Spam Wars: Blue Security Strikes Back
You sit down at your desk in the evening after work. You’ve had a difficult day, as usual. You just want to come home and check your eBay bids, post on your LiveJournal and your check your email. It’s a ritual you know but it works. It provides some relaxation. So you sit down and turn it on and it takes a minute or two to boot up.
Your Emeril LaGasse screen theme pops up with “BAM!” going off as it always does. Everything is done loading so you continue the ritual. You open your Outlook Express and the loading begins. Delightful, you’ve got 384 email messages. Considering you’ve only got 20 in your contact list, you might have spam. So you check the weather and post in the LiveJournal. The email done by this point. So you start the cleaning process. You’ve determined that of the 384 emails you’ve received, 30 were actually something you were interested in.
Scene sound familiar? Ever been through the ringer because of spam and it’s taken you quite a while to get rid of it all? Even if you set the spam filters for email, it won’t cover all of it. Blue Security understands this and they are encouraging users to not get mad, get even. They want you to take play with the “Blue Frog“.
The Israeli Internet security firm, Blue Security may have a pleasant end for some of those people getting inundated with spam. They’ve created a “Do Not Intrude Registry that gives users the ability to complain about the deluge of spam they might receive. The way it works is the amount of spam received dictates the amount of complaints.
According to their website, if Blue Security gets sent 40,000 spams promoting the same site, that site gets 40,000 complaints right back at it. Eran Aloni, Blue Security’s Marketing Director said on the company blog they are “building the community and sending warnings to spammers.”
The process sounds pretty keen. Various interested parties sign up for the service and complaints build up in honey pots. Then they’re dumped on the sites mentioned in the spam people receive. So if www.humongomaleenhancement.com send you spam for natural-unnatural male enhancement products every day, you can simply allow complaints to build in these honeypots and then eventually, www.humongomaleenchancement.com will get hit by tons of these complaints based on each and every spam they had a male enhancement in.
There is another side to this story though. An ongoing debate on Blue Security’s forum debates the ethics of this project. Blue Security maintains that for every single spam message someone receives, they should be allowed to complain to the parties responsible for it, namely the companies linked too in the spam. Critics say this whole thing is really an unethical DdoS and makes them no better than the groups they say they’re protecting people from.
As the need for Internet security continues to grow and spam continues to drive people haywire, it stands to reason many would want to take a more active role in defending their computers because people end up with all kinds of garbage on their computers, malicious or just annoying. The questions raised are important as people look for new methods of security, the ethical question is something that must remain in the backs of people’s minds. But I do have to admit, it will be sweet seeing the spammers getting a taste of their own medicine.