Spammy money; Prime numbers; U B-S

Top Stories - ISPs taking spammy money - The Internet's number is up - Unbundled B-S

Top Stories

- ISPs taking spammy money

- The Internet’s number is up

- Unbundled B-S

- EEG!

If I were to take the EEG output from my head and put it onto the web, would it be the first Brainwave Blog?

- The OpenEEG project

- ISPs taking spammy money

My mail server has been running without the excellent Open Source Spamassassin filtering for just over a week now, and it’s been a real eye-opener. Inboxes in my little corner of the Internet are being carpet-bombed with mainly Nigerian advance fee fraud spam, both the usual “Abachagrams” as well as bogus “El Gordo” lottery rubbish.

The extensive use of DNS blocking lists and dropping messages from identifiable spammer “ratware”, or high-speed spam pumps that don’t follow Internet RFCs doesn’t work against the Nigerians, who use legit freemail services.

Still, the Nigerians have to connect to the freemail services from somewhere. The vast amount of “419” spam from Nigeria (and recently also from other West African countries and South Africa) cannot have gone unnoticed to the network providers there or for that matter, their backbones connecting them to the rest of the Internet. Has anyone ever received or even seen a legitimate email from Nigeria?

Maybe money doesn’t smell for the networks providing the 419ers with their connectivity. It certainly didn’t for large US ISP Savvis, which was caught with its fingers in the spammers’ tills recently.

Savvis inherited a large bunch of spammers when it bought Cable & Wireless (derided as “Clueless & Witless” by anti-spammers) for US$155 million and apparently did its best to keep that lucrative business going. However, Savvis’ networks were blacklisted by SPEWS (Spam Early Warning System) and The Spamhaus Project which with internal dissent over hosting spammers gave the company’s management severe indigestion.

A quick search in the Spamhaus ROKSO (Register of Known Spam Operations) database shows that Savvis implicated in hosting a large amount of infamous international inbox molesters like Ronnie Scelson, Edddie Marin and Aussie porn spammer Greg Lasrado.

Unfortunately, “pink contracts” between ISPs and spammers is nothing new. In 2000, PSINet was caught hosting Cajunnet in return for an upfront sum of US$27,000, knowing full well that the network would be used for spamming. Before that, AT&T was found to have signed a similar contract. In the annals of the Internet, backbone provider AGIS is seen as the first large network to have openly hosted spammers – and subsequently found itself at the receiving end of the collective Internet flame-thrower for doing so.

Spam-hosting is still a popular source of income for ISPs. Check out the Spamhaus ROKSO for evidence, and you’ll find some pretty big names listed.

Next time you get unwanted email solicitations for manhood engorgement pills, US mortgages, pirated software, whatever – remember that spammers don’t exist in a vacuum. Somewhere a network provider is paid to be a part of the problem.

- Leaked memos link spammers to ISP Savvis

- The Spamhaus Project ROKSO

- Spam Early Warning System

- Spamassassin home page

- The Internet’s number is up

The Riemann hypothesis may have been solved, explaining the seemingly random pattern of prime numbers. As data encryption depends on that same random pattern of primes, anything could be decoded – encrypted e-commerce and credit card transactions, virtual private networking, you name it. It’s all crackable.

Our only hope lies in the proof by mathematician Louis de Branges de Bourcia being “rather incomprehensible”, as his colleagues put it. If the proof holds, Branges stands to claim a cool million in US dollars.

Readers are kindly asked to write in to FryUp with an explanation of M’sieu Branges de Bourcia’s’ proof. Comprehensible submissions will be rewarded with errm, mechanical royalties on any work derived thereof.

- Maths Holy Grail could bring disaster for internet

- Louis de Branges de Bourcia: An apology for the proof of the Riemann Hypothesis (PDF)

- De-randomising primes is hot

- Unbundled B-S

I still don’t understand what the point is of having a regulated service in force that doesn’t in fact exist until a year-long determination has taken place, a process that no ISP could afford to take a gamble on.

Yes, I’ve asked the Commerce Commission this and I’ve asked the Honourable Mr Swain’s office too. I even asked the Honourable Mr Cunliffe’s office for good measure.

Haven’t got an answer yet though. Maybe there isn’t a good one? Anyone?

- Commercial UBS the only immediate alternative

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