Dutch blogsites fight cyberwar against spammer

Shock and awe

Dutch blogsites Retecool.com, Volkomenkut.com and Bastard-inc.com got a taste of their own medicine last Friday after they declared cyberwar on US spam firm Customerblast.com.

The weblogs, known for their satirical pranks, had written a script of war to push Customerblast off the web with sustained distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. This was in response to a mail bomb sent by the spam firm to Retecool. For those unfamiliar with Retecool that has the same effect as pinching the behind of a club bouncer.

The scripts of war worked well. The spammer’s site sunk like a stone. But Customerblast (the name suggests that we’re in Schwarzenegger territory here) fought back. On Friday, all three weblogs were inundated with mail bombs, floods and DDOS attacks, forcing them to go offline temporarily. Even Retecool's hosting provider Tune-In Internet had to bear the storm, which lasted for six hours.

Late Friday afternoon, the weblogs began a second attack. 'Don't mess with the Dutch', was the message they wanted to communicate. On Monday (November 24th), the spammer had still not recuperated from the attacks.

Customerblast is a company run by Steve Sorenson, aka John Hites, aka Sarah Johnson, aka Laurence King, aka Sorenson And Ass, aka Advertising International, aka Internet Ads aka Sales Pro ltd. The company offers spam services and bulletproof hosting for almost nothing (don't they all?). AT&T, HopOne, ThePlanet.com, CUBEXS, Cable & Wireless and Genuity/Verizon are among the companies that booted the spammer after thousands of complaints.

Apparently, not all ISPs in the Netherlands could appreciate the attack against Customerblast. One cyberwar participant, named Bumble, says he was cut off by his provider and now faces ‘legal action’.

It shows that getting back at spammers may not always be a good idea. Just last week a Silicon Valley programmer was arrested for threatening to torture and kill employees of a company he blames for bombarding him with advertisements promising to enlarge his penis.

He should have waited: The US House of Representatives last Friday voted to outlaw most spam, while a much tougher Californian law goes into effect on January 1. ®

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