Lycos Promote Worldwide DDoS Attacks on UCE Sites

11 comments
Thread Title:
Make Love not Spam
Thread Description:

The Register reports that Lycos Europe is promoting a screensaver (see threadlink above) that will send requests to identified and verified UCE spam domains. The screensavers will initiate a DDos attack on these sites essentially rendering them defunct in an effort to deter email spamming. When possibly hundreds of thousands of these screensavers all target the same domain, this is a DDos attack.

DDos attacks are considered illegal regardless of intent...

ADDED: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/26/lycos_europe_spam_blitz/
Some are having 404's with the url, no idea why but there's the raw version.

Comments

Can't help but...

...think this is cool. One can admire spammers for their efforts, but the same goes for zero-effect anti-spam measures like this one. It's like a white version of blackhat ; )

Brilliant idea!

What a fabulous idea! I can't wait till someone figures out how to alter the 'antispam screensaver' -- thousands and thousands of zombie pc's busily spamming away ...

Active screensaver...

Is it the new "toolbar"?

Dangerous

I think it's very dangerous personally when a company decides that it should attack websites becuase it beleives something bad about them.

I know more than a few guys that could probably fool lycos into thinking that UCE was coming out of some domain or another - i really dont think taking the law into their own hands is a smart move, and i dont beleive they have been appointed official judge, jury and executioner.

That's something for the law to sort out, not lycos.

Still, good PR stunt regardless...

Next step:

Screensaver that huddles with your buddies' and attacks a site of your choice... Admit it: that's cool. (Scary, but cool)

Very stupid

This is a pretty crazy thing to do for such a company: DDOS is certainly illegal, and one false move against an innocent target, and Lycos's executives could well end up in court with criminal charges against them.

It is quite clear that they have no real understanding of the issue anyway: a lot of spam is coming from compromized home and business machines, and they could end up DDOSing targets such as other companies, government or military networks, ...

Good PR? For five minutes, maybe. But longer-term, this is a terrible idea from a dying company.

The very idea

of voluntary zombies for DDoS makes me quiver with rage. We all share a limited bandwidth pool, in the scheme of things. Its bad enough that so much of it is junk email and DoS flooding. We really shouldn't be condoning adding to that, just because we deem ourselves the vigilante 'good guys'.

Lycos should be educating people, not creating an army out of them. If it just told its (fast declining) viewership about various methods to avoid spam -- from not publishing your address, to various spam filters (bayesian etc), people could help themselves, like that man who's given the means to fish and can feed himself for a lifetime. It wouldn't garner as much publicity as it has (or will) from this stunt, but it would all be in the positive spin.

Pretty ridiculous

I wonder just how many people would actually subscribe to this. The average Joe user would probably be happy to install this if they thought It was going to cause the spammers some headaches. There is no doubt that this would back fire and ultimately this is going to get them no where. I think Lycos are asking for it.

tread carefully - the law is there for a reason

This is all very well as long as they get the right people.

Lycos are not judge and jury, the legal system is taking some time to catch up, but that doesn't mean large companies should take things
into their own hands does it?

I understand the need to stop the spammers, but what if these guys are smarter than Lycos and the DDos attacks end up hitting innocent
webmasters?!

The BBC...

...clearly dont get it

>right people

Yep, there's the problem - the main one at least..

more...

Quote:
In effect, Lycos is enabling its users to launch a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, said Anne Mitchell, president of the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy and noted anti-spam attorney. "Despite Lycos' reassurance that the use of the screen saver and its contacting of the targeted Web site is not a DDOS, I remain in doubt," Mitchell said. "'In fact, I could make a strong argument in court that it was exactly a DDOS."

from this clickz piece by Kevin Newcomb

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