TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Trial Shows How Spammers Operate

Re: Trial Shows How Spammers Operate

Geoffrey Welsh (reply@newsgroup.please)
Wed, 1 Dec 2004 00:55:36 -0500

Steve Sobol wrote:

> Bull. The screensaver is meant to be installed on a lot of different
> computers that will be used to flood spammer sites with
> traffic. That's the textbook definition of a DDoS.

By your definition (or your textbook's), listing an interesting story
on an aggregation site such as FARK -- thus bringing many viewers who
would not have otherwise viewed the page -- would qualify as a DDOS
attack. I suggest that a DDOS attack is one which intends to fill
either the publisher's bandwidth or its servers' connection tables
with the specific intent of making the site unavailable to as many
visitors as possible. That's why they call is Denial Of Service;
anything which does not attempt to prevent views by others is NOT a
DDOS attack.

I have installed the screen saver and, if anything, I'm disappointed
in how little of the available bandwidth it uses. I am certain that I
could manually generate more traffic to the spammers' web sites than
the screen saver does -- if I didn't have to spend several minutes
between each visit determining the next site to visit. This software
seems specifically designed NOT to interfere with other visitors, but
simply to generate a constant level of unprofitable traffic to a large
number of sites based on the theory that the spammers are being
charged for the traffic they generate -- which, if it is not always
true, probably will become true when the spammers' hosts discover that
these sites are now generating a significant volume of traffic. I
could be generating revenue for a lot more spammers' web hosts, and
I'd be glad to do it.

The ultimate test, of course, would be to visit the sites reported by
the screen saver to verify that they are still operational. If so,
then the screen saver is at least an unsuccessful DDOS, if a DDOS at

I suggest that you find a better textbook. Or collect some facts before
claiming that what others (in this case, Lycos) write is a lie.

Geoffrey Welsh <Geoffrey [dot] Welsh [at] bigfoot [dot] com>

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