Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, January 06, 2008

  Learning to love the internet again.

My last posting was uncharitable, to say the least. I'm not at my best on the holidays. Perhaps, one day, I can find some love in my heart for crackers and spammers, but it hasn't shown up yet... well I can say one thing - it is my increasing belief that humans exist to bring the spambots into full sapience. We've tought them how to read, do small math problems, and there's an effort out there to get them to tackle complex pattern distinguishing activities like reading captcha. Soon, perhaps, the adolescent mixture of porn and the Guttenburg library filling our spam boxes in praise of Viagra may give way to more philosophical theses, like "why am I here?". "What is my purpose?". I have been mulling over these questions a lot lately, and having a few million machines on a botnet also talking this heavy stuff over might actually accomplish something.

Given the assault on my external memory, events in Pakistan seemingly a harbringer of WWIV, bad weather, the economy going bust, hitting endless reloads on my bookmarks for ron paul related news, and mooning over my tattered lovelife, it seemed like a good idea on Dec 30 to hop the next flight out to anywhere, which ended up being New Zealand.

As a spin of the credit card goes, not a bad choice at all. Expect light blogging.

6ft waves at raglan, nz, wednesday. I'm there.

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Comments:
So how am I supposed to hook you up with my sister-in-law when you keep getting farther away?
 
I feel for you. I spent two weeks attacking spam relays and web sdervers hosting botnet code. I had over 200 Emails for "Holiday Greeting Cards" or some similar such. I tracked all of the servers to Russia. But what freaked me out is that for every server I destroyed, it was back up within two hours, and three more domains got registered and 20 new EMails showed up going to those servers. It was truly amazing.

I noticed some things as well :
* All of the domain registrations had incorrect information.
* The DNS servers were shared among those domains (so I started attacking the DNS boxes, hoping I wasn't attacking legitimate folks as well).
* All of the domains were registered through Russia's equivalent of GoDaddy so it was really inexpensive to run.

It was truly amazing the LACK of sophistication of the scams. And the technology was pretty low : An Active-X control and failing that (i.e. No I.E.) there was an Executable file.

Botnets are getting out of hand and the three largest perpetrators seem to be Russia, China, and Brazil(WTF?).

I'd like to apply a very low-tech solution to the problem : a 2x4 to the cranium of the programmers.
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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