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03 May 2006

Spam defense or video game? Email

The blogosphere is abuzz with stories about an allegedly titanic battle between Blue Security and some spammers. Blue Security, as you probably know, distributes a freeware program called Blue Frog that is supposed to crush spammers by hammering on their web sites with gazillions of opt out requests or something like that. For a variety of reasons, the mainstream anti-spam community has never thought much of this approach, but every criticism only leads Blue Frog's partisans to leap ever more forcefully to its defense. (See, for example, the comments on my note about them last year, and the comments that will doubtless be posted on this message, too.) This latest round made me realize that Blue Frog makes perfect sense if you think of it as a video game, or perhaps a fashion accessory, rather than as an anti-spam tool.

The world is full of anti-spam tools. Lots of people use Spamassassin, or the surprisingly effective adaptive filters in Thunderbird or Eudora, way more than use Blue Frog, and their users like them just fine, but none of them have bands of partisans shouting down their critics. The point of Blue Frog is not to deal with spam, but to deal with users' feeling that they are powerless against the onslaught of the spammers. No more passive filtering to hide from the spammers--the Frog sends out powerful blasts of anti-spam juju directly from your computer. Bam! Pow! Take that, spammers!

So a few days ago when some dimwitted spammers rose to the bait and counterattacked, it was the best thing that Blue Frog could have asked for. The spammers took the rather obvious approach of running some lists through Blue Security's do-not-spam list, compared the before and after lists to see what Blue Security removed, and then started to send threatening mail to the removed addresses telling the Blue Security usrs that they better back off or else. They are apparently also using zombie computers to flood Blue Security's web server, so it's been impossible to reach for most of the last few days.

Qutes from a spammer bulletin board posted at Anne Mitchell's Internet Patrol blog are almost too good to be true.

One comment quoted from a spammers: Word through the underground is pretty solid right now. Bluesecurity is going to be hit with forces they will not be able to handle. We will see.

Then someone calling himself "True Blue", apparently working for Blue Security added his own note to rally the troops: It remains to be seen whether this will harden the resolve of Blue Security members. First indications are that they are not at all fazed, and have been ready for this for some time. ... The battle has begun. May 2, 2006. (Cue suitable music, preferably a John Williams knockoff of Gustav Holst.)

Read the whole set of quotes, which is quite amusing, if you want. On both sides, it's all is about vigilante warfare, choice of tactics, steadfastness in the face of danger, standing stalwart and facing the foe. It doesn't have seemed to occur to anyone to do what a normal person would do, start collecting forensic evidence and call the cops. But of course, in a video game, you don't do that, you just watch your screen and try to shoot your opponents faster than they shoot you. Who cares if there's really any less spam, we're at war, we're on the march, and we feel great!


posted at: 00:30 :: permanent link to this entry :: 23 comments
posted at: 00:30 :: permanent link to this entry :: 23 comments

comments...        (Jump to the end to add your own comment)


Surely you have been under DDOS attack in the past, so you know that calling the cops will effectively put the bad guy behind bars and end the attack, right? Wrong. Or rather - it may happen, some time on the future. You are right that world is full of antispam tools, the problem with them being that they actually do not stop spam - they merely make it less visible to users. The only way to stop spam is to block it at its source, but none of antispam tools before BlueFrog could do this. Oh, we have RBLs, but they only help to block zombies - they are actually very good at helping users and administrators to identify rough computers in IP networks (and block them at receiving end, or fix what usually is a security problem on the other end), but basically that's it. They are useful, but they do not stop spammers from sending spam. What BlueFrog does is simply sending ONE opt-out request (on spammers website, not via email) for each ONE spam received by its user, and that's it. It's a tool to exercise users right to opt-out from spamlist. What is pissing spammers off is the volume of opt-our request, because the tool has almost 500 000 users now (I think that's about tenfold increase in 6 months) - each of them receiving multitude of spam messages every day, and sending opt-out requests to sites advertised in spam. BlueFrog does NOT send email opt-out request (because sender address is too easy to fake, as we know) - instead people who created the program carefully track sites that benefit from spam and prepare scripts that use HTTP to post opt-out request there, on the website. If site does not have working opt-out form, these requests end up in other forms - like checkout. The result is that for each spam message sent, spammer is receiving one visit on advertised website. And this works - some spamers choose to comply and remove BlueFrog members from their spamlists, others try to fight back. They will fail, I'm certain. Obviously, BlueForg is not "the only way" to fight spam - but its the one tham currently seems to cause most grief to spammers. Oh, and BTW: BlueFrog has no "fight-back tactics", it's not "shooting at oppontents", it merely helps its users to opt-out from spamlists.

