Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Botnets Beheaded

The Web hosting company used by some of the world’s biggest botnets and spammers went dark this week after several of its Internet service providers cut its connections.

As a result, the demise of San Jose, Calif.-based McColo, which has played host to botnet servers and other nefarious activity, has led to a sudden drop in worldwide spam by nearly two-thirds, according to one security firm.

For more, please read this Washington Post article.

[note: while this is, indeed, good news; and the people who did the takedown are to be applauded, the truth is that these guys will probably be back in business again within a week.]

[update: 11/17/08, Michael Kassner at TechRepublic has a good synopsis, and reports that McColo is already back online, in his latest post.]

November 14, 2008 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, spam and junk mail, tech | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Your computer is spamming me*

“Spam” did not always mean “unsolicited (junk) e-mail”. Spam is, in reality, a processed and canned meat.. for, like.. when you go camping in the woods.. or something.
cannaspam.jpgI cannot recall ever having eaten SPAM — though I’m fairly certain I have — and so I cannot say whether this item is a tasty treat, or whether it deserved its (in my recall, anyway) reputation as being.. not so good. I think it’s supposed to be similar to ham.

I do recall watching a lot of the British comedy group Monty Python’s Flying Circus on television. One of their more well-known and popular skits was about SPAM.. and vikings.
The song seemed to catch on.

One of the character’s lines is “I don’t like spam!”
And, we don’t like unsolicited (junk) e-mail!
Hence the birth of an expression/joke that’s turned into an actual dictionary definition of common, accepted, everyday usage.

(from Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary)
Main Entry: 1spam Listen to the pronunciation of 1spam
Pronunciation: \ˈspam\
Function: noun
Etymology: from a skit on the British television series Monty Python’s Flying Circus in which chanting of the word Spam overrides the other dialogue
Date: 1994
: unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses

Yes. I don’t like spam!
Not terrribly surprisingly, the spammers are at it again, using their botnets (our infected computers) to send e-mails offering discount drugs.. out of Russia. At the end of January, I wrote about the “Spam blocked” counter on the side column of this site (which shows you how many such solicitations are being posted as Comments) and, the psychology of these spammers… There’s been an extraordinary barrage of spam comments here at Tech–for Everyone these last several days (automated spambots in action).
Will spam ever go away? Not until not one human being EVER clicks the link. (Please stop clicking links in e-mails!)

Until spamming doesn’t work and the spammers move on to some other technique to try to rip you off, you can learn how to manage the amount of junk e-mail you receive by reading (or reviewing) these two articles.

To read my article on botnets — and how your computer might be a bot (and what to do about it), click here.

The sun is out, and I got things to do.. so, until next time, “spam spam spam, spam spam spam spam..”

*Original post date: March 15th

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix 

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April 19, 2008 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, e-mail, how to, PC, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments