Why does this group have so much spam?

Steven D'Aprano steven at REMOVE.THIS.cybersource.com.au
Wed Sep 2 05:16:55 CEST 2009

On Tue, 01 Sep 2009 19:33:47 -0400, Terry Reedy wrote:

> David wrote:
>> I'm not saying that criminals shouldn't being prosecuted, but we are
>> talking of something else: creating and environment that discurages
>> criminals, because present enviroment is pretty wild and criminals have
>> a big advantage.
>> The mail-tax proposal aims to change this situation.
> I have read at least one person saying he did not mind his machine being
> used to send out spam. 

*Lots* of people have that attitude. I know a number of kiddies whose 
attitude is they don't care what malware is on their PC, when performance 
slows down to the point they can't play World of Warcrack any more, 
they'll just rebuild it.

> I have read more that one person advocating
> leaving one's wi-fi base open for anyone to use as the 'neighborly'
> thing to do.

That's a different kettle of fish. You don't do anybody any harm by 
paying for Internet access for your neighbours (and anyone driving down 
the street with a laptop and wi-fi).

> A substantial fraction of people have turned off Window's update.
> Consequently, whenever Microsoft announces a vulnerablility and patch,
> malware writers can write an exploit of the announced vulnerability and
> be sure that they will find vulnerable machines.

Which wouldn't matter if their system was behind a proper firewall, and 
if they didn't willingly install malware because it came with a cool 
game. Or accidentally installed it because they thought it was anti-virus.

The one and only time my Windows PC was infected by malware was because 
my wife decided to do the right thing by installing the Windows update. 
Somewhere in the process -- I never worked out how -- ActiveX got turned 
back on in IE, and within an hour the machine had a dozen drive-by 
malware packages installed. I know they were drive-by, because the missus 
started the update process and then left the house, nobody else was 
there. When she returned, she came in to a hundred pop-ups on screen, and 
a hijacked browser.

Took me two weeks of elapsed time and around 30 hours of effort to remove 
those suckers from the machine. Now I run Linux, behind two firewalls.


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