Spammers Win This Round: Blue Security Shuts Down
from the well,-that's-unfortunate dept
We've never been fully comfortable with the model Blue Security used to fight back against spammers. While defenders point out that they were just having Blue Security handle their opt-outs for them, the company did aggregate them all and send them in a manner that could be seen as a denial of service attack (yes, there is some debate on this). Some, obviously, claim that this is fair game when it comes to spammers -- and it's tough to argue with that. However, the risk of any such effort, is that it could take out innocent websites, with no real recourse. That said, however, it's unfortunate to see that the company has decided to call it quits following the series of attacks it faced a couple weeks ago. If you happened to have been away from the internet for the first week of May, you missed the story about how a spammer figured out Blue Security's "opt-out" list by seeing who it clear out of his own list, and then proceeded to bombard them with even more spam. Immediately after this, a fairly massive denial of service attack was directed at Blue Security's servers, which ended up taking out many other sites, including major blog provider Six Apart (which hosted a Blue Security blog). The decision to shut the company down appears to have been based on threats that another such attack was pending -- and Blue Security's belief that it wasn't fair to take out other sites again. As skeptical as we were over Blue Security's original model, and the risks it entailed, this still seems like bad news. It certainly will embolden spam attackers to hit hard at anyone who takes them on. In the end, perhaps that was the worst legacy of Blue Security's system: it simply escalated the war with spammers to new, unfortunate, levels.