(by Bronek 03 May 2006 07:53)


Omaha Beach
The real problem here, IMHO, is that Blue Security is no different than the spammers. BS play is an emotional play as John noted and that was a great observation.

Certain folks in the Internet security community caused this problem. In the process of legitimizing an inverse DDOS, they also legitimized the spammers response. The analogy was Lycos "Make Love Not Spam" service. Few people know what really happened to that service, but let me assure you that it wasn't media that shut it down.

I have sympathy for neither, but one thing has become clear. Blue Security has demonstrated that it's willing to take out civillians in the process of "defending" itself and there's no doubt that this will continue. While this is just what BS could have hoped for, the dos, it's interesting that they are so blinded by ego that they will not see this point of view and will self-destruct. The spammers won't be going anywhere, that we know.

Spammers: 1 Blue Security: 0

(by Martin Hannigan 03 May 2006 13:29)



An attack by any other name is an attack. This has alwasy been the case, back to the days of 'electronic sit-ins' and the electronic disturbance theatre.

(by JZP 03 May 2006 18:22)


Update: Clear the shingle
In an effort to escape the attack, it seems that the auth NS' have moved to Tucows MDNS service and shortly thereafter that was taken out as well along with colalteral damage of 104K domains. There is clearly a disturbance in the force from the dark side.

(by Martin Hannigan 03 May 2006 20:22)



I fail to see how me utilizing blue frog to send ONE complaint to the spammer for every spam sent amounts to a DDoS. I feel perfectly within my rights to do so. If the spammer happens to have sent emails to a million people and they all send one complaint, well they have no one to blame but themselves. Unfortunately they do not see things my way and have blamed blue frog for their own failings.

Furthermore I haven't got the time to report all of my spam to the proper authorities. Blue Security kindly takes care of that for me.

(by Ryan 04 May 2006 03:06)



The Blue Frog site is down, again. The DoS attack on Blue Frog is a solid indication that their anti-spam approach is working.

I am not a computer expert. What I can confirm, however, is that I couldn't use my pop3 account due to the amount of junk mails received every day before I subscribed to Blue Frog. There is a noticable (or substantial, if you like) reduction in spam after I used Blue Frog.

It may also explain why the spammers are not attacking CAUCE.

(by China Doll 04 May 2006 05:51)


Medic! I need a medic over here!
You see a lack of evidence because you don't understand how the Internet works, or has worked, from the past to the present. This was one of the biggest mistakes Blue Security made. They under estimated the Internet community. Before they started, they sought approval from many folks and many folks told them repeatedly - bad idea. They didn't listen. The people that operate the Internet generally don't accept games from spammers or people engaged in anti-spam operations. There is a balance to the force, so to speak. In this case, Blue Sercurity's method constitutes a DOS attack against the spammers. I'd summizing that there's collateral damage and that means that along with the guilty parties, Blue Security is impacting innocent people as well. I doubt tht they check and see if an address is hosted on a machine with others that are doing nothing but enjoying their Internet experience. But back to the status of Blue Security.

I see solid evidence that their approach is working and that they are "winning" the battle.

Here's what their network looks like this morning.

;; ANSWER SECTION: www.bluesecurity.com. 125 IN A 127.0.0.1

;; ANSWER SECTION: mail.bluesecurity.com. 198 IN A 127.0.0.1

(by Martin Hannigan 04 May 2006 09:02)


To Martin
I hope this URL can make it through anti-spam protection of this blog: http://bluefrogfreaks.blogspot.com/2006/05/news-outlet-shifts-blame-to-victim.html with dedication to everyone who believes that BlueSecurity is to blame.

