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HillsCap

MASSIVE LAWSUIT AGAINST SCOTT RICHTER...

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This is all very interesting, but it will not work.

There is no definition of "spam" that's been agreed to, so you will

all give somewhat different answers (if asked), and you can't sue

unless there is an accepted definition of what you're sueing about.

Wazoo (I seem to have seen) disagrees with "double opt-in" and

says he prefers "confirmed opt-in" and yet has signed the petition.

So actually, his "signature" means nothing - as he doesn't agree.

If you change the petition, then all the "signatures" collected will

be "null and void" and you will then need to start all over again.

Even if you had a definition - it's not a legal definition of "spam".

The only "legal" definition is in the "CAN-spam" legislation, and

you all seem to disagree with it - yet this is the one "Scotty" uses.

So, he has a legal definition available, and you do not have one.

Under the legal definition, if you call "Scotty" a "spammer" you

are subject to Slander or Libel, and likely a charge of malicious

prosecution. I don't like "spam" either, but you can't win this.

Hope you have a "legal defense fund" for the legal expenses.

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spam King Wins One for Spammers

The e-mail marketing firm OptInRealBig.com will take its complaint against SpamCop to court next week over negative reporting of its activities. Meanwhile, a court has ordered SpamCop to cease reporting complaints against OptInRealBig until the May 20th court date....(continues)
(I like how the link goes to spamcop .com, not .net)

oh, and the petition should be edited in to the first post in this thread

http://www.petitiononline.com/gt78mt5e/petition.html

Edited by zachariah

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Wazoo (I seem to have seen) disagrees with "double opt-in" and

says he prefers "confirmed opt-in" and yet has signed the petition.

So actually, his "signature" means nothing - as he doesn't agree

Have not gone to the page, so are you suggesting that there's one of the other millions of Wazoo's out there that's put a name up there? Guess I'll have to go look to see which one this one is.

Have gone through the listing, I don't see my name there anywhere. What makes you think I signed it?

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Double-opt-in is just that, irregardless of whether the spammers have tried to to redefine it to mean 'typing your email address twice on the signup page'.

Double-opt-in's traditional meaning is a process by which you sign up to receive email, you then receive a confirmation email with a link you must click to complete the opt-in process.

This can be the only true meaning of double-opt-in, as this process was created to prevent people other than the holder of the email account from signing others up to receive email. Double-opt-in, as defined by the spammers, does not offer this protection, and thus their definition is a misnomer, an invalid name.

Double-opt-in is also more descriptive than confirmed-opt-in, as it connotes that two separate (double) opt-ins are required to be added to an emailing list, whereas confirmed-opt-in can be construed to mean what the spammers are trying to redefine double-opt-in as. Namely that you type your email address, then confirm it by typing it again on the same page.

As for what to look for in your spam to tell if it came from Richter, there is a list of IP addresses and domains that Richter uses here:

http://www.hillscapital.com/richter.txt

YourBuddy is correct in one aspect... namely that Richter complies with certain aspects of the CAN-spam bill. He sends his spam from his own IP addresses, doesn't obfuscate his headers, and provides a (presumably) working unsubscribe link.

But he is incorrect in saying there is no definition of spam... spam is any email marketing message that you did not elect to receive, and do not want to receive, that is sent by a marketer en masse. It is not about CONTENT, it is about CONSENT.

Unfortunately, our legislators have stupidly made a bill that is unworkable... it allows anyone and everyone to fill our Inboxes with whatever they wish, without our consent, and all they must do is claim that we signed up for it... even if we didn't. There is no process to ascertain whether someone truly signed up for the email, and the legislators bowed to campaign contributions and political pressure from marketing lobbist groups to form a toothless bill that provides no penalties for those unscrupulous email marketers that obtain their email lists by means such as signing people up without their consent (somewhat akin to telephone slamming), spambotting websites, or dictionary attacks.

The legislators seem to think that if we're on the spammers' lists, we MUST have signed up. They still haven't caught on to the fact that spammers lie.

Richter is well known for using spambots to harvest email addresses (do you truly believe that over 80 million people signed up to receive his cruft?!), and I suspect he uses dictionary attacks, as well, judging by the spam I've gotten from him.

