[ISN] Antispam screensaver downs two sites in China

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Fri Dec 3 04:40:46 EST 2004


By Dan Ilett ZDNet (UK) 
December 2, 2004

Lycos Europe's "Make love not spam" campaign has killed access to some
of the Web sites of its target alleged spammers, Netcraft has found.

According to the Internet traffic monitoring company, Lycos Europe has
successfully taken two Web sites hosted in China offline. The sites
are bokwhdok.com and printmediaprofits.biz, according to a posting on
Netcraft's Web site, dated this week.

"A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack launched by users of
Lycos Europe's MakeLoveNotSpam.com screensaver has succeeded in
crippling several spammer sites, but some of the targeted sites remain
available," the posting said.

Lycos Europe was unavailable for comment on the matter, but the
company said on Tuesday it was not carrying out DDoS attacks, just
slowing the bandwidth of its targets. It added that it had no
intention of taking Web sites offline.

"I have to be very clear that it's not a denial-of-service attack,"  
Malte Pollmann, director of communications services for Lycos, said on
Tuesday. "We slow the remaining bandwidth to 5 percent. It wouldn't be
in our interests to (carry out DDoS attacks). It is to increase the
cost of spamming. We have an interest to make this, economically,

Lycos Europe is a separate company from the Web portal that bears the
Lycos name in the United States. It claims that it maintains roughly
40 million e-mail accounts in eight European countries.

The "Make love not spam" screensaver site appeared to have been taken
down by its operators on Wednesday. It now shows a graphic and the
words "Stay tuned."

On Tuesday, the Web portal denied claims that it had been hit by
hacker attacks, saying a reported defacement of the "Make love not
spam" Web site was a hoax. But Netcraft, among others, reported that
the Web site was unavailable at several intervals that day.

Lycos Europe launched its antispam campaign earlier this week,
offering users a screensaver that uses the idle processing power of
their computers to slow down bandwidth that connects to spammers' Web

Steve Linford, director of international spam-fighting organization
Spamhaus, said on Tuesday that by attacking spammers' bandwidth, the
portal could be attacking innocent users' bandwidth.

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