Lycos Antispam Screensaver Debuts

Make Love Not Spam, regardless of it’s poorly-punctuated name, is an antispam effort lead by Lycos Europe. Users who download the screensaver allow their unused processor time to go toward flooding the websites advertised in spam e-mail. Sounds good, but there are two catches, and they are both significant. First, what is flooding?

Flooding is a long-standing technique of crackers, those cyberterrorists that seek to shut down a selected website or Internet service provider by sending millions of requests for webpages in a short period of time, and then keeping up the attack. Websites are designed to handle a specific and anticipated level of requests, and every website can be effectively brought offline, if the frequency of requests is sufficiently high.

Lycos Europe will maintain a database of spammers and this list will be fed to Make Love Not Spam screensaver users. By maintaining a central repository of spammers’ websites, it’s possible to easily and quickly target the most egregious spammers.

Dave’s Comments
There are two catches to this program. One, it’s possible to inadvertently associate an innocent website as a home to spammers, and this can easily be done by a cyberterrorists sending false artificial spam with the intention of misdirecting Lycos Europe’s staff into including the named site in the antispam database.

The second catch is that this program puts the cost of chasing down spammers onto the backs of users, Internet Service Providers (ISP), and the telecommunications industry. Flooding costs money to ISPs and telcos because is requires substantial bandwidth.

As much as I rail against spamming, this flooding program isn’t the way to stop it. Rather than downloading this screensaver, stop buying from spammers and strongly encourage your friends and family to stop buying from them, too. Poison spammers at the trough, and don’t pass the cost onto the innocent.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Make Love Not Spam

About geeknews

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.

One thought on “Lycos Antispam Screensaver Debuts

  1. Going Over the Edge in the War on Spam?

    Geek News Central has an interesting article about the extraordinary steps taken by Lycos to combat Spam. This is not a firewall. This is not a spam filter (I recommend SpamCop that users can download which, during the times it…

Comments are closed.