22 May 2008

FTC Assesses Reward System for Catching Spammers

FTC Assesses Reward System for Catching Spammers: "According to the report, the Commission recommends that if Congress establishes a reward system, it should:

  • tie eligibility to imposition of a final court order, rather than to collection of civil penalties;

  • fund reward payments through appropriations, rather than collected civil penalties;

  • restrict eligibility to insiders with high-value information;

  • minimize eligibility disputes and associated costs by exempting the FTC’s decisions on reward eligibility from judicial or administrative review; and

  • establish reward amounts high enough to attract insiders to provide high-value information."


I have not seen an updated version of the Bill that states Congress has made amendments to the Bill to incorporate these suggestions from the FTC...






Stalker Software...

Cable & Wireless Panama Chooses Stalker Software to Provide its Customers with Reliable and Secure Access to Messaging Services from Anywhere, Anytime | Business Wire | Find Articles at BNET.com
Just curious, but why would you name your software company "Stalker Software, Inc."?
Not sure if it was a coincedence or not, but I recently received some SPAM in my Yahoo inbox, that upon further investigation of the Message Header, the term "CommuniGate Pro WEBUSER 5.1.13" was found. I googled this term and found several sites that refer to this particular software. I noticed several entries describing actual spam emails they have received or logged.

I eventually came across the Communigate Home Page. If you scroll to the very bottom of the page, you'll see a reference to "Communigate Pro" and then it goes on to say "CommuniGate Systems logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Stalker Software, Inc.".

I found this article about Cable&Wireless Panama and how they were going to use Stalker Software.

In my particular spam email and in several that were refereced in my Google search, I also see the site "swip.net" referenced. http://www.swip.net, is apparently the webmail login page for Tele2. On the upper right of the swip.net page, there are links for Tele2Internet and Tele2.se, but both of these links are to a ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) of .se, which is a Doman based in the country of Sweeden. In the same header in which "swip.net" and "CommuniGate" was found, the phrase "tele2.nl" was also included. Though it is very likely that tele2.nl and tele2.se can exist at the same time, since both are of different Country Codes, geographically, these two countries are quite close in proximity.

I found that "tele2.se" apparently does not exist, as I was taken to an IE cannot display the webpage error. However, according to a Who.is search of "tele2.se", this domain is active and belongs to
created: 1991-04-14
modified: 2007-12-12
expires: 2008-12-31
nserver: pitea.dns.swip.net
nserver: sunic.sunet.se
nserver: ystad.dns.swip.net

Oh look, there's our "swip.net" again.

I'm going to give up this investigation for now, but this just seems all too fishy...







A Minor Case Study on SPAM

"Communigate Pro WEBUSER 5.1.13"

SPAM
//long, drawn out sigh...

Well, this should be pretty fun. I think for the first time in my life, I'm actually going to be blogging and doing research about something worthwhile. It's just too dang bad that I'm not directly being paid to do this. /shrug, hopefully this will help someone else though, and especially the fine folks over at the FTC.

This all began when I decided to resurrect an old email address of mine. I had not used that email address for close to 10 years. I use AT T's DSL service and was tinkering around with my account settings and realized that they had automatically linked our newest email address and account information with my email address from Yahoo that I had abandoned due to SPAMMAGE.

I immediately cleaned up my Inbox, all 900+ messages and for some unknown reason, started to nurture and care for this email address. I have been monitoring the Inbox for a few days now, though I support and enjoy the refreshing-ness and smell of my Gmail Inbox. Yahoo has made some kinda neat enhancements to their UserInterface, if you like that sort of thing.

Fast-forward, to let's say, 3 hours ago, 22-May-08 @ 01:00. I opened my Yahoo Inbox and found an email address from "Patrick Williams" wanting to express to me just how happy he was to report the successful transfer of the funds. I was also to contact lovely "HELEN MORGAN", who would be so very kind to provide my disbursement for helping him earlier in said transaction... (My attention was lost, but being so late, and yearning for some entertainment, I read on)

Apparently, Patrick Williams, through his valiant efforts to steal some piece of identity from me, dupe me into providing a bank account, or some other sort of fraudulent activity, broke my camel's back. I decided that from this point on, I would participate in, advocate for, and contribute in the apprehension of such individuals behind Patrick Williams' email address. The following explains actions that not only I have taken, but also I encourage you to participate in as well.

