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

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October 12, 2005

Spamware for the Mac?

Mac logosFriends and relatives who use Apple's Macintosh computers often boast that they are immune to the viruses and other dreck that infects Microsoft's Windows . My comeback is always, "Oh yeah? Well, at least there are decent spamware programs that run on Windows!" (Just kidding.)

It's true that the most powerful spam-sending programs (for example, Dark Mailer, SendSafe, Nexus) don't run on the Macintosh. There are some Mac-based programs designed to do bulk mailing. But to my knowledge, none of these has "spammy" features like the ability to route messages through proxies, forge message headers, or add message "noise" to confuse filters.

Consider a Mac-based bulk email program called Direct Mail. A posting on the Nanae newsgroup today alerts anti-spammers that Direct Mail's developer boasts about the program's ability to send messages in bulk via its "powerful internal mail server" rather than via the SMTP server operated by the user's Internet service provider. Spammers sometimes prefer such "direct to MX" sending as a way to avoid detection.

But unlike some popular Windows spamware, nothing in Direct Mail appears designed to break U.S. spam laws.

Further proof of the Windows hegemony in spamware: Even the notorious Windows spamare repository Download.com has pretty slim pickings in its Macintosh bulk email progam offerings.

Posted by brian at October 12, 2005 4:01 PM


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