Also, do not understand how sending SINGLE out-out request per SINGLE spam message constitutes a DOS. It's my basic right to protest against being spammed and I'm grateful to BlueSecurity for providing a tool to help me exercise this right without much effort from my side.

Obviously, this approach seems to work, as spammers take it as a real threat to their operations. This is the logic behind current attack. I also see that www.bluesecurity.com is back, although only displaying short information. I'm absolutely sure it will be fully operational within few days.

I hate what spammers done to my email and I will fight it back. It is NOT acceptable that for some shady profits, my email address is receiving over 100 spams daily, which is more than legitimate traffic. I believe that Internet operators are on my side, and lawsuits started and won by AOL seems to prove my point.

(by Bronek 05 May 2006 07:50)


Spammers Are Given The Option
The one thing that nobody seems to understand is this: before Blue Frog sends the opt out requests the spammers are offered the tools to purge their databases of Blue Frog members. In other words they are FIRST asked to stop sending spam - nothing wrong with that.

The spammers can therefore (and lots of them have) choose to limit their spam to non Blue Frog members.

They are offered the choice, which is more than I have ever been. If they choose not to then the consequence is theirs - not anybody else's.

This is they key - the spammers have a choice. They are free to decide.

(by Stuart 05 May 2006 15:18)


Covering Fire
The one thing that people who support Blue Security, and the employees of Blue Security that run around the web countering me, seem to not understand is that the industry has a long history of not condoning vigilanteism. This tradition goes back to Green Card Lawyers and Spamford Wallace. I have the access and power on a daily basis to eliminate many nefarious characters from the Internet. I don't. That's not how we do business. Instead, we collaborate and come up with effective and coordinated consensus on methods that do not damage providers networks, their hosting systems (Read: SIXAPART), their name servers (Read: Tucows, UltraDNS) or others.

It's not one mail, it's however many their users tell them to send and it's not even to the spammers systems. It's to the sponsors, and it's also not considerate in any way shape or form of collateral damage. We don't expect the spammers to be responsible, but we do expect netizens to act responsibly. In this case, the Internet community has little sympathy for Blue Security or it's CEO and his innacurate assertions of tampering by Verizon's engineers and others. He ought to be ashamed of himself and apologize immediately.

Along with his multiple innacurate assertions by their CEO, Blue Security has 0 credibility. And I challenge their CEO to provide one shred of evidence that anyone has tampered with their nameservers or routes.

(by Martin Hannigan 05 May 2006 23:19)


Challenges
Quote: And I challenge their CEO to provide one shred of evidence that anyone has tampered with their nameservers or routes.

Will you accept a DDOS on the Tucows Name Servers?

And while we are laying down challenges, could just one spamvertized web site produce credible evidence of a Blue Frog DDOS attack bringing their site down?

Remember, they have used spammers to simultaneously invite 2.5 million people to visit their site in the first place . . . . the expression "authors of their own misfortune" springs to mind.

(by Terry Bowden 09 May 2006 18:38)



This whole thing is a comedy. Those so rabidly against Blue Security consistently accuse Blue Security of something that it does not do (DDOS using my computer - yep I run Blue Frog). The least you could do is become educated.

Stupid means uneducated, dumb means unable to comprehend. If you are stupid, take this opportunity to correct the problem. If you are dumb, just stop commenting about something you are unable to comprehend. Either way works for me.

I absolutely have the right to opt out. You may NOT tell me that I am stupid (I have studied what Blue Security is doing and decided to use their tool to Opt out) and you may certainly NOT tell me I am dumb, I am not. You may NOT tell me I do not have the right to ask to be removed from a mailing list. You may NOT tell me that I should not use an automation tool to post my opt-out request. Your ignorance is YOUR problem, not mine.

This is not vigilantism, it is exercising my right to opt out. Plain and simple. It is a proportional response to the email I receive.

