PC 911
Share This Article

Category Archives for Spam

Botnets

Spammers and hackers today are very sophisticated when it comes to covering their tracks. Instead of sending spam or using their own computers to attack an orginization or individual they now employee Botnets.

 A Botnet is a collection of computers (that have been hacked and taken over) which a remote user can use to execute operations such as spam, DOS attacks and other types of mailicious activities.

To quote another article I recently read: “Joe St. Sauver, manager of security programs at the Internet2 networking consortium and the University of Oregon, said there are 5 million to 5.5 million botnets in active rotation at any time.”

Article: Botnets Running Rampant Neal Weinberg, Network World care of PC World

The best way to help prevent this from occuring for an end user is to keep your operating system up to date; Always have an updated virus software running (with a scheduled scan enabled weekly); Employee a good firewall.

I understand many of the computers that are part of Botnets are generally not an end user machines, but rather machines hosted in a public environment such as libraries, campuses and other public domains. Is there no IT staff available to monitor these networks?

Generally speaking the case is that the IT department is so understaffed, overworked, and under budgeted they simply don’t have the time or the money to implement the proper equipment which can detect and prevent this from occuring. That is if they have an IT department at all.

Look…We all know how to prevent most of this from occuring. I am by no means saying it will ever stop, because anything that can be secured can be hacked (it’s all a matter of time), but lets atleast try to secure our own computers.

If you would like more information on how you can secure your computer please follow this link to a previous article over best security practices I previously wrote. I hope it helps.

Back To Work

Does anyone else find it hard to pick up work after vacationing? Having completed a weeks worth of vacation I am back to the grind….well….sort of.

I am using this day to read up on new stories and technologies for new content on the site. Please bare with me while I compose myself and get my head out of the vacation cloud. Of course this is not easily done…

As you can see from the last post we are now taking posted questions to better serve our users. As well I would like to add if there is a new technology or concern you would like for me to address please post a comment to this blog. I would be happy to research and address topics for our users.

After all….It is you the end user for which we create the content.

Porn Spammers Caught and Convicted

Two men were convicted in Arizona Monday on eight criminal counts by a jury in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in Phoenix. The charges included money laundering and transportation of obscene materials in connection with running a pornographic spamming business.

The men seem to have been identified after more than 660,000 complaints were filed with ISP’s, and a some complaints were even documented by the Federal Trade Commission.

The trial began on June 5 and was the first to include charges under the controlling the assault of non-solicited pornography and marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act.

Of course they seem to have already pocketed millions of dollars generated from the unsolicited emails sent to users. The spamming operation started in 2003 and the two men made more than $2 million by sending out spam e-mail advertising porn Web sites. The two earned a commission for each person that was directed to one of the pornographic Web sites.

The two men were convicted of two violations of the CAN-SPAM Act. One of the counts charged that the men sent multiple electronic commercial mail messages containing falsified header information. Another charge indicated the two were charged with sending e-mail using domain names that had been registered using false information.

The two men are facing a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each CAN-SPAM and offense as well as fines up to $500,000 and a maximum of 20 years in prison for money laundering.

The system seems to work! Yeah! Of course just look at the numbers though: Two down and thousands left to go.