Getting even with Spam.

Lets get back at spammers. I have an idea how. Read on….

Spam is bugging me today. Did it bug you?

I have to admit that I’m hot and cold about taking action on spam. Some days, like today, I am feeling angst and I want to get back at the spammers to actually stop it. But, on most days I just think, “What’s the point? We all just need to deal with spam and move on. There is no recourse thats useful. ”

So, I have a new idea. To implement, we need a large body of computers willing to help. It goes something like this:

All spam is basically to sell something. In order for someone to sell you something, they have to identify themselves. This can be via a phone number, a snail mail address, an email address, or a website. But somehow or other, they need to leave a mechanism by which they can be contacted. We’re going to leverage that fact.

We write a spam filter that filters spam. Unlike most spam filters, however, this one does something else. In addition to filtering the spam from the user, the spam filter combs through the spam message and finds any identifying marks which indicate any contact info back to the seller. This includes websites, email addresses or phone numbers. Each spam filter then publishes the identifying marks back up to a central server.

The central server basically collects “votes” for who is a spammer. Each night, the central server then publishes a “black list”. The list of the top 20 spammers out there for the day. Each of the spam filters downloads this list and starts attacking the spammer.

How to attack the spammer? Here is how.

1. If you have the spammer’s email address, each spam filter starts sending “don’t spam me” messages. They are sent to “abuse@”, “webmaster@”, etc addresses as well. Emails are cc’d to the FTC.

2. If you have the spammer’s website, each spam filter starts auto-posting back bogus data to the website. This will drive most spammers nuts. Now their databases are filled with junk information. They’ve got more crap in their responses than legitimate responses! (Hey, they spammed me first!)

3. If you have the spammer’s phone number. Well, this one might be hard to attack. I guess we could all let our long distance bills go through the roof and use our modems to attack.

Etc, etc etc. Well, this idea has probably been considered before. Its not new.