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Re: Tracking the bad guys

  • From: Mike Tancsa
  • Date: Mon May 31 10:19:39 2004

At 09:58 PM 30/05/2004, Sean Donelan wrote:

  "Initially you start to work backwards from the e-mail and find that to
  be a very frustrating route," said Daniel Larkin, chief of the FBI's
  Internet Crime Complaint Center, the unit that is coordinating Project
  Slam Spam.  "that doesn't lead to a live body.  We have collectively
  realized you have to go the other way and follow the money trail."
No doubt it is easier to follow the money... Although not impossible I find it frustrating that when I do find who is controlling the spam proxies, there is no one really to report it to. I feel sorry for the FTC as they no doubt get deluged with useless spam complaints, just like we do. (My fav's are "one of your users is abusing us. Stop them!"... No IP, no date, nothing!)... So how do you separate the useless complaints from the ones that are actually actionable.

On a number of occasions, I watched in real time as a spammer nailed up a connection to one of our infected users and started spamming out via them. I reported the info complete with tcpdumps of the entire session to the large colo provider in the US with no response / results. Yes, it could just be yet another compromised computer, but somehow I doubt it was. The rwhois info did look rather suspicious (PO box, phone # bogus, email contact bounced) and no public services what so ever on the /28 allocated to the group of servers. This was back in the deep dark days of 2000-2001 when times were tough for many such hosting companies and the temptation no doubt great to make a quick buck.


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