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Re: Daily Fact: Windows Zombie Spam

  • Subject: Re: Daily Fact: Windows Zombie Spam
  • From: The Ghost In The Machine <ewill@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 17:00:03 GMT
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net
  • References: <4234694.IcjPMqyZEv@schestowitz.com> <pan.2006.> <2515569.HkUiPPsZMq@schestowitz.com> <Hhn8g.67338$Jk3.23110@bignews5.bellsouth.net>
  • User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:1110039
In comp.os.linux.advocacy, DFS
on Wed, 10 May 2006 11:04:38 -0400
> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> __/ [ Kelsey Bjarnason ] on Wednesday 10 May 2006 14:36 \__


>>> Nah, leave the spam.  Purge the Windows.
>> If only I could. I am 100% Microsoft-free, but I can't control what
>> gets delivered through the mail daemons.
> You mean the open source sendmail daemons that deliver all the spam.

The traffic cop [+] is equally facile at directing the
telephone service truck as he is directing the van loaded
with explosive ammonium nitrate, fuel oil, and blasting
cap, or the nondescript van containing nothing, or the
other nondescript van containing a brace [*] of underage
female teenagers, tied up and being delivered to a rather
seedy downtown club for training as exotic masseuses,
dancers, or worse.

>> The day when SPAM ends (as opposed to completely kill or restrict the
>> use of E-mail) is the day when Windows becomes an obsolescent rarity.
> Windows isn't going ANYWHERE.

Actually, Microsoft is growing.  I'm not quite sure
where, admittedly, but it is realizing a healthy profit.
Windows is going *everywhere*, from the Orange Phone to
one's entertainment center.

It will, of course, have to contend with Linux in some areas.

>> Until that day, spam will rise in accordance and line with bandwidth
>> capacity.
> And with the adoption of sendmail.

Correct.  While the spam may originate from Windows boxes [$],
it *propagates* through big Unix and Linux servers.  Also,
the TCP/IP carriers are responsible for delivering it to
one's upstream ISP mail recipient, which holds it until
someone downloads it through POP, if I'm not mistaken.
(Standard SMTP protocol no longer uses '!' all that much.
Outgoing Email can be uploaded to one's ISP, which then
faithfully sends it, like an idiot.)

Where is the place to logically stop it?

[a] The Microsoft Windows zombie system, which is sending
    things to the upstream ISP?

[b] The upstream ISP, which sends them on to the victim's
    ISP mail receiver? [%]

[c] An intermediate mail router?  (AFAIK, these are very rare
    outside of corporate contexts.)

[d] The victim's ISP mail receiver, which holds them for the victim?

[e] The victim's system?

I vote for [e], mostly because the other three get very
cumbersome to implement well.  Of course, a case can be
made for [a], but there are too many advantages in using
Windows to stop it cold turkey (despite its many problems).
Also, [e] is the most expensive, as the messages have
to go through the TCP/IP system and are charged at bulk
bandwidth rates to...somebody.

(Many of Windows' advantages are because of its monopoly.
Of course, it may depend on the user as to which of
Windows' quirks are advantages, which are problems, and
which are ignorable.)

[d] is possible to some extent (and Earthlink does get
kudos for trying to block out the most objectionable
shit, although such wouldn't affect me at all anyway
because mailx is simply too stupid to infect), but it's
a never-ending battle between the malware writers and the
malware detectors/extractors/nullifiers.

An interesting variant, of course, is the "whitelist".
Basically, Microsoft, IIRC, is proposing that we *allow*
spam from certain trusted individuals.  Personally, I'm
not sure I care much for this sort of thing.

>> Best wishes,
>> Roy

[+] If one wishes one can replace the poor cop, who has
    to take an occasional breather anyway, with an
    automated traffic signal, complete with camera if
    one wishes to attempt to catch speeders.

[*] I don't know the proper term here; some of the
    "collection words" are interesting (e.g., "a murder of
    crows", "business of ferrets", "skein of goslings",
    "rhumba of rattlesnakes", "muster of storks", "bed
    of clams").


    "Brace" is apparently properly used with bucks and
    ducks; I may have to replace it with "bevy" or just
    plain old "crowd". :-) ("Brood" and "clutch" imply
    sisterhood, which for a bunch of women hanging out
    at the mall is a bit off target.  "Bed" is probably
    even worse.)

[$] For the sake of argument.  However, Linux isn't uncrackable,
    just more resistant.

[%] It is not even clear that it gets involved, although
    many downstream SMTP receivers will reject mail if
    it's not coming through a channel it likes.  Of course,
    many will not.

#191, ewill3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Windows Vista.  Because it's time to refresh your hardware.  Trust us.

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