But, what YourBuddy doesn't seem to realize is that this is one process by which we can get the laws changed to afford our email accounts the same protections afforded to our fax machines and telephones. Namely, for our telephones, we can sign up to not receive any marketing messages, and any companies that violate that can have penalties levied against them. For our fax machines (a more apropos analogy to our email accounts, since ultimately, we end up paying the bill for receiving the spam in higher ISP bills), there are laws that prevent ALL unsolicited marketing via facsimile machine, with heavy penalties to those who break those laws.

With enough outrage, enough political activism, and enough people, we can get the laws changed to provide us (the voters... the people who elect those who make the laws) with the relief from spam that we seek. Other nations will see the outrage over spam and the amount of time and resources that it wastes just to benefit a few at the cost of many, and enact similar laws, if they have not done so already.

A massive action against one of the world's largest spammers will send a message to other spammers to back off and respect our time, productivity and resources.

And even if this doesn't work, we've helped a lot of people to learn about the issues, about SpamCop and its protection from spam, and hopefully some of them will read my other posts and learn how to take down the spammers in other ways.

Imagine 1,000,000 people using FriedSpam.net against Richter or any other spammer... they'd be out of business for good in a month.

Imagine 1,000,000 people running the JackPot MailSwerver fake SMTP server/honeypot to dump relay spam... relay spam would cease to exist.

Imagine 1,000,000 people filling out bogus data on the spammers' feedback forms or shopping carts... the spammers would get a taste of what spam is like, as they'd have to wade through all the unwanted data (wasting their time on each to verify whether it is valid or not) before getting to the data they want. Even if each person only did this a few times a day... the aggregate total of this would hurt the spammers tremendously.

People need to stop complaining about spam and start DOING something about it... we all need to take up the sport of spammer hunting, which is great fun and exceedingly challenging.

It wasn't until I actively began going after the spammers that I stopped receiving spam in large quantities. I now only have 13 spams in my spam folder (which deletes anything older than 30 days). I don't use Block Lists, I don't prevent the delivery of any email, it's just that the spammers have learned to avoid me because I will do everything within my capabilities to take them down.

If everyone took my stance, and actively went after the spammers, we'd have the spammers running scared. And people would soon find that they no longer receive much spam at all.

Edited by HillsCap

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But he is incorrect in saying there is no definition of spam... spam is any email marketing message that you did not elect to receive, and do not want to receive, that is sent by a marketer en masse. It is not about CONTENT, it is about CONSENT.

I like your "rant", but this is not the "accepted definition of "spam".

This may be your definition of "spam" and others may agree, but

Spamhaus and MAPS do not agree with this - and neither does the

CAN-spam legislation. You can't sue on something you can't define.

If you want to "petition" or start a "lawsuit", the complaining party

should at least be able to define what they are talking about, or

you'll have no "legal cause of action". You need to agree first.

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By the way ...

IronPort is proposing "identified" SMTP (they call it SMTPi), and

Microsoft is proposing "verifiable" DNS - as a "solution to "spam".

Some "technical solution" (like this) is the way to go.

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By the way ...

IronPort is proposing "identified" SMTP (they call it SMTPi), and

Microsoft is proposing "verifiable" DNS - as a "solution to "spam".

Some "technical solution" (like this) is the way to go.

My solution has worked great. spam our servers and it's welcome to the blocklist.

Works like a charm.

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You're right, YourBuddy, the ability to remove the cloak of anonymity that spammers now enjoy IS the ultimate solution to the spamming problem... except in cases like Richter, who believes he can still fill our Inboxes because of weak laws.

First, we have to strengthen the laws, and give them provisions for strict penalties for violating them. Laws are supposed to be created to benefit the majority of people, without trampling on the rights of the minority of people.

The current law benefits a minority of people, while trampling on the rights of the majority of people, and thus it MUST be changed. Broad participation is required for our voice to be loud enough to be heard in the halls of government. But once our voice is heard, it must be heeded... or the politicians risk getting voted out of office by an angry populace. The longer they allow the spam problem to fester by not enacting effective legislation with strict penalties, the angrier the populace becomes.

Second, we have to motivate the people to seek their own solutions to the spam problem. By this I mean we must convince people to take action against spammers in whatever form they find morally and ethically agreeable. I have no moral or ethical qualms with doing whatever is necessary to take down a spammer and prevent him from wasting my precious time and resources, so I'm probably a bit more vicious about it than most people would be, but because of the lengths I am willing to go to prevent my resources from being abused, I find that the spammers avoid me like the plague. I receive virtually no spam at all. What spam I do receive is usually from newbie spammers, who are easily convinced to find another means of income production when they learn of the consequences awaiting their decision to send spam.