I will continue to use this tool until those sending spam stop sending spam to my mail box, which IS happening. I had to change MY OWN EMAIL ADDRESS because I was receiving TWO HUNDRED spams a day. I use Spambayes in outlook to funnel it to a spam mail box but the bottom line is I still had to go scan those emails looking for the 1-2% false positives. I have client emails and other real email I need ending up in the spam bucket. SpamBayes is VERY GOOD, but not perfect. And the point here is that in the end all such tools do is try their best to sort the trash. Blue Security and Blue frog try their best to allow ME TO OPT OUT. Nothing more. If the "poor person" on the other end happens to send spam to 500K blue community users and get 500K opt out requests, all I can say is "aahhhhhhhhhhwwwwwwwww, what a shame". They have the ability to cleanse their lists of Blue Security members. If they refuse, tough luck.

So just knock it off with the "vigilantism" crap, it isn't. Learn about what you speak or just be quiet, your ignorance is showing.

(by JWC 09 May 2006 20:22)


Learn what you speak
JWC, do you have any facts to refute what is being claimed related to Blue Security? What you are reading here are facts that are backed up with hard data.

I'd be interested in additional information if you have it, but please - make it verifiable.

BTW, nice spell checking and grammer. Just like a PR agency. :-)

(by Martin Hannigan 09 May 2006 23:06)


Could you accept a DDOS on their nameservers?
Did they notify TUCOWS they were moving their name server records to them prior to blowing them out of the water? Did they notify SIXAPART they were pointing their DDoS at them before they modified their DNS to do so?

Remember, Blue Security's CEO "claims" to be a "security expert" so he MUST have been aware of the consequences of his actions.

Please do let me know if he received permission for his actions, if he notified, and if he had permission from UltraDNS to point his NS there for a brief period.

The expression "live by the sword, die by the sword" comes to mind.

(by Martin Hannigan 09 May 2006 23:09)


Here are some facts
Wow I have yet to come across a worse article when it comes to factual representation. And people are jumping on these untruths and are harping on about them as if they are fact.

Look before you talk people.

Blue Sec does not DDOS. Spammers are asked to stop spamming first, if they do not stop within 10 days. Frogs are used to opt out of the mailing list. They generate extra unwanted traffic on the originating website. The opt outs are timed so as to not bring a site down.

The frogs are responding to an advertising campaign. If the advertisers do not want our traffic on their site they should avoid mailing us in their campaigns. By mailing us they are inviting us to their website. I have every right to respond to an advertisment. DDOS attacks do NOT start with an advertisment to visit a site.

The spammers have a choice in whether they receive this traffic. It is their choice NOT to do so, so it is their choice that drives the extra traffic to their site.

Please somebody tell me how you could call this a DDOS....

Additionally...Blue sec, did not redirect the DDOS attack aimed at them onto anyone else. Please read the complete timeline here....

Starting Monday, May 1st, the Blue Community has been the target of a criminal spammer. This criminal spammer, PharmaMaster, is attempting to deny our community the right to opt-out from his spam messages.

Aside from blackmail emails sent to community members, there were two separate attacks on Blue Security itself. The first attack was to block worldwide access to Blue Security's corporate website (www.bluesecurity.com) by tampering with the Internet backbone using a technique called "Blackhole Filtering". The Second attack was a DDoS attack on Blue Security's operational system.

When we realized the spammer had blocked access to our website to obstruct members from using our service or access our website to receive more information, we performed a series of tests to determine what had happened. These tests clearly indicated that the corporate site was not subject to a DDoS attack since it was accessible from inside Israel and there was no load on the system. These symptoms were in accordance to what the spammer had indicated he would do (i.e. block all traffic to our site from outside of Israel) in an ICQ session.

In order to inform our community of what had happened, we used a previously-existing blog site for the Blue Community which had been host to our corporate website prior to July 2005. We posted a short blog item to inform our users and other constituents of the situation and how we were working to solve the issue. After the name server had been updated such that traffic to www.bluesecurity.com reached the blog, the blog was active and functioning and many users had posted comments. It was only 40 minutes after the redirection that PharmaMaster decided to launch a DDoS attack on www.bluesecurity.com, now hosted at TypePad.

Blue Security shares the pain of blogs.com's community that was seriously affected PharmaMaster's criminal acts. But, those who blame Blue Security for the attack only further the agenda of PharmaMaster to impose his will on all Internet users.

Attack Timeline (All times in GMT)

[May 2nd 13:42 GMT] PharmaMaster Works to Block Traffic to Blue’s Corporate Web Site One of world’s largest spammer’s, ‘PharmaMaster’, sends Blue Security an ]ICQ Message stating that he will block traffic to Blue’s corporate website, www.bluesecurity.com.

