Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 11:13

Developer takes spammers for a long ride

By

Security developer Brian Weinreich has been taking spammers for a ride for nearly two years by eating up their time.

Fed up with the spam that was clogging his inbox, Weinreich built a spam bot early in 2015 that puts the spammers in a loop.

When he receives spam, he forwards it to the bot, called Spam Looper, which he has set up. His personal information gets removed and the bot's information is substituted.

Then the bot responds to the spammer and continues to do so, with pre-created replies that just result in the spammer spending more and more time on the activity.

Weinreich writes that he developed a series of open-ended questions like "Very interesting… are you offering this for free? What is the pricing?" and "Wow! This sounds like an awesome opportunity. Can you tell me a little more about it?"

The bot worked well and spammers had four or five email exchanges with it. Some exchanges ran to 24 emails.

In order to up the ante, he added what he calls a "hipster mode" to the bot, code that would generate random hipster words to the end of an email after an exchange of more than five emails.

The code for his bot is here.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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