Feeds

Lycos screensaver to blitz spam servers

When is a DDos attack not a DDoS attack?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Lycos Europe has started to distribute a special screensaver in a controversial bid to battle spam. The program - titled Make Love Not Spam, and available for Windows and the Mac OS - sends a request to view a spam source site. When a large number of screensavers send their requests at the same time the spam web page becomes overloaded and slow.

The servers targeted by the screensaver have been manually selected from various sources, including Spamcop, and verified to be spam advertising sites, Lycos claims. Several tests are performed to make sure that no server stops working. Flooding a server with requests so that the server is unable to respond to the volume of requests made - a process known as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack - is considered to be illegal.

Lycos believes the program will eventually hurt spammers. 'Spamvirtised' sites typically don't sell advertising, so they have to pay for bandwidth. Therefore more requests means higher bills, Lycos argues.

A spokesman for Lycos in Germany told The Register he believed that the tool could generate 3.4MB in traffic on a daily basis. When 10m screensavers are downloaded and used, the numbers quickly add up, to 33TB of 'useless' IP traffic. Seems Lycos may hurt not just spammers. ®

Related stories

Phishers tapping botnets to automate attacks
Fraudsters recruit phishing middlemen
AOL goes a bundle on consumer security
US company fined for UK rogue dialler scam
Online Xmas shopping puts business 'at risk'

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?