ICQ Message: "Support b [tier-1 ISP name withheld] says: Yes wont be a problem, i'll make sure to block all traffic to this domain very soon just get me reports mate" "b [tier-1 ISP name withheld] will block traffic to your websites god i love this war "

[May 2nd 14:47 GMT] BlueSecurity.com Can’t be Accessed Outside of Israel Blue Security receives another ]ICQ Message from PharmaMaster stating that Blue’s corporate Web site cannot be accessed from outside of Israel.

ICQ Message: " bluesecurity.com cant be open from outside of israel oh i feel sorry for the company really "

[May 2nd 15:30 GMT] Blue Security's Dedicated Servers—NOT Corporate Website—Under Attack Blue Security’s operational servers—NOT www.blusescurity.com—suffer from DDoS attacks.

[May 2nd 16:30 GMT] Corporate Website Receives 2 Hits/Min Blue employees notice that there is not load on the corporate website, www.bluesecurity.com (2 hits per minute) and that most visitors originate from Israel.

[May 2nd 17:07 GMT] PharmaMaster Sends Message: Website Can’t be Accessed Around World Blue receives another ]ICQ Message from PharmaMaster stating the company’s corporate Web site can not be accessed around the world.

[May 2nd 20:17 GMT] Blue Performs Technical Analysis: Confirms Website Cannot be Accessed Abroad Blue’s technical analysis team determines that its corporate website can still be accessed from Israel, but cannot be accessed abroad.

[May 2nd 21:17 GMT] Blue Reports More Symptoms: "Blackhole filtering" Confirmed Blue’s operational team reports on more symptoms supporting PharmaMaster's claims that the backbone of the Internet was compromised (blackhole filtering at the backbone level). Still, there is no sign that there was a DDoS attack on Blue’s website.

[May 2nd 22:45 GMT] Blue Security Decides to Update Blue Community Blue Security decides to update the Blue community about the situation by reverting to Blue's pre-launch "Blue Zone" Blog, hosted on Typepad.

[May 2nd 23:20 GMT] BlueSecurity.com Redirected to TypePad www.bluesecurity.com is redirected to Blue Security's blog. Many community members can receive real time information about the attack.

[May 2nd 23:27 GMT] First Comment Posted on the Blue Blog Blog site at TypePad functional. The first comment is posted on the Blue blog by a user.

[May 2nd 23:57 GMT] Last comment Posted on the Blue Blog Before DDoS Begins TypePad blog site still functional. The last comment is posted thirty minutes later on the Blue blog just before the new DDoS attack occurs. (If there had been an initial DDoS attack on Blue’s corporate site, the blog site would have been hit as soon as the DNS was redirected.)

[May 3rd 00:00 GMT] PharmaMaster Starts Attacking Typepad A fierce and ruthless DDoS on Typepad begins. Blue is not aware of the DDoS due to the late hour in Israel (2 AM local time). Typepad continues to carry Blue Security's blog and help Blue keep our community aware of the situation.

[May 3rd 16:43 GMT] PharmaMaster Strikes Again, Takes Down Tucows PharmaMaster starts another attack and takes down Tucows's DNS servers which were serving thousands of sites, including Blue Security's. Tucows terminates Blue Security's account in an attempt to stop the attack.

[May 3rd 23:23 GMT] PharmaMaster Boasts Success Almost 24 hours later, PharmaMaster boasts success in another ICQ Message:

pharma master: you know i feel sorry for you and all the world 9000 servers are down because of your company pharma master: world cant resolv pharma master: all the biggest isps been emailed that all this of bluesecurity.com and lets see how they would love you to be able to push trafic from them pharma master: good luck anyway

[May 4th 13:00 GMT] Blue Security partially restores its services Blue Security's web site and some of its operational servers are functioning again.

(taken from blue security blogs)

(by John 10 May 2006 07:24)


ICQ logs are not facts. Routing table route changes are.
We already have the facts and they don't include copies of ICQ logs. We aren't aware of Verizon using ICQ to null route spammers or DDoS'ers alike so I'm skeptical that these are even real.

