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Spam clients outed, credit card details published
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Anti-spam activists have upped the ante in their fight against junk email by publishing the details - including credit card information - of people who've ordered spamming services online.
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Activists published details from order forms left on a monumentally insecure spam services Web site (http://22.214.171.124), run by notorious American spammer Robert Soloway, on the newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.email (NANAE). Names, addresses, phone numbers of seven "would-be spammers" were published on the newsgroup last week. Three of those who ordered a $129 spam run or bulk mailing lists from the site come from the UK, three from the US and one from Germany.
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Follow the money Australian anti-spammer Glenn Barry came across the information while tracking down the source of annoying spam junk email. This led him to the Pakistani Web site. Barry explained to El Reg his rationale for posting credit card details of people who'd ordered spamming services. "I found the 'orders' page links which listed the orders insecurely with the full identity and credit card details of the people signing up for spamming runs wide open. I thought I would get them before they could get me with a spam run," he said. "The information was posted to NANAE to enlist support from other anti spammers to contact these idiot would be spammers and let them know their credit cards and identities had been exposed." Barry said his actions were not an organised campaign but part of "volunteer efforts of many, many people around the world". "It's more of a 'neighbourhood watch' than spam police", he added.
More aggressive anti-spam tactics ahead Steve Linford, of the Spamhaus Project, a well known anti-spam group not involved in the campaign, noted that UK business purchasing spam services would be guilty of a criminal act under tougher European regulation due to put into UK law by October. Many spammers' Web sites are fundamentally insecure, so Linford isn't that surprised credit card details were left out into the open. Presented with the same information, Spamhaus would not publish credit card information. However Linford expressed no criticism of the anti-spam activists actions. Posting information to out spammers "happens occasionally", Linford noted, though the addition of credit card details give the tactic added bite. Since the information was published on the Net, activists lisuch Gareth Robert Halfacree have picked up the baton, taking Dam Design's Web master to task for his client's action in IM conversations that he published on the NANAE news group, for instance. According to Glenn Barry, the anti-spammer who got the whole ball rolling, Halfacree is running a more organised "outing UK spammers" forum. ®
Related stories The War against 'Viagra' Dutch mass spammer loses grip Amsterdam, home of the 419 lottery scam Earthlink brings down the Buffalo Spammer Buffalo Spammer arrested AOL wins $7m in spam case Fab O'Really T'shirt at Cash and Carrion How to deal with Spammers - permanently Sponsored: Minds Mastering Machines - Call for papers now open Tips and corrections
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