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Fri, 26 Sep 2003

More on spam

There was something in The Register today about how the current crop of Winviruses may have been commissioned by spammers who will use the infected machines as zombies to DDoS anti-spam resources, and for sending their spam.

This leads one to think ... what to do about it? Clearly, try to hunt down, arrest, convict and imprison the virus writers and the spammers who commissioned them. But that's a Hard Problem. Better, surely, to hunt down, arrest, convict and imprison a few hundred Windows users who were dumb enough to get infected and to then try to infect others. Surely it matters not that they were ignorant of their computers' attempts to infect the rest of the world - what matters is that their computers, which should be under their control *were* trying to misuse, break into, and damage other computers. The software they deliberately allowed their computers to send - and it is deliberate, for with some simple well-known precautions even a Doze box can be kept virus-free -also attempts to steal confidential information, to attack vital infrastructure and so on. It also steals resources from everyone who it tries to infect whether it succeeds or not.

So, imprison them. It won't get the spammers who are really responsible, but a few hundred well-publicised jail sentences pour encourager les autres will surely make the rest of those fools sit up, pay attention, and start using some basic safe practices.

Posted at 21:29 by David Cantrell