Just got a comment on my post, Anti scammers under attack by Storm botnet from the folks at Artists Against 419 stating that their site is back up after being under a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.

After seeing this, I ran into a good article covering the recent attacks on anti-scam sites by Erik Larkin at PC World (courtesy of InfoWorld). In the article, Eric quoted Paul Laudanski as saying:

“The criminals are in it for the money,” he says. “It’s a huge business for them. [But] we’re in it for the feeling that we get being on the side of right.”

So this assault shows that “these sites are definitely doing something right,” he says, “because we’ve got the attention of these scammers. It gives us greater resolve.”

PC World story, here.

CastleCops is a great place to learn about the sometimes murky waters of the Internet. CastleCops also runs (PIRT)-The Phishing Incident Reporting and Termination Squad, where volunteers report and take out the bad guys, who make life on the Internet a pain for the rest of us. They are always looking for volunteers to help then fry phish called “handlers,” and people, who are willing to forward their phishy e-mails to them.

PIRT takes these sites down and makes sure they get reported to all the appropriate places, including law enforcement.

The Artists Against 419 state what they do on their main page:

The Internet is great, isn’t it? It’s a magical place, where you can buy anything you want, meet new people, find information… and lose all your money to scammers.

We’ve never liked that last part, so we started to fight back. Over time our art has evolved, and we now maintain the largest online repository of web sites used in internet fraud.

We offer a complete public interface for our site visitors, as well as database access through webservices which can be used for automated retrieval of fake bank entries. Web browser toolbars use our database feed to warn users that a site they visit is a fake company run by scammers. But most importantly, we continue to build better relations with other anti-fraud organizations and webhosting companies, to pursue our goal of ridding the Internet of fraudulent web sites.

Both of these organizations are run by volunteers that care. They can always use the support of the people they protect. If you get a minute, I recommend taking a look at them to see what they are doing to make the Internet a safer place.

We should all “resolve” to give these fine people our support!

CastleCops has a new online forum about the DDOS attacks, here.

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