November 7, 2005

Why Spammers Suck

Aubrey notes that the FBI has arrested and charged a young man with spamming, and if found guilty his life could get quite miserable indeed. (Good, says I.) Aubrey then goes on a little rant, which I will reproduce in part:

I’ve heard it said by spam apologists that it’s nothing personal that they attack your website. To them, it’s all business. Your PC is simply a commodity, to be infected with a bot and traded amongst spammers. Your website is another commodity to be used to gain hits for their clients. And it would appear that despite our best efforts, there is still money to be made

I've never understood the idea of defending spammers, particularly the kind of spammers who are not sending emails, but are using other people's computers to attack third parties or send spam emails, or are posting spams on blogs and other websites in order drive up a third party's rankings in search engines.

If someone were to break into my house, and store illegal or illicit goods in an unused part of my attic, and tell others how to break into my house to get the illegal goods, that would be wrong even though it is utilizing resources (attic space) that I was not myself using.

If someone were to break into my house, and use my phone to make telemarketing calls to others, that would be wrong even though it isn't costing me anything extra unless they call internationally.

If someone were to paint advertising slogans on my garage door without my permission, that would be wrong even though it does not detract from the utility of my garage.

And virtually everyone sees such actions and considers them wrong without any explanation. Yet some still defend people setting up peer-to-peer servers on hacked-into computers, using hacked-into computers to send email spam, and posting spam comments and trackbacks on blogs. Yet the cases are directly analogous. These kinds of computer attacks and misuses are nothing more than lowlife scum attempting to make me pay for things they want, or to direct possible legal retaliation at me rather than them. While I'm not sure that I would necessarily sanction the use of small caliber weapons at body extremities, I'm pretty sure I'd go for expulsion and exile following very public humiliation and the seizing of all the spammers' property, with the profits from auctioning it off going to the people the spammer inconvenienced.

Posted by jeff at 2:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 14, 2005

Meta Solutions

There's a lot of discussion of spam this week, of various kinds. Charles has been battling spammers in referrer logs, as has Aubrey. Then there is the solution to fax spam. I've recently spent quite a bit of time tweaking the anti-spam filters under MT3.2 (they're pretty good at this point, with only a very small number of false positives and an acceptable number of false negatives) as well as the .htaccess (for referrer spam protection) and my daily additions to the ipchains (that blocks an IP from even connecting). It occurs to me that we're putting obscene amounts of hours of productive people's time into fighting people abusing the Internet's mechanisms for their own (minimal) gain. (Really, just what is referral spam supposed to accomplish on the vast majority of sites that don't post their referral logs???)

What is needed here is a meta solution, a way to step outside the current problem and solve it at a higher level. Now, it would be nice to just shoot the offenders, since they obviously add nothing to human existence, but sadly, many of the offenders are in countries that would not take kindly to us shooting their citizens (generally, I suspect, because it usurps their prerogatives).

But there's another way: take it a level higher. If you get spammed from xx.xxx.yy.zz, ban everything from xx.xxx.yy.*. If that does not do it, ban everything from xx.xxx.*.*. Eventually, you'd be able to totally eliminate spam. It would not take more than 254 rules. (Of course, that would block everyone everywhere, but hey, it would fix the problem.)

For some reason, I keep coming back to the "just shoot them" solution, though.

Posted by jeff at 11:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 10, 2005

More Spammers

I've decided to make this a weekly thing, so that there are fewer posts in amongst the good stuff. Hopefully, this is helpful to people in the first place.

Trackback spammers:

148.244.150.58
65.160.122.217
81.8.110.33
205.204.242.23
140.131.110.4
216.236.210.178
216.228.144.134
217.218.140.156
217.219.37.238
61.11.26.142
207.248.240.118
219.93.174.108
220.65.210.146
148.244.153.253
212.20.223.34
203.169.250.29
24.123.82.134
61.30.150.74
202.241.39.241
220.65.210.42
219.144.196.202
194.63.235.139
213.243.30.8
202.9.179.110
210.111.244.210
211.253.183.18
62.0.13.2
82.185.124.122
211.184.42.62
210.193.7.126
24.11.61.150
211.253.184.130
194.6.246.250
24.55.54.155
194.63.235.157
148.244.150.57
200.13.230.243
161.200.255.161
200.92.225.13
68.167.57.14
210.111.233.154
201.245.172.11
66.18.201.229
203.144.216.211
141.150.171.114
216.37.138.189
68.101.240.35
149.121.12.4
212.155.169.124

As an aside, is online poker really that interesting to people?

And here are the people trying to actually break into my server. While not spammers, they are in many ways more dangerous, while spammers are merely a nuisance.