I've already written extensively in other posts on this forum about some of the techniques I use... but I have been forced upon occasion to take drastic measures against spammers who thought they could force me into submission by mail-bombing me or attacking my computers. Those spammers quickly found out that I can become quite vicious indeed. They also found that I specialize in configuring computers for high-security computing environments, meaning that no matter what they tried, my computers were unassailable and impregnable. Surprisingly, I found their computers easily assailable and pregnable.

Thirdly, we must remove the cloak of anonymity that many spammers now enjoy utilizing such techniques as packet spoofing, open relays, RATs (Remote Access Trojans), and open proxies. I've already submitted a proposal to several government officials who requested my input on the solution to the spam problem. Let's hope they have the intestinal fortitude to implement the changes necessary to fix this, rather than going for the feel-good sound bite and political quick fix that assuages the marketing lobbyist groups.

You know, for a troll, you're not half bad... you're not very annoying and don't try to disrupt entire threads with hundreds of consecutive posts like other trolls I've experienced on other boards, you play Devil's Advocate and encourage further discussion and you force us to challenge our assumptions.

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Imagine 1,000,000 people filling out bogus data on the spammers' feedback forms or shopping carts...

Funny you should mention that...

I think you might like this.

Everyone's assignment for Friday -

1) Sign the petition if you haven't.

2) Join the Unsolicited Commandos.

3) Read HillsCap's exellent plan for using FriedSpam and cook up a batch.

4) Teach a newbie/parent/grandparent/tech challenged friend a little about safe computing and offensive anti-spam techniques.

5) ???

6) Profit!!

We need recruits, folks. I posted a glorious rant about this project on another site that I frequent and got exactly two responses, one of which said "you'll never stop spam, you should just ignore it."

Grr.

I quote HillsCap... "This is a war of attrition, and I will not be attritioned."

I stand behind that, and I'm in this for the long haul.

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Imagine 1,000,000 people filling out bogus data on the spammers' feedback forms or shopping carts...

Funny you should mention that...

I think you might like this.

That sounds like fighting abuse with abuse?

So who is the bad guy?

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That sounds like fighting abuse with abuse?

So who is the bad guy?

It is, and they are.

We aren't talking about legitimate retailers here, we're talking about spammers, scammers, liars, and thieves. If someone cares so little about their target audience that they send a "mortgage application" to 40,000,000 people while expecting only 5 - 10,000 responses, then I'm not going to shed a single tear if their response data is less than accurate. Do you think I give a damn about someone who sends me an email that says "WE R3C31V3D yU0r M0r+Gag3 4PPL1c4t10N?" I've said it before, and I'll say it again - my inbox is my property, and if you aren't an invited guest then keep the hell out. If you have to mangle your product's name just so that I can see it, then you should damned well know that I don't want to see it! Spammers know that almost nobody wants what they're peddling and yet they continue to spew their floods of offal out into the net, not giving a rat's ass where it ends up. With every *click* that starts a spam run, a spammer says "I am about to inconvenience millions of people, wasting both their time and money, but since I stand to make a few bucks... I am an a**h*#e, and I don't care." Well you know what? I'm an a**h*#e, and I do care. They want to inconvenience the world? Fine - then they can suffer the consequences. I don't care if their servers melt, I don't care if their bandwidth rates go sky-high, I don't care if their realworld mailboxes get stuffed with hate mail, I don't care if someone tosses bags of flaming sh** onto Alan Ralsky's Mercedes and beats the everloving sh** out of Scott Richter on the street. THEY decided that the rules of polite society don't apply to them, and I goddamned sure don't care WHO decides to play by the same rules. They want to go around all the "please don't intrude" signs I've placed around my inbox? Fine. But I don't want to hear one complaint out of them when someone decides to fight back using the same tactics. They drew the line in the sand, not me, and if they have a problem with that then fu** them. They started the dirty part of the war, and now they can reap the benefits.

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For all the ranting about laws and retaliation, the internet still works by netiquette.

Miss Manners says that it is never permissible to be rude to rude people because that makes you a rude person. It is also unnecessary to tolerate rudeness (and that means that JHD is not the proper etiquette response either.)