In order to combat SPAM, there are a couple of requirements that I have for you. First, I ask that you please do not take the easy road of just pressing that SPAM button. Yes, it should be "training" your email service to help prevent your Inbox from receiving further SPAM messages, but keep in mind the mastermind behind that "waste-of-your-life" is still at his computer, sending more SPAM to you and your fellow Interneters. Second, please visit this site to read about the United States Public Law that was introduced to help stop SPAM, to punish those who participate in the act, and to protect you: The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

How you can help:

  1. Gather Ammunition

  2. Ship Ammunition to the "guns"

  3. Feel good knowing that your actions will help put a criminal behind bars

  4. Hope that you are the first person to report a SPAMMER that is brought to justice


Why would you want to be the first person to report a SPAMMER that is brought to justice you ask? Let me tell you!
Please take a brief moment to view a recent Blog Post of mine that explains how you are able to actually make money by helping our government apprehend a SPAMMER: http://fromkaje.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-to-make-money-caning-spam.html

Each email service is different, but for those of you who use Yahoo's new interface, this will explain how I was able to get the information about the SPAMMER. SpamCop.net has an extensive list available for nearly every Email software and the major web-based email sites if you are interested. So,
here's what we do:

  • Gather; We need the original "Full Header" from the suspected SPAM email message.

  • Right-click directly on the email message

  • Click the "View Full Headers" link at the very bottom of the menu

  • With the "Full Message Headers" window now open, single-click anywhere inside this box

  • Press and hold the "Control" key and the letter "A" to "Select All" text

  • Press and hold the "Control" key and the letter "C" to "Copy" the text

  • Click the "OK" button at the bottom of this window.

  • Click the "Reply" button to reply to the sender of this SPAM

  • With the new message window open, single-click at the top of the message body, where you type your email message

  • Press and hold the "Control" key and the letter "V" to "Paste" the previously copied Message Header into your email message

  • In the To: box or the CC: box, we are going to enter the recipients of our reporting to ensure the email is "properly" flagged or spam

  • Enter the following email addresses:

    • spam@uce.gov

    • abuse@yahoo.com

    • abuse@att.com

    • abuse@yourISP.com - replace yourISP with your actual Internet Service Provider


  • From here, if you want to get a little more creative, I like to add a few lines such as:

  • This is an attempt to have my email addressed removed from your list. I would also ask that you contact the person in which you received this list and request they also remove my email address. This email is being forwarded to my local authorities, my service provider and your service provider in hopes that my small contributions will aid in the reduction of nonsense SPAM being sent by individuals like you.

  • To make you sound more serious but also to give the spammers and government a little clue that you know what you're talking about, ad this quote:

  • The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, Pub. L. No. 108-187, 117 Stat. 2699 (2003) (codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 7701-7713 and 18 U.S.C. § 1037),

    Sect 2-b-3, I, as the recipient of such email, I have a right to decline to receive additional commercial electronic mail from the same source.

  • Press Send!


If you have any questions, comments, concerns about any of this information I have presented today, please feel free to contact me:
justadakaje(at)gmail(dot)com






How to Make Money CANing SPAM

Do you have a knack for doing basic research?
Do you despise SPAM?
Have you ever clicked the Report SPAM button in your email?
Would you like to get paid for reporting SPAM?

Think it is a joke? Let's read a portion of the United States Code, nicknamed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003:

SEC. 11. IMPROVING < 7710.>> ENFORCEMENT BY PROVIDING REWARDS FOR
INFORMATION ABOUT VIOLATIONS; LABELING.

The Commission shall transmit to the Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee
on Energy and Commerce--
(1) a report, within 9 months after the date of enactment of
this Act, that sets forth a system for rewarding those who
supply information about violations of this Act, including--
(A) procedures for the Commission to grant a reward
of not less than 20 percent of the total civil penalty
collected for a violation of this Act to the first
person that--
(i) identifies the person in violation of this
Act; and
(ii) supplies information that leads to the
successful collection of a civil penalty by the
Commission;

Whoa! That's right! Read for yourself on the government's website too: CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
In my next blog entry, I will be going into further detail of how a single, United States citizen, such as yourself, can start making money by doing the very thing we've all been programmed to do while checking your email.

Spam law allows bounty hunts
Reward idea raises hopes for prosecution, fears of vigilantism

Headline from an article: Published on December 22, 2003, The Washington Times.