Blue Security and their controversial Blue Frog program suffered a fatal blow when Blue Security CEO Eran Reshef concluded that the cost to the Internet of their ongoing battle with spammer PharmaMaster, and possibly others, was too high. PharmaMaster orchestrated a relentless DOS against Blue Security and other sites in retaliation for the grief that Blue Security and their users were causing to PharmaMaster and his cronies.
“We cannot take the responsibility for an ever-escalating cyberwar through our continued operations. As we cannot build the Blue Security business on the foundation we originally envisioned, we are discontinuing all of our anti-spam activities and are exploring other, non spam-related avenues for our technological developments.”
The toll taken included the takedown of not only Blue Security’s website, but those of their blog host Six Apart, and even registrar Tucows, as a high-power, concentrated DOS, purportedly under the control of PharmaMaster, pounded unceasingly starting on May 2nd.
Now, we have not been shy about saying that we disagreed with the Blue Frog model – it’s never ethical or ok to fight abuse with abuse, and in fact we believe the model to be illegal under Federal law. But we never wished Blue Security ill, and our hope was that they would change their process so that it would be both legal and ethical, not that they would go out of business.
It’s truly unfortunate that it ended this way.
But let’s hope that lessons can be learned from this, and one important lesson which cannot be overlooked is why PharmaMaster was able to pull off this massive DOS – which is because he has a massive number of zombied PCs under his control.
Said Tucows CEO Elliot Noss, “Just in terms of pure scale, it’s pretty safe to call it massive. I think that really the most interesting observation was how distributed it was. We sampled IP addresses and over 70 percent were unique.”
Why do spammers like PharmaMaster have such massive botnets under their control? Why do they have botnet networks consisting of tens or even hundreds of thousands of compromised PCs (also known as “zombies”?)?
Because there are hundreds of thousands of compromised PCs.
And that is something that we can do something about. THIS is how to shut down the spammers, the phishers, and the likes.
SECURE YOUR PCs, PEOPLE! RUN ANTI-SPYWARE, AND ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE EVERY DAY!!! DON’T LET A SPAMMER SECRETLY USE YOUR COMPUTER.