Barry Shein bzs at
Thu May 29 14:19:22 CDT 2008

What I really, really, (really), don't understand is what is this
perverse urge to argue incessantly that spam and related do little or
no harm, are of little consequence, and nothing can be done about it
anyhow? You'd think we were discussing ways to prevent hurricanes (and
some won't even accept that there's no answer to those!)

I realize there's a little bit of one-upsmanship to just beating a
hopeless point to death (ok, fine, huge ammonium nitrate explosions
which level entire cities are worse than million+ zombie bot armies,
and superman can beat up the hulk, etc.)

Zombie bot armies et al do cause probably billions of dollars in
damages (e.g., equipment and personnel to deal with them not to
mention lost productivity by end users), undermine trust, etc.

But don't you ever stop to consider where your collective bread is
buttered before you give the public and quotable impression as
professionals that whether or not spam, phishing et al are bad is
debateable, like we were arguing creationism vs. evolution, that
there's no point in even trying to curb it, that credit cards can't
possibly work, etc?

It's one thing to give an idea a proper vetting, it's something else
to work backwards from the assumption that nothing can possibly be
done and just use reasoning like "I can think of something even worse,
so therefore it's not so bad", or "fraud has occurred in credit card
transactions, therefore credit cards cannot be viable."

On May 29, 2008 at 11:10 joelja at (Joel Jaeggli) wrote:
 > Barry Shein wrote:
 > > On May 29, 2008 at 06:46 joelja at (Joel Jaeggli) wrote:
 > >  > Dorn Hetzel wrote:
 > >  > > Yeah, there was a day when anyone could buy a pickup truck full of 
 > >  > > ammonium nitrate fertilizer from a random feed store and not attract any 
 > >  > > attention at all, now, maybe not.  Just like port 25, it has plenty of 
 > >  > > legitimate uses, and some more problematic ones.
 > >  > 
 > >  > Equating port 25 use with domestic terrorism is specious.
 > >  > 
 > >  > Ammonium nitrate requires requires some care in handling regardless of 
 > >  > your intentions,see for exmple the oppau or texas city disasters.
 > > 
 > > And how different is that from the million+ strong zombie botnets? Who
 > > owns (not pwns) those zombie'd systems and what were their intentions?
 > Well let's see. The texas city disaster is/was considered the worst 
 > industrial accident in american history. 581 people killed by an 
 > explosive yield of about 2 kilotons. The secondary effects includes 
 > fires in many of the chemical facilities in Galveston and a swath of 
 > destruction that reached up to 40 miles inland...
 > So no, I don't think internet attached hosts can casually equated with 
 > the destructive potential of a pile of fertilizer at least not in the 
 > context described.

        -Barry Shein

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