Surprises

by Mike Masnick




Lycos Using Distributed Denial Of Service Attacks On Spammers

from the good-or-bad? dept

ISPs have a variety of methods that they use to combat spam, but Lycos Europe is going to quite an extreme with their plan to offer up a screen saver to users that constantly pings servers suspected to be used by spammers. In other words, it's a distributed denial of service attack against spammers by Lycos. It's just that, rather than zombie machines, Lycos is hoping that this "good cause" will make people agree to run the screensaver. This is certainly opening up quite a can of worms. Lycos seems to think they're in the legal clear because the attack is designed to merely slow down spam servers, rather than knock them offline completely. However, it still seems like an incredibly risky move. Imagine the legal complaint from someone falsely accused of being a spammer by this system. While some people may feel that any kind of attack back on spammers is justified, this simply goes too far. Obviously something needs to be done to stop spammers, but deliberately slowing their server, without any notification or recourse, risks causing too much damage to innocent bystanders.

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  • identicon
    Stuart A O'Brien, 29 Nov 2004 @ 5:36am

    Denial Of Service on Shared Server

    I think this also opens up claims against Lycos if you unknowingly just happen to be sharing a server with a spammer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Richi Jennings, 29 Nov 2004 @ 9:18am

    Not a DDOS

    No, it's not a DDOS. The aim is to chew up the spammers' bandwidth, so their costs go up. Lycos promised to monitor the performance of the sites they're hitting, to ensure that they don't DDOS them.

    richi.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2004 @ 11:27am

      Re: Not a DDOS

      A bit for a bit ...

      You use my bandwidth for your illegal purposes ... I'll use yours !

      HURRRRAY LYCOS !

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2004 @ 12:41pm

    No Subject Given

    i once shared a server with a spammer and got my ip listed on spamhaus or something, couldn't send mail for a month!

    not a good idea to ddos servers, in case they're shared by innocents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Slappy, 29 Nov 2004 @ 1:42pm

    No Subject Given

    I couldn't think of a dumber idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    asdf, 30 Nov 2004 @ 9:20pm

    hmmm, didn't someone already try this...

    remember Symbiot (http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/security/2004/08/03/symbiot.html)? Maybe they're working with Lycos as they have been pushing 'fighting back' as the main theme of thier company. These guys think they invented countermeasures, and they've worked with other companies like Apple...so its not outside the realm of possibility.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Red Dragon, 18 Dec 2006 @ 9:01am

    Simple Trick...

    Here is the best way to stop a spammer:

    Whenever you get a spam message, find out the original sender (this may take a bit of work if they are trying to hide their address) and forward the message back to them. Now, sending one message back may not seem like much, but think about if everyone who got spam did this. Even if only about 50% did it, the mass of incoming mail would definitely make the spammer's life harder, and maybe even get their ISP to terminate their service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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