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Spam Reactions

When I started listing my noteworthy blog spammers, it was mainly to vent. I didn't really expect anything to come of it, but it looks like there might be a business plan in there somewhere. You see, I was contacted by two of them (Quinnian Health and Home Shopping Network) with claims that things should be cool now, but I have no way to verify that. Time will tell if spam comes my way again, or other sites might notice them if they've only blocked off outgoing traffic to my humble site.

The point is, I'm inclined to take their assurances on face value because they contacted me. That means they at least have some process in place that puts my ranting on their radar. Maybe it's a brand management firm that searches the Internet for buzz (good or bad), or maybe it was just some other, less formal, chain of events that made someone there aware of my post. I'm not one to pry.

My second point is, the only reason they were able to contact me is because I posted about it in the first place. There are hundreds of other spam, pointing to that many more exploited systems, that I've just dumped without mention. To say nothing of the suspicious spidering that is coming from decidedly non-spider IPs! Certainly none of them are contacting me to say they've found and fixed their problems. For example, I've set my server to deny anything coming in from an Amazon owned IP block (their "cloud" services are entirely too spam-friendly), but they're probably blissfully unaware of how much damage their reputation is suffering, all because there is no automated feedback mechanism to let them know what traffic escaping their network is rotten.

So here's the Impossibly Stupid business proposition for that feedback mechanism: let my sites serve as the canary in your coal mine. For $5.20/year, for up to 10,000 interested parties, I will open up my access logs and offer a daily report on the traffic from one IP or class of IPs. It could be yours or it could be your competitors; I don't care. The result is an early warning system that also happens to relieve me of taking the trouble to shame the culprit myself. Interested?