computing

The spammers win this round . . .

Blue Security, the anti-spam company I blogged about “a while back”:http://themoodysideoflife.com/component/option,com_jd-wp/Itemid,36/p,56/, has “closed its doors”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/16/AR2006051601873.html, fearing it was on the verge of starting a full-fledged internet war that it simply didn’t have the infrastructure to handle after seeing the collateral damage caused by the spammers’ latest round of counterattacks. It’s unfortunate it ended this way, and while it’s clear Blue Security made some mistakes, such as when they shifted traffic from a recent “DDoS”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial_of_service counterattack that instead ended up taking down several major blog hosts, it also seems rather unusual to have such a clear-cut decision in such a conflict, since up to this point the “spam war” could be generally characterized as incremental and adaptive by both sides.

Paradoxically, Blue Security’s spectacular demise may point to the promise of their basic counter-spam (as opposed to anti-spam) scheme; however, with their vast networks of zombie machines, spammers simply have a much more robust system than the centrally-located resources of all but a handful of network companies. Until someone figures out a way to distribute the traffic and avoid using a single-point-of-failure system, counter-spam techniques will result in an arms war than the spammers, who don’t feel constrained to play by the rules, will win every time.

Here are some more relevant articles with differing perspectives on the issue and today’s announcement:

“Wired News: I’m the Blue Security Spammer”:http://www.wired.com/news/technology/security/0,70831-0.html
“DQN: The dishonor of Blue Security”:http://q.queso.com/archives/001917
“Information Week: Blue Security Denies It’s At Fault In Blog Outage “:http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=187200875
“Technews: Blue Security Ceases Anti-Spam Operations”:http://www.technologynewsdaily.com/node/2933

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