Posted by Virus Bulletin on Dec 7, 2004
Lycos ends its 'make love not spam' campaign - but not before the file had been trojanised...
Lycos has announced that it has ended its controversial 'Make Love not Spam' campaign, claiming that it has run its course and accomplished its objectives.
The campaign, in which Lycos encouraged users to download a screensaver program which sent HTTP requests to spammers' sites, had been criticised for its vigilante nature and encountered one or two stumbling blocks.
Reports that the Lycos site had suffered a counter-attack from hackers were denied by Lycos. The reported defacement to the site took the form of a message which read: 'Yes, attacking spammers is wrong, you know this, you shouldn't be doing it. Your ip address and request have been logged and will be reported to your ISP for further action.'
However, Lycos claims that the 'defacement' was, in fact, a message posted by MCI which was presented to the users of its network when they attempted to access the Lycos site.
Lycos also denies that the screensaver was responsible for outages at two of the spammer sites targeted during its campaign, saying that the sites in question were not being targeted by the screensaver at the time of their outages.
However, the screensaver was removed from the Lycos website last week, and the company announced yesterday that the campaign has been abandoned. A spokesman explained: 'The aim of the campaign was to ignite a debate about anti-spam measures. We feel that we have achieved this through our activity and will now continue that debate with others in the email industry. We hope that this will lead to further new and innovative solutions to the problem of spam.'
Unfortunately, the company's high-profile campaign may have started problems of a different kind - as reports were received yesterday of a fake Lycos screensaver circulating on the Internet. The file, which comes as an attachment to an email with subject line 'Be the first to fight spam with Lycos screen saver', is actually a RAR SFX archive with embedded keylogger Trojan components.
Posted on 7 December 2004 by Virus Bulletin