Regardless, this is my last post. The facts are out there and they Blue Security has no integrity.

(by Martin Hannigan 10 May 2006 15:39)


just an average joe looking for relief
interesting point that it's about feeling powerless and angry that makes people want to use the frog. I am a member of the frog corps and that is a VERY fair assessment of why I began to ACTIVELY fight back- I haven't until the attack. Read on-

See I got a treo a couple years ago so I can pick up my email wherever I want. I am a small business owner and out on the road all day so i loose business at time if I cant ansewer emails till I get back in the office or home to check it. My ISP sucks and has really crappy spam filtering for mycompanyname.com that i host with them. I don't really know where to begin to find a good host place, and the myriad of email and spam providers makes my eyes glaze over. I'm not some computer, or security, or interment expert like the blog author or Mr. Hannigan. I'm just a an average Joe trying to make a living.

Well that means in the course of the day when I check my email on my my treo I'm forced to sort through scores or hundreds of spam in between the 5 or 10 important emails I might get a day from clients. Unfortunately there is no spam filter software (that the anti-frogs say I should be content with) for a treo so I was stuck staring at all that crap all the time. I bitched enough and got me ISP to give me an imap account with spam filtering to try and help- they seem to catch maybe 25% of the spam and put it in the spam folder but even then there are false positives so I have to muck in there on occasion. I saw Bluesecurity some time back and figured it was worth a try. I registered my email and installed the software. But my hard drive died shortly thereafter i forgot about it and never bothered to reinstall the software or even remembered to report any spam for maybe a year. So I was sort of a leech, i guess you could call it. I caused no harm to any spammer or the advertisers that choose to contract the spammers for months and months.

Recently it just got too wastefull of my time so I tried to figure out a solution – about a month a ago I bought mailwasher and actually have to run it on my home computer (wasting my money) 24/7/365 and have it check my email every 60 seconds to try and nuke the frigging spams so I can use my treo for email in peace. The newest mailwasher has semi-automatic bluesecurity reporting built in. The mailwahser folks think humans should look at spam before reporting so you cant set any automatic setting to do it. I have many filters to automatically purge crap from my inbox so I never see the spam to actively report it. You also still need to frog software installed and running to actively sent opt outs to the spammers- but I still didn't bother to re-install, so even though I occasionally reported an email or 2 out of probably 100 a day, i never “acted” on it. So still no harm from me except I notified bluesecurity of a spam or 2 a day.

So I was no mad DDOS attacker like the anti-blue folks like to brand the blue frog users. Yet I received the threatening emails. (logically since my name was on the do not annoy list). The thing reminded me of bluefrog and being PISSED at the spammers and feeling helpless I made sure to download the frog software and leave it running and report my ass off for any spam i receive now. I even make sure to go in my ISP's spam folder and report all that crap too instead of just deleting it. And when I'm home I turn off the automatic deleteing on mailwasher and let the spams ring up so I can now report them. I even signed up for a spamcop account and send it all to them too. So SCREW the spammers, they have pissed me off, gotten me good and mad, and now I am going to actively fight the scumbags. I am now 50 or 100 times more active against them as I wise. Honestly I'm going to leave here and google to see if there is a more active thing I can do to harm them- maybe there is a more aggressive DOS system I can become involved in instead of the nice way that BS does it by sending a polite request and waiting 10 days and then sending just 1:1 tit for tat requests that are throttled so as not to cause a true DOS attack. I also think I'll follow the links i can figure that don't have tracking info in the pams and post my own annoying answers immediately on the advertisers webforms. EEWWHHH you guys better report me to the FBI, I plan to personal post an optout and then have bluesecurity do a second on my behalf- I must be double DOS'ing????

If i understand what some of the anti-blues they are saying that the interment should be an altruistic place that should handle this spam situation like gentleman. But you know what- please get off your butts and do something! Quit saying we should all live with this crap and just fuel a billion dollar industry in anti-spam software (what if the money spent on anti-spam software could be used to find a cure for aids or cancer?). If you wireman keepers of the internet had got off your butts and come up with a plan a couple years back people wouldn't be so frigging pissed and wanting to have a little “justice” of their own. Sit the hell down with yahoo and google and microsoft and act like grownups so the poor idiot end users don't have to be assaulted like this day and day out.

