News Stories

Spam Fight

Ever wish you could personally go after the people who are sending you all that annoying, often disgusting, spam? One person did it.

Michele Delio writes in wired.com that graphic artist Andy Markley discovered that a spammer was sending out hundreds of pieces of spam, using Markley's domain. His computer mailbox was filled with complaints from people who received the spam.

Markley says he was "blood boiling, furious and literally foaming at the mouth. I'm not a geek, I'm an artist. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the online world. But I grew to love the Internet, and it makes me furious that spammers are taking advantage of all of us to peddle garbage that no one in their right minds would want. Plus I was quickly losing my business and my mind. I decided I had to do something, had to figure out how to find this guy and stop him."

He complained to his internet service provider, but they wouldn't help him, so he decided to make it a personal fight. First, he took down his regular website and substituted a page telling people he was not responsible for the spam they were getting.

He also changed servers, but despite the change, a new spam campaign was soon launched, using his new address. Thousands of bounce reports and hate e-mails arrived in Markley's inbox. And his new service provider said they couldn?t help him, either.

Markley learned how to access domain-registry information and use a trace-route program. He worked his way through hijacked servers and false e-mail addresses until he finally found the spammer. He says, "?I finally knew without a doubt that my nemesis was Eddy Marin, who has a reputation as the world's most prolific spammer."

When Markley found the name of Marin?s server and told them what he?d been doing, they canceled Marin?s account. "I was amazed that the only help I received from any Internet service provider came from the company that was hosting a spammer's account," says Markley. "But WCG sounded sincerely surprised to find out the infamous Eddy Marin was one of their customers.

"?I've lost hundreds of hours of billable time and my company reputation has been damaged by association with spam. And while there's some comfort in having the plug pulled on this creep, he'll probably find another provider and start all over again.

"I realize that what happened to me is nothing compared to stuff like the war in Iraq or the 9/11 attacks. But it really did serious damage to me and my business. As far as I'm concerned, spammers are nothing more than electronic home-invasion gangs."

Is the only way to get government aid to buy it?

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