Blocklists work very well and would work better if more people could be convinced to use them. And it would be a very good idea to educate users that there is something that can be done about spam that isn't 'rude.'

It is really unsolicited bulk email that is the problem. I don't understand why people don't insist that bulk email be labeled and then reject all bulk email except that which they whitelist - and block any IP address that doesn't require their users to identify bulk email.

Everybody is happy. The spammers can legally send as much as they want, but nobody has to receive it unless they want it.

Miss Betsy

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That sounds like fighting abuse with abuse?

So who is the bad guy?

It is, and they are.

<snip>

The abusive post, with the "old anglo-saxon" words, is just one of the

reasons why this petition is not a good idea. Just imagine a "nut-case"

like this being examined by a Lawyer, your case goes down the drain.

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<snip>

Miss Manners says that it is never permissible to be rude to rude people because that makes you a rude person.

<snip>

...Well, shucks, I guess I'll just have to disagree with Miss Manners. It may make one a rude person to be rude to an otherwise "unrude" person who makes a rude remark; it may make one a rude person to be rude to everyone. I don't agree that it makes one a rude person to be rude to someone who is repeatedly rude.

:) <g>

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<snip>

It is really unsolicited bulk email that is the problem.  I don't understand why people don't insist that bulk email be labeled and then reject all bulk email except that which they whitelist - and block any IP address that doesn't require their users to identify bulk email.

Everybody is happy. The spammers can legally send as much as they want, but nobody has to receive it unless they want it.

<snip>

...Nope, everyone is not happy. Those of us who have to pay the costs of the resources used to send the spam are unhappy (not to mention damaged, in the legal sense, IIUC). Thus, the language resorted to by Jebuz Jones, which I would say is far too mild to describe what spammers actually do to the rest of us.

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That sounds like fighting abuse with abuse?

So who is the bad guy?

It is, and they are.

That does not make it right.

No one likes spam but by using abuse to fight abuse is not the way.

There are other ways.

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You're right, YourBuddy, the ability to remove the cloak of anonymity that spammers now enjoy IS the ultimate solution to the spamming problem... except in cases like Richter, who believes he can still fill our Inboxes because of weak laws.

First, we have to strengthen the laws, and give them provisions for strict penalties for violating them. Laws are supposed to be created to benefit the majority of people, without trampling on the rights of the minority of people.

You know, for a troll, you're not half bad... you're not very annoying and don't try to disrupt entire threads with hundreds of consecutive posts like other trolls I've experienced on other boards, you play Devil's Advocate and encourage further discussion and you force us to challenge our assumptions.

Well thank you, I try to do a "good troll-like" job. :D

However, many modern Laws (in a democratic society) are now

written to express the rights of a minority. Unlike in "the old days",

the "tyranny of the majority" is no longer a valid Legal principle.

The governing principle now is "the rule of law" (being, equitable

treatment of all - regardless of race, religion ... etc.). Justice (I am

pleased) is no longer a matter of how large the lynching party is.

Justice is (should be) available for a "just cause". ;)

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Merlyn wrote:

[There are other ways.]

Well, then you should tell us those ways... I've tried everything else, and the only effective means of spam abatement I've found is to hit them where it hurts.

I've gotten 13 spams in the past 30 days, without using Block Lists, without blocking delivery of any emails. I've got a straight, unhindered shot from the internet to my Inbox. How many spams did you get over the last month?

But it wasn't an easy road to get to 13 per month... I fought the spammers 24/7 (literally) for months on end (a 'luxury' I'm afforded because I work out of the house)... I developed specialized software to allow semi-automated reporting of high volumes of spam, and more software to do high-volume LART'ing, and even more software is in the works (just wait 'til you see what I've got in store for you next spammers, it'll knock your socks off. Picture FriedSpam.net on steroids, and completely untraceable back to the users).

Jebuz Jones is correct, the spammers drew the line in the sand... I'm just stepping up to that line, and going toe-to-toe with the spammers. And you know what? They hit like girls, and they've got glass jaws.

