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  1. #1
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    A billion-dollar lawsuit against spammers - really
    This looks like a really positive development: the folks who created "Project Honeypot" (a cooperative effort to identify email-harvesting bots that are used to collect email addresses to spam) have filed a lawsuit to identify and collect damages from spammers who are operating email harvesters in violation of the U.S. "CAN-SPAM" law. By filing the lawsuit, they will be able to issue subpoenas for records to identify the spammers based on their IP addresses (more than 2 million of them!) -- and then they can serve those defendants and bring them into court.

    http://www.projecthoneypot.org/5days_thursday.php

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...503098_pf.html
    Last edited by markwelch; April 26th, 2007 at 02:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Mark, thank you this post! I had not heard this news. I knew about the project, but not it's current state. They are getting ready to make some waves! I loved this news so much that it inspired me to donate $250 to Project Honey Pot just now. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. I'm not as generous as dounts but I am going to post links and use the banners they offer to promote them.

  4. #4
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    This looks like a really positive development: ............
    Sorry Mark,

    But after so many years of been deceived, not only on affiate marketing, but also on what I really care about, before I die, I no longer believe 99% of what I read anywhere.

    C'est la vie!

  5. #5
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    My wife constantly points out that I am skeptical/cynical, but thus far Project Honeypot has seemed to be what it promised. I learned about it at a legal conference in San Francisco a few years ago, I think the same week that Project Honeypot launched. I added "honeypot" pages to several of my web sites and added MX records (mailserver subdomains "owned" by Project Honeypot) for several of my domains, and watched as a number of harvesters were identified as visiting my sites and subsequently sending spam to the harvested addresses.

    The two goals of the "project" were to accelerate the implementation of IP-blocking (to more quickly block harvesters, and to more quickly identify offending spammer IP addresses), and to create a clear record of legal violations for use in future regulatory or legal actions. The project very quickly identified that the most "serious" spammers definitely do not harvest and mail from the same IP blocks, and the "honeypot" project closes the loop to link the harvesting activity with the spamming activity (a crucial evidentiary issue in court).

    What do they do? Each time an email harvester requests the page from a "honeypot" site, a UNIQUE email address is generated and the harvester's IP address is logged with that address; later, when spam is received at that email address, it can be proven that the address was culled using an email harvester (and thus the spammer either illegally harvested the email address himself, or bought the email address from someone who harvested it illegally).

    I recall that the Project Honeypot folks were surprised at how quickly the harvested addresses began receiving spam -- often within hours, sometimes within minutes after harvesting, but almost always the email was sent from a different IP block than the harvester had used.

    Of course, although the lawsuit identifies more than 2 million IP addresses alleged to be involved in the illegal harvesting/spamming activities, it seems quite likely that many of those IP addresses were "innocent zombies" (computers infected with spyware/adware/trojan/virus) and many others are doubtless located in foreign countries (Korea, China, India) beyond the reach of US courts. Note that even if the addresses are harvested and spam is sent from a foreign country, it is still possible to legally prosecute the company paying the spammers to promote their goods and services (insert the name of your favorite Spam King or unethical marketing firm here).

  6. #6
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    125 trillion spam emails since 2004
    An update on Project Honey Pot: They have now received 1 billion spam emails (all to "harvested" email addresses), and they estimate that each spam email they receive represents approximately 125,000 spam emails sent -- so they estimate that 125 trillion emails have been sent since their project began.

    They've posted a wide array of statistics about spam activity; I was surprised to see which countries appear to be hosting the "harvesters" as well as the "comment spammers." I was pleasantly surpised to see that India was NOT on the lists (although an Indian IP address was the source of the 1-billionth spam).

    http://www.projecthoneypot.org/1_bil...sage_stats.php

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    Very interesting information on that site.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    Member silent_thunder's Avatar
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    The project still has a long way to go. I use them for my websites to protect against spam bots.But I have people complaining everyday that their IP's are banned too. The program in India is we have Dynamic Ip's ..So they must now try to come up with some way to help in this situation.

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