Friday 5 September 2003

More Spam Please

Is this Meta-Spam? Considering I "opted in" to silicon.com's incessant emails this is all too funny. I should really see if they have an RSS feed and unsubscribe. But the story is good enough to share. Unfortunately it is an email and not linkable so I have to post it. Read on if you want to know just how hard it is to be a spammer.

Dear Philip

It's not easy being a spammer, you know.

You spend your days sending millions of emails to unsuspecting addresses offering a range of tantalising goodies: from little blue performance-enhancement pills that may or may not rhyme with 'Niagara' to chances of making a fortune from deceased Nigerian millionaires, and what do you get in return? Thanks? Ha! Hardly.

Thousands of abusive replies demanding to be unsubscribed and explaining where you can shove your vials of little blue pills. And the bouncebacks? Don't even mention the bouncebacks.

Imagine it: you get home in the evening after a hard day's spamming, and your wife asks you how your day at the office went. Could you admit: "Well Sugar Drawers, I sent millions of unsolicited emails to millions of addresses, many of them owned by children, telling them about frisky teenage girls who like to..." Well, you get the general idea.

What these poor people need is a place to unwind, a place where they can find a shoulder to cry on, a place where everybody knows your name (or at least your email address). In other words a spammers' support group - and hey presto, that's exactly what the poor little tykes have got.

Over 150 spammers have joined the Bulk Club, an online community that offers tips, tools and a comforting community for bulk emailers.

According to Wired magazine, a membership list accidentally left exposed at the Bulk Club's website, reads like a who's who of blacklisted spammers.

Illustrious names nestling in the hallowed ranks, include Damon Decrescenzo, sued by both Microsoft and Amazon in recent months and John Milton, also known as Davis Wolfgang Hawke, a 'former neo-Nazi' who turned to spamming millions of people offering to increase the size of the old chap (at least his career's going in the right direction).

For a measly $20 per month, Bulk Club members receive access to an archive of best-practice spamming tips, spamming software, spamming community forums where you can share your spamming stories and, wait for it: "300,000 FRESH emails per week." Mmm fresh emails...

The club's operator swears the members are dedicated to promoting "responsible" spam. (Which presumably is just vast quantities of unsolicited mail clogging up home and business inboxes, but without the rude words.)

Oh, and all the information detailing the 'misleading' tactics used by some bad apples are simply there to elucidate why they are so improper and not posted as best practice guides.

But there's no rest for the wicked. As soon as the Bulk Club and its members were exposed online the site was hacked and taken offline, anti-spam activists are the prime suspects. The impact to the Club's business was described as being "extreme".

With a recent survey by Yahoo! reporting that three-quarters of spam sufferers would rather clean a blocked toilet than wade through the oomskah festering in their inboxes, the Round-Up suspects readers will have little sympathy with the spammers' plight.

Posted by Philip at Friday 5 September 2003 | TrackBack
Comments

Philip, I just discovered it, could have been there earlier, but it is a very nice touch, “the command bar”, below your blog header an excellent way to navigate the page. ~<>~ SD

Posted by: ScrewDriver at September 5, 2003 11:21 AM

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Philip, I also just discovered the new tool locks up when you access deconstructing spam, think you better return to the drawing board.~<>~SD

Posted by: ScrewDriver at September 5, 2003 11:38 AM

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Hmmm this isn't a "new tool" it is the standard way Moveable Type navigates "Categories" all I did was play with the colours. As far as the Deconstructed Spam Link locking up it doesn't on my rig. What it does do different is take you off my blog onto a joke page I made up for the VO Spam edition so that makes it different than all other navigation links. Clicking on it should take you to a new HTML page http://blog.pvassar.net/deconstructedspam.htm
at least that is how it works for me. If you want to tell me your OS and Browser combination I can load it up here at work and test it for compatability issues. May be a bug in MT may be something else. I don't do a popup so it can't be a popup blocker... I don't even "redirect" the link is straight to a new page so security should let this happen as if you were clicking any other link on the web. Perhaps I'm being blocked by Nanny software it has the word Spam in the title.
Nothing offensive on the first page and the links on it are only suggestive not real obscenity (most of the photographs came from the US Government). Who knows?

Posted by: Philip at September 5, 2003 12:05 PM

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