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What You Don’t Know About SPAM
by Douglas Chick

If you’ve ever been lured in by the offer of free software or services you may have already been duped. Spam only serves two purposes; as bait to entice its prey to a website, and to retrieve information or money. Sometimes information has more value than cash. 

Typically I delete SPAM without ever opening it. I’m not curious about someone wanting to meet me. I’m never interested in purchasing medication online and if you’re sending me SPAM to sell me a product to stop SPAM, I’m probably going to target your system for one of my Hack/Burn demonstrations. Spam is an invasion I won't read and will boycott any company that practices it. However there are occasions, if I receive too much SPAM I might go on a tirade, declare every SPAMMER an enemy of America and hunter down those responsible for my aggravation. As I was happily copy and pasting names, phone numbers and IP Addresses down I ran across something startling. It began with an e-mail offering me a free online quote for refinancing my mortgage. I entered the website to a form asking me for my Name, Address, Phone, Employer, My Yearly Salary, Social Security Number, and any Credit Cards I might have. What startled me was not the form itself, as this seemed like pretty standard questions if one wanted to refinance their home, the surprise was that the e-mail and server for the website was from Pakistan. <Pakistan> I immediately went to the next SPAM that was offering a free online quote, I traced it to China, and the next one was from S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls. I don’t know where S Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls is, but I will bet real money that no one from S Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls can whistle Dixie.

As I continued to follow my hunch it was clear that none of these websites had anything to do with helping anyone refinance their homes, these website were in the business of stealing people’s identities.

How Do They Do It?
Once while playing with a Spider Program, (A spider engine is a program that searches through all the text on a website and every link, until it exhausts every possibility and stops.) I types in as a search parameter @ and walked away from it while it did it’s thing. Within one hour I harvested a half a million e-mail addresses from the Internet. These addresses were from websites, bulletin boards, and news groups. I could have probably gotten more but this was my first attempt and I bore easily. If I were a professional Spammer, I could have complied millions in one day. Some spammers have programs that e-mail every possible letter and word combination, while other programs do nothing but scan the Internet or open mail ports so a spammer can send mail through someone else’s e-mail server.

If you were of a dishonest mind, and also the type of person that preys on others, you might find it profitable to use or sell other people’s Identities. If you are a terrorist having someone’s Name, SS#, CC#, Employers name and address might be extremely useful. All these people need is a bucket full of e-mail addresses, I already explained how easy that is to obtain those, a website that collects peoples confidential personal information—Click the “SPAM NOW” Button and sit back, or crouch down and sit back, depending on which third world country you come from, and watch your database populated with millions of people worldwide wanting a free quote on their interest rate. It is brilliantly simply. It is being improved upon every day. And if you think back at some of the purchases or forms that you’ve filled out on the Internet, I wonder if you too might have given conmen and terrorist your Name, Address, SS#, Credit Card #, Employers Name and Address, your loan numbers, what times you’re out of the house, and if you are a heavy sleeper or not. You have to treat Spam as if it is a foreign invader. It has already breached your ISP's first line of defense and now it is sitting and waiting in your INBOX waiting to see what you're going to do with it. 

Even if the government passes a SPAM law and strictly enforces it, there is no way to stop other countries from these types practices without imposing some form of GeoBlocking or geographically segregating countries that don’t comply from those that do. Too many people forget that the Internet is like an open artery to groups and countries that hate the U.S. and are willing to attack its people in any way possible. They have centered their religion around acts of malice. It will be some time before the government takes any necessary steps as they are drowning in their own political undoing. Most of the people that are reading this know better than give out any personal information, let alone their e-mail addresses, it our friends and family we have to keep a watchful eye on.



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