more than my share of spam,
this can be similarly disruptive to the operation of a business.
There is no reason why I should have to sort through several
hundred ads to find my email. This is disruption of service and
the spammers should be held liable.

Now there are two kinds of spam. At the risk of offending
someone, the first is perceived spam. Some “yo-yo” either signs
up for something, or requests information, and having a mental
lapse, forgets they did. They then complain bitterly when they
receive it.

And then there is the “mental giant” that subscribes to a
newsletter or ezine under one email address, which is forwarded
to their main one, and forgets they did it that way. For
security purposes, they have to be using the mail address they
subscribed under to be removed, and don’t. They find it easier
to simply fire off an expletive filled missive to anyone they
can identify.

Be aware that there are some people, who hate spam with such a
passion, they actually get software that parses a message and
automatically sends a complaint to every email address and
domain it finds.

Someone had published an article I had written, and since it
included my domain name, a complaint was fired off. That is
simply not fair. I didn’t send the email, it wasn’t sent from my
account, but I received a warning. The retard who did that
apparently doesn’t care who they hurt in pursuit of their “holy
grail”.

But perceived spam is only a very small part of the real
problem. I don’t mind getting an unsolicited email from a real
person. I can always ask them to remove me, and they normally
do. A real problem is the spammer who forges an email address,
and if you try to respond, your message is returned as
undeliverable.

Some ISP’s have identified domains the spammers use and it is
automatically deleted, so you never see it. In order to combat
this, the spammers send it out their scams with a stolen email
address that actually exists. I recently received over 6,500
remove requests from people who had received an ad for a sex
site, sent out with my return email address someone had used.
This is rather a simple matter, and the headers in the email
clearly show it didn’t come from me. However, the inexperienced
would lay the blame squarely on my shoulders. This is identity
theft and the perpetrators should be severely punished.

You are especially at risk to a hack attack if you have either a
DSL or Cable connection, as you are always connected when your
computer is on. Someone could break into your computer and spam
to their hearts content using your account. We have our
computers networked together, and it requires a password to
access the files. While that will protect us from the majority
of attacks, a determined effort could gain access.

The best protection the average person can use is a “firewall”
which prevents people from accessing their computer. Search
engines will quickly reveal where they can be obtained.

Now if we could only get the hackers to concentrate on the
spammers, maybe this entire problem would go away.

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  • Posted On April 20, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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