Spammers in Shooting War with Lycos Europe

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2004-12-02 Print this article Print

Lycos Europe screen saver was only supposed to slow spammers. Ironically, the screen saver site itself is down too, apparently from a DDOS attack by spammers.

Internet research firm Netcraft is reporting that most Web sites targeted by an anti-spammer campaign by Lycos Europe are being effectively taken down. The campaign uses a screen saver program distributed by Lycos Europe on its site. As of Thursday morning the site itself was inaccessible.
According to anti-virus vendor F-Secure, at least one spammer site had been set to redirect its traffic to the site.

eWEEK Labs takes a look at three winners in the battle against spam. Read about them here. Lycos Europe is denying earlier reports that the site was defaced by hackers, claiming it to be a hoax.

Debates are raging over the legality of Lycos Europes campaign against the sites it designates as spammers. The company has said it constructs the list of targets by reviewing spam monitors such as and by manually checking the sites to see if they sell products promoted by spam. A Lycos Europe spokesperson said the company has determined its practice to be legal.

For insights on security coverage around the Web, check out Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog. While Lycos Europes goal is to throttle the site performance down to 5 percent, such fine-tuning can be difficult and cannot control the sources of other traffic to those sites.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis.
Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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