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Spam vigilantes hit the web

Men with no name run spammers out of town
Fri May 27 2005, 09:16
THE INTERNET has been dubbed the Wild West before, and now it seems it has evolved its own bunch of vigilantes interested in hacking into spam and fraud sites.

Currently the 'people with no name' have targeted fake websites set up to resemble the sites of banks or financial institutions in recent weeks, and have inserted new pages or messages. Some say "Warning - This was a Scam Site," or "This Bank Was Fraudulent and Is Now Removed."

Their efforts have been noticed by UK security firm Netcraft on sites that were set up to steal a fistful of dollars from customers of the US Web payment site Paypal and a few pounds more from the NatWest Bank in Britain.

According to Netcraft, here: "While phishing is undoubtedly an illegal activity, the legality of defacing phishing sites is also quite questionable, but in cases observed by Netcraft so far it is reasonable to assume that only the fraudsters themselves have been disadvantaged."

What is interesting is that none of the security experts quoted on news wire versions of the story think it is a particularly bad idea, possibly because vigilantes have a tendency to go off a bit half cocked. µ


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