203.197.150.69
210.53.138.21
61.120.141.18
65.15.88.170
65.98.21.147
210.104.143.252
211.7.52.132
217.223.60.90
61.129.50.105
61.85.234.221
65.104.185.240
66.45.235.106
83.142.28.10
211.238.253.248
141.154.141.178
203.124.149.162
64.220.242.238
163.32.102.139
202.222.31.71
211.240.40.118
217.205.228.86
219.252.0.11
220.65.116.130
61.211.151.25
134.106.124.66
193.27.236.3
209.152.162.121
210.64.109.66
212.24.169.14
216.127.66.131
217.69.206.38
218.153.147.92
82.50.211.75
64.171.175.68
68.75.86.8
218.83.154.106
64.246.44.62
193.124.133.216
200.61.185.29
206.111.183.17
211.160.165.19
69.13.66.128
218.104.138.51
218.93.117.218
61.100.0.162
66.221.198.60
66.46.103.74
84.244.5.145

Posted by jeff at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

June 5, 2005

More Spammers

62.128.250.198
200.77.229.133
202.175.234.163
200.242.249.70
80.201.241.47

Posted by jeff at 10:50 AM | TrackBack

June 3, 2005

More Banned IPs

Trackback spammers:

67.114.175.242
24.97.174.130
207.248.240.119

UPDATE: comment spammer

82.79.129.93

And have I mentioned how much I like MT3.x's ability to delete lots of spam quickly and get at all the comments from one place?

Posted by jeff at 6:11 AM | TrackBack

May 31, 2005

Yet Another for the Ban List

148.244.150.52 - trackback spammer

UPDATE: some more trackback spammers:

211.248.151.130
24.158.18.138
165.228.131.11
200.35.81.254

Posted by jeff at 5:57 PM | TrackBack

May 29, 2005

Two More for the Ban List

For trackback spamming: 211.114.68.60 and 65.165.84.11

Oh, and while I'm at it, here are the IPs I've blocked from even reaching my server (all praise to the authors of iptables), because they attempted to guess id/password pairs on the server.

221.143.22.247
195.20.105.78
202.141.41.49
221.239.127.151
69.157.209.220
195.149.67.27
83.103.20.0
200.171.128.37
216.55.169.49
200.225.159.88
69.40.75.136
65.39.147.242
82.149.228.247
203.250.133.238
210.107.239.74
66.98.128.38
80.53.119.139
211.114.190.30
61.222.3.180
62.149.230.22
81.57.131.118
12.0.42.6
61.242.152.182
80.253.125.112
202.129.43.215
210.204.129.27
212.254.31.61
62.22.55.67
202.239.176.18
211.250.14.124
211.251.140.67
219.151.1.75
60.8.7.19
66.139.73.156
69.93.188.52
210.95.56.202
211.72.91.88
218.232.187.58
62.188.63.50
161.116.80.165
202.67.156.178
219.240.75.17
218.38.137.205
82.77.50.153
210.0.214.146
210.255.98.197
211.174.50.73
69.28.211.251
66.12.107.59
217.159.153.67
203.71.133.148
205.209.177.20
211.197.233.39
221.12.119.228
66.36.229.80
66.7.253.50
198.64.149.26
216.53.167.91
200.75.229.147
210.141.99.53
211.140.185.86
24.57.80.26
62.87.154.109
66.82.4.25
67.169.132.93
69.13.8.114
203.193.167.243
211.48.20.165
61.189.175.116
80.55.18.234
211.115.68.55
61.75.4.142
84.16.228.30
66.14.195.102
210.118.170.36
220.130.129.147
72.11.98.138
141.211.98.127
209.174.136.42
220.218.150.117
69.224.221.150
200.43.187.12
210.245.167.119
64.71.148.90
65.110.41.130
65.77.250.211
203.146.110.228
211.189.88.86
213.202.216.156
218.188.2.4
60.12.80.3
65.43.95.217
163.27.113.179
195.160.205.87
210.192.100.148
24.117.213.209
82.90.12.194
61.34.102.174
66.132.163.151
200.71.62.7
210.188.243.211
218.28.46.130
221.12.119.229
222.122.31.114
81.33.9.44
82.135.10.19
67.154.180.20
69.64.37.106
203.177.131.107
211.76.138.90
217.78.63.15
61.74.62.100
80.99.170.132
211.144.101.203
217.172.180.78
218.25.10.38

Posted by jeff at 12:36 PM | TrackBack

May 26, 2005

One More for the Ban List

Yep, spam again: 64.109.44.36

Posted by jeff at 5:10 PM | TrackBack

May 24, 2005

One More for the Spam Filters

For trackback spamming: 211.114.68.60

Posted by jeff at 6:32 AM | TrackBack

May 21, 2005

Another Spammer for the Ban List

68.3.26.145

Posted by jeff at 1:39 PM | TrackBack