Article on spammers and their infrastructure

Rich Kulawiec rsk at
Wed Dec 30 08:34:53 CST 2009

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 01:58:47AM -0500, Christopher Morrow wrote:
> The ARIN meetings (at least) are open, please come and help guide
> policies. I'm sure RIPE also wouldn't mind a discussion, if there
> could be some positive policy outcome.

Why should I or anyone else do that?  It will cost us, personally,
a great deal of time and money and hassle and -- as far as I can tell --
will achieve nothing.

Let me explain why I say that.

The senior people working in the anti-abuse area aren't hard to find.
We hang out on spam-l, or funsec, or in various blogs, and
we publish comments/reports/essays pointing out what we observe.

	(Well, at least some of it.  I've learned to keep much of what
	I find back, as it often reveals too much about my methods.
	And there's been retaliation from time to time, some of it
	disruptive and expensive.)

If ARIN and/or RIPE and/or ICANN and/or anyone else were truly interested
in making a dent in the problem, then they would have already paid
attention to our collective work product.  And they would have
already blacklisted certain individuals/organizations -- permanently --
and revoked all their resources.  (I trust everyone is painfully
aware than all lesser steps have already failed miserably and
will of course fail miserably in the future.  This is not a set of
problems that can be addressed with half-measures: those are really
not worth anyone's time or effort.  Even the approach I'm suggesting
may well not be sufficient, but it's clearly necessary.)

I see no sign that these organizations are taking any such measures,
nor any sign that they're even open to the possibility of doing so.

Yet this is what must be done if any substantial impact is to be
achieved.  Bad actors have quite thoroughly gamed the system
and have long since provided overwhelming proof that while their
tactics may change, their strategy will always be to profit by
as much abuse they can possibly manage.  They'll never stop,
they'll only adapt as old methods cease to work and new ones
become available; it's their "career".  The only recourse we
have is to cut them off for life.


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