FTC Shuts Down Popular Scammer ISP; But Doesn't Seem To Be Impacting Spam That Much

from the that-mole-got-whacked dept

A bunch of folks have been submitting the news that the FTC has shut down an ISP, called 3FN, known for actively recruiting scammers and spammers to use its services. The FTC noted “Anything bad on the internet, they were involved in it,” and has pushed its upstream providers to cut off service. From the details, it sounds similar to the story from late last year when upstream service providers pulled the plug on another hosting firm, McColo (due to public pressure, not gov’t intervention), and cut off huge amounts of spam, since so many spammers relied on botnets through McColo. While some scammers are apparently upset by 3FN going down, some folks are noticing that there doesn’t seem to be a corresponding drop in spam as happened last time. Apparently, the spammers realized that having a single-point-of-failure wasn’t a very good thing, and have built redundancy into their systems now. So, while many scammers and spammers did use 3fn, losing it hasn’t been nearly as devastating as losing McColo. So, it’s definitely reached that whack-a-mole stage, where taking stuff down makes for good press releases… but is it really stopping anyone?

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Companies: 3fn

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Comments on “FTC Shuts Down Popular Scammer ISP; But Doesn't Seem To Be Impacting Spam That Much”

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15 Comments
Rich Kulawiec says:

Re: Curious

Doesn’t matter.

Either they knew what 3fn was up to or they didn’t.

If they knew, yet chose to become and remain 3fn customers, then they were willing collaborators and are not collateral damage.

If they didn’t know, then they failed to conduct due diligence and are far, far too stupid and lazy to be concerned about.

Either way, they’re expendable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Remember that much of the spam out there these days is run by botnets, not server side spamming. So shutting down the host won’t directly cut down the amount of spam.

However, my contacts have told me that 3FN was one of the major,major sources of botnet infections and back door installs on PCs. That means that their ability to grow their botnets has been set back. It is very easy to run a botnet undisturbed, but it is very hard to find bulletproof hosting for the virus style installs that they use to get there.

So no, you won’t see a major drop in spam today, but you may see that there is a decline over the next few weeks as they are less able to backfill their botnet losses.

(as a side note, the vast majority of 3FN was the remnants of Esthost and Estdomains, read some history and learn!)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Most of the spammers are well hidden, most located in Russia, Turkey, or similar non-supportive countries. Their problem is that they cannot operate their hosting from those countries, either for lack of connectivity, costs, or legal issues. So they end up hosted in the US. That is the only part that legally the FTC can address.

Nobody wants to use the “russian mafia” term here, but that is where most of the trail ends up. The stakes here are much higher than even the FTC will let on.

TPBer says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“AC, is Russia, Turkey, etc. behind most of the illegal music p2p as well? Just asking.”

Not even close, it’s normal folks who could care less about IP, and have a clue how to get around it.

10 Terabytes and counting. If it’s digital it’s out there for the sharing:)

I could use a few more hard drives though, running out of space, we don’t use plastic crap anymore!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I hear more and more stories of people losing everything when their storage media (not the “plastic crap,” but the “electronic crap”) fail. The best story I heard was someone who had two computers and everything was backed up to each other, and both hard drives failed within days (I knew this particular person, who was devastated because all their photographs were digital and not backed up on fixed media). That person is now backing up everything they want to keep on CD or DVD.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

CDs and DVDs aren’t any better for storing backups (I assume that is what you mean) than HDDs. There is no “best” medium for storing backups. It all depends on your rotation scheme and the amount to storage you need.

If you aren’t talking about backups, but regular use, then CDs and DVDs are significantly worse than HDDs. They have several limiting factors: 1) digital storage space 2) physical storage requirements 3) limited if non-existent re-write capability 4) access speed 5)no versatility and 6) they are much more likely to get damaged physically in normal everyday use than a HDD is likely to fail over the same time period.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

No, the point is this: Mike is all over the music industry for “selling shiny plastic discs”, and yet the first thing we are suppose to do with our downloads is back them up to a shiny disc. It seems the music business has a better idea of how to sell a durable product after all.

Put the disc in your computer once. Rip the music to digital, and store your disc. When you computer / ipod / music thingie drops dead for whatever reason, insert the disc back into the computer and you have all your music, nothing lost. Impressive, isn’t it?

It’s amazing what technology can do if you don’t spend all your life trying to circumnavigate it.

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