The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Friday, November 17, 2006

Top Ten Worst Spam Offenders

This has been making the rounds for the last week or so, but perhaps you haven't seen it yet. In short, Spamhaus has released its top-ten spam offenders for the year. There are actually three such lists, one for worst countries, one for worst ISP, and one for worst spammer.

Of the worst countries, the U.S. leads, of course, with roughly 6 times the spammers as its nearest rival, China.

The winner for worst ISP — to nobody's surprise — is UUNet, now known as Verizon Business, leading with more than twice the spammers as its nearest competitor.

Of the worst spammers, Russians and Ukranians occupy six of the top ten spots, with Alex Polyakov (likely a pseudonym) leading the list. Polyakov is most known for mortgage spam, but also advertises child porn, money laundering, and drugs. He may also be the person behind the DDOS attack that brought down Blue Security in May of this year.

So, from reading the articles, I think that the majority of all spam could be stopped if just a few things would happen: 1) Russia starts going after its own criminals*, 2) Verizon fires the management team of Verizon Business, 3) ISPs start blocking outgoing email from their zombie customers, and 4) Microsoft does something about the piss-poor security of their operating system*.

Daily Tech has some good coverage of the story, with more information from Sophos and a lively discussion thread.

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Anonymous Keith Harris said...

Am surprised to see there are no comments on this.

The fact that Verizon heads the list is of no particular suprise - this outfilt treated me like shit when I contacted them from Ireland some years ago to inquire why they were so tolerant of illegal spamming through their networks.

The only way to deal with such outfits is for a group of concerned citizens to get together and lodge an unbeatable lawsuit against them and drive them out of business.

Anyone interested?

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Keith Harris said...

Sorry a typo in my last post on the web address

4:52 AM  
Blogger Spam Diaries said...

Lawsuits are easier said than done. Against a big outfit with deep pockets like UUNet, you can expect to spend some serious cash. Who's going to bankroll it, and on what grounds would you sue them in the first place?

Keep in mind that the CAN-SPAM act was written to protect spammers from lawsuits by individuals, and that there are no provisions to hold ISPs responsible for the actions of their spamming customers.

9:52 AM  

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