I mean, come on, spammers! Is a DDoS all you can come up with? I've got measures in place that slow your DDoS to a crawl and prevent it from affecting my machines, and it doesn't affect my ability to access the internet. Trying to hack into my machines? Please... it'll only get you reported to your ISP and law enforcement (and I don't even have to lift a finger for that to happen). Mail-bombing? You've tried this before, you know it doesn't work when I can handle more mail than you can throw at me. And you know if you try any of these, I'll track you down... I'll get server logs and do electronic forensics until I've got you... then you're going down.

If someone kept breaking into your house, despite the fact that you've installed security measures, put a high fence and signs, then crapped on your carpet each time they wormed their way into your home, I GUARANTEE you wouldn't ask them nicely to leave... you'd beat the living hell out of them, especially when they kept coming back, and most especially if you found that there were no police for you to call. Why? Because they're not only violating your personal domain, they're leaving behind something that you find offensive, and costing you money because you now have to clean your carpet, not to mention the expense of those security measures, that high fence and those 'Keep Out' signs.

It's the same thing with spammers... they worm their way into your Inbox (your personal domain, much as your home is your personal domain) by hook or by crook, then dump their load of crap there (crapping on your carpet), and keep coming back despite the fact that you've set up security measures, high fences and 'Keep Out' signs (anti-spam software, disposable email addresses, email address obfuscation on websites, Block Lists, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum). And there's no police to call... (weak legislation, no strict penalties, very little enforcement of existing legislation).

Well, I've had enough... I'm beating the living hell out of every one of them that worms their way into my Inbox and leaves their crap pile there.

Meanwhile, we still have to work on convincing our policitians to give us effective legislation that protects us from the spammers, with strict punishments doled out for those who violate that legislation. I think of my email Inbox much as I think of my fax machine... if I were receiving hundreds of unsolicited faxes daily, I'd do something about it because IT IS COSTING ME. Same thing with email... it costs all of us in additional bandwidth, time, resources, and frustration having to deal with spam. The amount of cost is much smaller per spam than per fax, but the concept is exactly the same. And the laws that apply to fax machines should apply to email, as well.

Edited by HillsCap

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Re: Detecting and Reporting spam From OptInRealBig

Somebody asked how to identify this spam, and I replied that lots of their spam is from [2-digit-number].moosq.com and/or parts of 69.6.0.0, a couple more posters gave more extensive lists of Scotty's IP addresses, and somebody asked how to report it to the appropriate ISPs. Well, of course you _could_ use Spamcop, now that the injunction's been lifted :-)

Traceroute is your friend If you get spam from 23.moosq.com, then run "traceroute 23.moosq.com" (or "tracert 23.moosq.com" from Windows command prompts or use your favorite tracert GUI.) You'll see a series of router names, many of which are recognizeable. The last couple of hops are currently from "Optigate.net", and the hop upstream from them is usually a real ISP - I've mostly seen above.net. Send mail to abuse[at] that ISP, e.g. abuse[at]above.net, with full details of the spam. Abovenet's AUP says that it applies to their direct customers and to customers of those customers, and that in documented cases of abuse they charge the customer up to $1000. So document your cases, submit them, and remind Abovenet to zing Optigate for the money. :)

Complain to Optigate's Toll-free phone number Directly Optigate's policy for dealing with abuse seems to be to forward complaints to their customer OptInRealBig, who might actually take you off the list, at least if you don't believe in Rule 1 and Rule 2 too strongly. You don't want that, because you could have complained to Scotty directly if you trusted him. So you want to look at Optigate's Contact Page to find their administrative phone number 800-304-9299 or ask their operator about connecting you to their sales department or legal department, or unsubscribe their fax number from all the junk faxes you get just to be sure to protect them.

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You can also call OptiGate at (303) 464-8164, and Scott Richter's number has been reported to be (303) 550-9828.

Also, if you want a complete set of tools for tracking down spammers, you can't go wrong with Sam Spade.

[edit]

Oh, before I forget, Jebuz Jones noted the Unsolicited Commando program, which fills out offending websites feedback forms with bogus data.

I've used it for a long time.

Unfortunately, the UC program grabs a port, connects to the offending website, then when it's finished, never releases that port, grabbing yet another for the next website... if left running long enough, all your ports are consumed and your internet connection becomes unusable until you shut down the UC program.

I've already contacted Adam Keeney, the UC program author... let's hope he's hard at work fixing it. If any of you are Java programming wizards, perhaps you could lend a helping hand by inspecting the source code at his website:

http://www.astrobastards.net/uc/source/

Edited by HillsCap

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