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rcurzon

the spam story starting to ring false as it goes on...

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After a while, the official spam story rings a bit hollow ... more of a punch-and-judy show... behind which people must have real, other reasons for doing what they do. How come nobody asks some questions, like:

1- What really happens between the whitehats and blackhats.

Where spam friends meet spam enemies, what happens?

We do hear about dramatic cops and robbers aspects of spam. We do hear about the badboys and what they do, how they behave. Just like the cocaine kings or other gangsters.

But, this bad-boy underground image of spam we constantly see is clearly false. spam is always visible, and controllable unlike most other crimes... yet, over time, it is not controlled.

spam moves from spam-friendly systems like comcast etc, to spam-unfriendly systems, people on both sides of the divide can watch the flow anytime they like.

People from one side must sit and talk with people from the other side constantly. They have to arrange the feeds, technology, upgrades, cost sharing... and more and more parameters must be agreed as technology get more sophisticated. This is not like cocaine deals in the dead of night that nobody can see.

We can't be expected to believe the topic never comes up when yahoo sits and talks with comcast....

That yahoo is happy to be paying the costs while comcast makes the money. Is there a cost accomodation being made we don't hear about?

2- The game: why is it not always changing

E.g. Spamcop has rules that spam IPs get blackholed for 24 hours, or whatever it is. Spammers soon automate their process around this: spew from an IP til it shows up on the BL, then sleep for 24 hours, then spew.

It just points out, whatever the game is, it should change constantly. Isn't Ironport in effect being spam-friendly by being so easy to work against?

If an IP is blacklisted every 23 hours, why isn't it blacklisted for a week after meeting a threshold, with further escalation after that?

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... We can't be expected to believe the topic never comes up when yahoo sits and talks with comcast....

... Isn't Ironport in effect being spam-friendly by being so easy to work against?

Hi Richard - someone once said something along the lines of "When men of the same profession meet in private to discuss matters of business it is for the sole purpose of defrauding the general public." Must confess I somewhat subscribe to that notion. Not sure it happens exactly like that but certainly the ISPs must be more aware than anyone else of the full extent of the wastage and abuse yet the response of many of them is muted. I guess that while the general public is not aware of it there is money to be made with little or nothing in the way of adverse consequences.

I think SpamCop changes and tweaks things a little more than we know - but always has been a little fuzzy about the detail of members' contribution to listings and durations (obviously apart from the maximum duration). Possibly, as you suggest, something a little more radical is needed now to cope with the diffuse botnets of the criminal element and the huge server farms of the Comcasts of this world - in either case server switching means the incidence of unlisted spam sources seems (to me at least) to be increasing.

I don't see it all as any sort of pervasive conspiracy - more like some greed, a whole lot of apathy/ignorance and a touch (not enough) of warfare.

Edited by Farelf

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2- The game: why is it not always changing

If you believe this, you are not paying close enough attention. Even the 24 hours you mention has only been in place about a year now. The lists used to be dynamically updated but people were using the tricks you talk about and that was disabled. And, as Farelf has said, those are the things we have noticed.

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