Focal Curve

Anti-spam Spam

I have occasionally, and ironically, received spam advertising anti-spam solutions. The most amusing was one about a year ago that asked me to send $5 to a P.O. box in Los Angeles. How that was supposed to stop me from getting more spam I have no idea. That one was forwarded to the FTC. But more recently I’ve gotten several messages advertising a software called SpamRemedy. Of course, being the vehement skeptic that I am, I assumed that it was a scam simply because of their chosen means of marketing. Legitimate companies selling legitimate products simply do not advertise through unsolicited email. Even if they do, I refuse to buy it.

But the SpamRemedy spams have been on the rise, and now it seems karma is catching up with them. The Register got one of these anti-spam spams and did a bit of investigation, later reporting that the software had been removed from Download.com following allegations that it is actually fraudulent malware which turns machines into open relays for sending more spam. After that story broke, C|NET, who operates Download.com, corrected the Register’s misinformation.

It turns out that the SpamRemedy spammers had spoofed a Download.com page, ripping off the graphics and layout but hosting it on their own servers. SpamRemedy has never been distributed by Download.com. SpamRemedy doesn’t even operate its own full-time website, instead hopping from domain to domain and ISP to ISP in a typical spammer MO.

Update: 4.29.04 I haven’t seen a SpamRemedy spam in quite some time, and even googling NANAS doesn’t show anything later than December, so maybe they gave up.

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