I guess the Low Carb Hackers article featuring yours truly finally came out because my servers are getting totally slammed. Luckily, it’s a bandwidth bottleneck and not a server bottleneck. Unfortunately, Katharine linked directly to my Eat Watch page instead of my blog, but no worries.
Anyway, I feel almost guilty that you’re reading my site this week. Work has been quite hectic with a beta software release the past two weeks and I haven’t had a chance to regularly update the site. Ohwell…enjoy! Feel free to browse around!
Article: Hackers on Atkins
By: Katharine Mieszkowski
Katharine ran across Inert Ramblings while doing Web searches for hackers and geeks losing weight on Atkins. She contacted me via email, started up a dialogue, and started the interview process after I sent her a short bio.
After upgrading from Jaguar to Panther, Mail.app ate itself. Every time the client started it froze on a reading mailbox dialog box, no menus were clickable and mail wasn’t being synced. Removing all of my IMAP accounts and rebuilding all of them solved the problem.
No biggie…a small annoyance. But that’s why I rely on IMAP. All my mail is tucked away safe and sound on the server with the tape backup instead of my volatile desktop and notebook systems.
We’re half an hour late for our Friday 4:00 PM all-hands meeting. Why? No beer. Out of Guinness. One of our guys needed to do a beer run before we could kick off the meeting. I love my job.
Copies of the spams that Robert Todino is sending are available from Google:
A more complete listing of all reported spams advertising quickeasysolution.com and cashgiveawayprogram.com is also available.
Robert Todino seems to be going down the list of domain names that have been reporting on him. Brian McWilliams, author of Turn Back the Spam of Time, reports that he received spam from Robert with forged davesplanet.net headers.
I guess Robert has decided to show us his gratitude by flooding our mailboxes with hundreds of thousands of bounces.
OK, I lied. I just checked the logfiles and the bounces have stopped trickling in because the spam is no longer being sent with admin accounts as return addresses. Random From: headers are now being generated and we’re way past the 350,000 bounce mark…I just haven’t been seeing the actual email. Go figure.
On a side note, I stopped by 8 Albert St. this evening and spoke with Jim Todino and his “friend”. Both claim to have never heard of Robert. I’ll hash through the crap later.
The email floodgates have finally closed and the stream of bounce messages has dribbled to a slow trickle. 36 hours after the initial email, my mail server has finally gotten a breather. The damage? 3500 bounced emails for around 5000 invalid email addresses. Update: Completely incorrect…I just stopped getting bounces. Checking the logfiles reveals 390,000+ invalid addresses.
I’m not really sure what pisses me off more…the fact that Robert forged my mail servers to send spam or the fact that Robert forged my servers to send spam. Let me elaborate…
Ever since I got the first Dimensional Warp Generator email a few years ago, I’ve thought that the author was pretty cool. A few fries short of a Happy Meal, but cool. I guess you could say that I was a fan…so much so that I actually started reporting on the Dimensional Warp Generator.
But now I feel almost betrayed by Robert. He forged my domain to send out spam for anti-spam software. He subjected me to thousands of bounced email messages. He subjected me to hundreds of actual people sending me email flaming me and calling me an asshole because they assumed that I was the actual sender. He subjected me to a low scale denial of service attack as someone tried (and failed) to take my servers offline.
And he’s not returning my calls or emails.
The result of Robert’s actions don’t really bother me. My servers are stable. I’m thick-skinned and flames roll right off. My mail filters took care of the bounces and saved each and every one of them into an evidence folder. My logfiles were backed up and, again, moved to an forensics quarantine (both for Robert and whoever DOSed me).
But it still bothers me that Robert chose my domain. Feh.
It seems that other people Robert Todino has pissed off have done most of the work for me. I now have possible valid address that dates back to 1999 and has been used recently:
8 Albert St.
Woburn, MA 01801
The above physical address is just over a mile from his fake Oak St. residence and the original Dimensional Warp Generator dropoff locations.
No big surprise here. After the time traveler pissed me off by sending out spam with inertramblings.com in the return address, I checked out the alleged mailing address from his whois info. Figures…4 Oak St. doesn’t exist in Woburn. Oak St. starts at five and goes up from there.
So, either Robert really lives in Woburn but just not at 4 Oak St., or all the reporters got it wrong and incorrectly listed Woburn as his town because it’s in his whois info. Ohwell…I have four possible phone numbers for Robert in the area so I’ll start digging.
Originally I was a fan of Robert because I was vaguely amused by the whole Dimensional Warp Generator thing. Now that I have around a thousand bounced emails sitting in my inbox he’s really pissed me off.