Lycos Brings War Games to Your Desktop
The first reactions to Lycos' initiative have been quite negative. Ed Felten points to some obvious problems with the system:
- It blurs the line between spammers and users, between the bad & good guys
- It is a waste of recourses (bandwidth)
- Attacks may be misdirected at innocent sources: either because they are erroneously on the used spamlist, or because they are innocents framed by the spammers, so called Joe Jobs
- It is questionable if this tactic is legal
This is getting ridiculous: at the moment my screen saver launches its attacks right over the United States, up into space, not hitting any target on earth. A glitch in the server? Or are there any spammers on Mars? Intergalactic spam wars, not in my lifetime!
I guess I'm in trouble now. I'm sooo scared those spammers will come and get me.A bid by Lycos Europe to launch denial of service attacks on spammers by use of a screensaver has been met with a sharp response - the website which it set up for people to download the screensaver was defaced overnight.
The site, makelovenotspam.com, bore a banner which said "Yes, attacking spammers is wrong, you know this, you shouldn't be doing it. Your ip address and request have been logged and will be reported to your ISP for further action."
Later: Here's more on the alleged attack.
And now Lycos denies it was ever attacked and says it was a hoax.
Even Later: When activated the screensaver goes black and displays "Stay tuned". A spam site has been redirecting the attacks to Lycos' own site. Now major internet backbones have blocked acces to the makelovenotspam site. And BBC Online reports that the "health check" system may not have prevented a DDoS attack from happening. War Games: game over & out.