Current Status

This blog is not frequently updated because most case-by-case scam reports are now listed in subordinate blogs. At this point in time, most of my efforts are targeted at documenting employment scams in the Suckers Wanted blog.


Info: Vista Pirates

Spam advertising pirated software on the cheap (under the guise of "OEM" software) is nothing new, and not terribly interesting to me, but there's been quite a spate of it using Microsoft's new "Windows Vista" as the selling point. In the last week or so, my spamtraps have been collecting on the order of twenty such spams a day, most with the common subject, "Windows Vista Ultimate ready to download", and linking to a wide variety of recently-registered domains, so this is quite an aggressive spam campaign.

Beyond the fact that, for reasons of security, I recommend against using any version of Windows on a computer that is connected to the Internet, I emphatically recommend against obtaining any software, especially Windows, from dubious cheap online stores. Why, you ask? Because anecdotal evidence suggests that some of these sellers are not merely "pirates" engaged in flagrant copyright violation for profit, but are also placing back doors in their version of Windows so that they can use your computer to send spam -- or do whatever else they might find profitable to do with your computer.

It makes sense that they would do this: compromised Windows computers are, in my experience, the number one source of the worst spam on the Internet. These people are, so far as I can tell, sending their ads via such compromised computers. Do you suppose that some of the customers are now part of the spam problem? It wouldn't be in the least bit surprising would it? Why break into a computer the hard way when you can offer a system with a wide open back door and receive money from the target at the same time? It's a heck of a racket.

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