by Mike Masnick

Spammers Set To Strike Back

from the uh-oh... dept

Every time it looks like anti-spam forces are beating back spammers, something new happens that helps spammers get around spam blocks. I was just marveling over the fact that yesterday I received probably the fewest spam messages in over a year (probably about 1/3 of my "regular" amount) and was wondering if maybe all of this spam fighting is finally having an impact. Today, however, comes the news that spammers have moved the technology up a notch. Instead of just taking over zombie computers and emailing out from those computers, a new Trojan is spreading that lets zombified computers use the mail server of that computer owner's ISP service. While earlier zombies simply set up a mail server on the compromised computer itself, this allowed spam filters (and the ISPs themselves) to track the spam back to the specific computer. In making use of the ISP's mail server, it becomes harder to block. What's not clear from the article, however, is why an ISP can't figure out themselves where this traffic is coming from (should be obvious, right?) and then proceed to take action to block or clean up that specific computer?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2005 @ 3:38pm

    Wont this make ISP's more responsive?

    This method would make an ISP more apt to fix or disconnect problem machines. First, if their mail server gets blocked, it is a major service interruption. Second, it seems this could take own a mail server, involving another service interruption. Before, it never really mattered if a rogue machine was being used to send spam, but now it will be cheaper to fix than to let it alone.

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

  • identicon
    sly squirrel, 3 Feb 2005 @ 3:44pm

    using zombied computers for mail

    There is no default mail client on any of my machines, and I don't have the ISP's email setup on my machines. Just use third party web mail reading and sending, this problem gone.

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

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