TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Trial Shows How Spammers Operate

Re: Trial Shows How Spammers Operate

jdj (
Mon, 15 Nov 2004 19:59:02 -0800

There is a stressed out twisted-knickers type on slashdot "suggesting"
that spam be responded to, including spam sent to bad addresses, to cost
spammers money.

It's been suggested before and was instantly squelched without
comment, except to accuse the poster of being a troll.

Seems that spam service providers charge fees for everything, from
using their address database to send spam to charging for each hit on
the website they provide to their spamming clientele as well as
getting a cut of each sale.

It seems to follow that at least some spammers can be bankrupted if
every single item from them were to get several responses in return.

It's almost like sending back empty business-reply envelopes that come
with annoying snailmail ads.

There is an added benefit if spam to bad addresses were responded to:
the bad addresses are confirmed valid and permanently taint the
databases, which get sold around and the fun starts all over again.

Should not be too difficult to set up a procmail script for servers to
send a few http requests to a spammer's website instead of bouncing
mail with bad addresses. It would cost very little, if anything for a
mail server to respond to a few spams but the spammer's site wold get
a huge number of hits and the spammer would certainly pay for all the
the traffic.

Instead of using filters to try to make it as if spam does not exist
(the Emperor's New Clothes approach) which costs the spammer nothing
at all, why not make the spammer pay literally by hitting the website
with http requests (the validated parking for shopping approach)?

The idea of spending the spammer's money is appealing and seems to be
a very tasty bit of revenge, much better than the current crop of spam
"solutions". But it has a weakness: It requires a large number of mail
servers cooperate in responding to spam instead of bouncing it or
dumping it in the bit bucket.

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