View Full Version : Spammers

05-06-2003, 11:12 PM
Are there any friendly hackers watching who know how I can remove my name from a malicious spammers computer? With all the viruses etc about it must be possible deliver a code that can do this. Heres a great money making opportunity for you programmers as I'm sure people would be happy to pay to protect their privacy and remove their names from mailing lists. Just remember it was my idea when you start collecting the royalties and pay me a small commission.

06-06-2003, 12:04 AM

I don't think making viruses to destroy other viruses and/or data should be used in this manner, no matter what good intentions will be used. This idea is not a good idea, although some companies have already implemented this.

Trend Micro the AV company.
Music companies over the Kazaa network.

An example of this idea GONE MAD. So, once again, let us NOT endorse this method to get what you want.

Rev Species 116

06-06-2003, 12:05 AM
This is not the forum talk about this!
There is other forums, chat rooms etc... On this subject.

This is a Computer Helpdesk

06-06-2003, 12:37 AM
My question was about a problem that affects many computer users including the contributers to PC World and this is probably the best forum for it that I know of. I'm not suggesting destroying offender's computers, just removing information about others that they had no right to possess in the first place. If somebody can buy or obtain our details without our consent then surely we should be allowed to remove them and if the offenders do not give us this opportunity we must take action to protect ourselves.

06-06-2003, 12:46 AM
Maybe I shouldn't have used the "virus" word. What I mean is something that could be returned to a spammer to delete my address from his mailing list. Sure I can block one offending address in my firewall but these sickos use many different identities and pass your address on to others as well.

06-06-2003, 12:54 AM
Which is why you would have to 'deploy' this 'app' to them as well.. and the next person who its passed on to... and the next...

To be honest, once they've got it, your best bet is MailWasher or something similar :-)

06-06-2003, 08:06 AM
Rather than trying to set up rules etc in a firewall or mail client, use something like Mailwasher, it is free and you have the option of deleting from the server or bouncing back to the sender.

Of course if the senders name has been forged and many are, then you are either bouncing back to a unsuspecting party whose email address has been used or to no where.

Your name is just one of a few million/billion/trillion out there all crammed on to CD and sold between spammers and wanabe spammers all over the place.

If you have the time and will, you can trace the isp numbers in each message and complain to the various isp's who have either been relayed via or have had the spam sent from them. I got that idea from someone else here on F!, JimB it might have been, I have had a degree of luck in getting some of the relays secured, two messages recently from China.net of two clients they have shut down, several messages from Europe of accounts being closed, even had some luck with xtra and clear. Many isp's do not reply to advise what they have done other than a automated email advising they have got your email. You need to look at the isp carefully though as some spammers have there own isp.

06-06-2003, 08:14 AM
Why not? Spam is very much on topic IMO. It is a serious problem for computer users, and I find it worrying that whenever the subject is raised in this or virtually any forum, we get someone trying to shut discussion down.

I rather wonder what corner these people are coming from.

Mailwasher and products like it are stop-gaps; they are not a solution to the problem. The solution to the problem IMO is workable and internationally agreed legislation. We've done it extensively for porn; we've done it for electronic transactions. Why not spam?

If the internet abolishes spam, we'll rediscover a lot of bandwidth we'd forgotten we had. There are real technical and practical benefits for the kind of users that frequent PF1.

Personally, i'm impressed with the other local product Death2Spam; but a little worried over the commercial so-called "opt-in" interests which already seem to be trying to pervert spam-filters to their own ends - using the filter to let them produce marketing messages that won't be trapped, though they are, to all intents and purposes, spam.

It is a technical problem and I wish there were a real (long-term) technical solution. An automatic address removal mechanism would be very nice and peaceful, but I doubt its practicality.

As with many other areas of blatant disregard for society's acceptable standards where governments decline to act, and users try to shut down debate, there WILL be nasty "vigilante" action. None of us approve of it, but it WILL happen unless a long-term answer can be found.


06-06-2003, 02:10 PM
SPAM is definitely ON topic

Seems to me that whenever we accept junk mail and/or circulars through our physical letterboxes we are reinforcing the notion that SPAM is okay

I very rarely have received spam except when I overlooked an "opt out" box when voting in last year's webby awards = kill off the address

So let's stop ALL spam, starting at the physical letterbox - why should we have to disfigure our letterboxes with signage stating our desire to "opt OUT". And with physical spam I do exactly what was suggested here and have enlisted the help of the Privacy Commissioner to get the Direct Marketing Association and all it's members including the incestuous industry of market surveyors to keep my details OFF their lists.

Current target is that group of arrogants called Real Estate Agents who as a group personally choose to ignore my opt-out signs at their peril. Such UNprofessional behaviour is contrary to their very own regulations

Yes - a virus that specifically targets the destruction of UNauthorised recordings of my details has my vote !!!!!

06-06-2003, 02:32 PM
Hey Rev,

Making viruses to destroy other viruses, well computerwise and medicalwise, this method should be looked at, especially if it's going to cure the problems.

Viruses to counter other viruses (computers) has already been implemented as you said, the problem I see is that still it's a virus and it's not hard for someone to create another virus that can change a good virus to a bad virus. They really have to find another method for doing this because it is a security risk.

Slightly OT (can turn this into computer programming) - Genetically Modified things, how I look at it, if you modify a patch of grass and then that grass spreads it's seed/spores/whatever to other patches and then 3 generations all the grass die for some unknown reason from this modification, we just turned what was green into a desert. Unless it's in a controlled environment, we don't know the outcome of it.

06-06-2003, 07:02 PM
If deleted soon enough multiple ocurrences could be avoided. Even breaking one mail list at any stage will prevent future spawn from that list.

06-06-2003, 07:07 PM
Good advice Gordon but yes time consuming. Also I have received many similar spams from different addresses & locations which means these people are not about to be closed down by banning them from any particular ISP or mail server.

06-06-2003, 07:26 PM
To elaborate , I never meant "virus" in the way of a self replicating malicious code. My point is that if people can write such things ( and we all know they can) then it should be relatively easy to develop a "privacy code" that would remove a sender's details from the recipient's computer thus avoiding repeated spam attacks and the distribution of information that might have been authorised to a trusted party but has been onsold without consent. Even if I have knowingly given my details I believe it is my right to withdraw from mailing lists and have my details deleted.

06-06-2003, 09:21 PM
Good on you NIGGEl anything you can do to spammers is ok with me.
I think whats needed is an international team that could trace the spammers any where around the world and then take them out. A bit like the Gestapo hunting the French terrorists in WW2.
Spammers are filthy scum, in my mind they are just as bad as child molesters.
The reason they havent been touched is that stupid politicians around the world are too old and dont know much about computers and internet.


06-06-2003, 10:06 PM
The problem is you are suggesting unauthorised access to another persons computer. And then doing something destructive to their computer. Both of which are illegal.

IMO anyone who does this is far worse than spammers.

And if you can track them down, then they can track you down. And I think you will find as they are a business they will have a lot more money to spend on legal fees to recover damages (plus the law is on their side).

What if you got the wrong person/business?
What if the programme damaged more than you intended?
Both of which are _very_ likely.

From a piratical point of view: There will be more than one person with your address and they will all have backups. Their database is their most valuable asset.

ie: How are you going to delete the address from read-only CDs sitting in fireproof safes in 1000 different locations throughout the world.