I think this spam punk pissed a lot of people off pretty good-the list of resisted emails at bluesecurity went up 10% in the week of the attack. The other spammers just might beat the piss out of this idiot for all the extra grie=f he is going to bring on all of them from the unwashed (and enraged) masses.

(by MK 10 May 2006 16:45)



MK's comment was just about the best description of what most people go through with spam that I've ever read. I installed BF way back b/c I install just about everything once or twice to see how the new toys on the block work. So I got the same messages, reminded me of the old BBS days where you'd have 15 year olds screaming death threats at each other over faked download points. Idiocy all around.

BF doesn't really seem viable to me unless they actually drilled down and found the real world merchants that don't know or at least want to maintain plausible deniability over spamming. The loan industry comes to mind, they use spammers all the time for sales leads, but most have corporate policies against it. If BF could do that that'd work in that % of cases. But I haven't really seen anything about that.

MK reminds me of my dad. He retired recently and had only ever used corporate email, so he was behind their spam filter. He got himself a Comcast account and tried to just use Outlook. You can imagine the result, if Comcast actually does any filtering they should fire then vendor. Throw in that my Pop is kinda a moral guy, reading titles about midget three ways literally sends him into yelling fits.

So I looked around and spent over a hundred bucks on a multi-year subscription to the top of the line ZoneAlarm with email filter attached. Yeah I know there are free alternatives, but its easy user friendly to his level and a one stop shop for all things security.

(by Nica 16 May 2006 11:34)



MK's comment was just about the best description of what most people go through with spam that I've ever read. I installed BF way back b/c I install just about everything once or twice to see how the new toys on the block work. So I got the same messages, reminded me of the old BBS days where you'd have 15 year olds screaming death threats at each other over faked download points. Idiocy all around.

BF doesn't really seem viable to me unless they actually drilled down and found the real world merchants that don't know or at least want to maintain plausible deniability over spamming. The loan industry comes to mind, they use spammers all the time for sales leads, but most have corporate policies against it. If BF could do that that'd work in that % of cases. But I haven't really seen anything about that.

MK reminds me of my dad. He retired recently and had only ever used corporate email, so he was behind their spam filter. He got himself a Comcast account and tried to just use Outlook. You can imagine the result, if Comcast actually does any filtering they should fire then vendor. Throw in that my Pop is kinda a moral guy, reading titles about midget three ways literally sends him into yelling fits.

So I looked around and spent over a hundred bucks on a multi-year subscription to the top of the line ZoneAlarm with email filter attached. Yeah I know there are free alternatives, but its easy user friendly to his level and a one stop shop for all things security.

(by Nica 16 May 2006 11:36)



Oops, hit submit too early, anyways my point is I understand that BF probably doesn't work in most cases. But I think tech geeks, of which I am one, forget that normal society has a hard time accepting that it is normal to have to pay $100 or more to live mostly free of 14y/o midget threeway porn offers.

I'm sure data mining will fix this eventually, but for now its a pretty ridiculous situation.

(by Nica 16 May 2006 11:39)



Blue Frog really scared the spammers! This shows that they are on the right way! So keep up, reinforce your system against those idiots and come back stronger than before! Spamming is criminal and useless. No-one believes spam mails except someone stupid who will be ripped off if he answers to it... Jan Erik

(by Jan Erik 18 May 2006 03:16)



By the way... couldn't Blue Frog use a series of proxies, like anonymizers, to become unvulnerable?

(by Jan Erik 18 May 2006 03:51)



Why criticize Blue Frog? No matter what any theory says, practice has PROVEN that it WORKED? It was only too vulnerable.

No other system works by far as well as Blue Frog did! This is proven by the strong reactions of spammers. They don't fight wars against other systems, but only did it against Blue frog. Isn't that proof enough? Who critizes Blue Frog puts himself at their side...

Hit the spam pests where it hurts! That is the only way, as Blue Frog has shown. We therefore neeed a non-vulnerable system that works in that direction.

(by Jan Erik 10 Jun 2006 05:09)


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