A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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January 27, 2005

Spamware at Download.com

Several sneaky vendors of spam-sending software have managed to get their wares listed at the popular software distribution site, Download.com.

Alert readers of the SPAM-L mailing list have noticed numerous spamware programs currently available for free download, including LegalSender (formerly GhostSender), the developer of which boasts that the program is "a bulker's dream come true" and is "totally anonymous."

There's also the ever-popular StealthMail Master program, which "uses special proxies for anonymity" according to the description at Download.com.

Now, it's true that not all bulk email software is spamware. Download.com offers a number of legitimate programs conceivably useful for distributing newsletters, discussion lists, etc. But there's one good tell-tale sign of spamware: a built in SMTP server.

Easy Mass Mailer, available at Download.com, comes with its own SMTP and DNS servers -- presumably so your ISP won't know you are spamming. Speed Send Mailer, Advanced Mass Sender, and Mass eMailer also conveniently include built-in SMTP servers.

Judging from the messages coming across SPAM-L, Download.com is aware of the situation and trying to deal with it. Last week, auctions for e-mail lists and spamware were discovered -- and later removed from -- the eBay auction site.

Posted by brian at January 27, 2005 10:59 PM


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