General Question

YARNLADY's avatar

Isn't there some way to send a virus to the spammers so their computer will crash?

Asked by YARNLADY (44852points) October 24th, 2010

I receive over 100 messages a day that say “Urgent, please help” or “hello friend”. Would there be a way to reply with a virus that would end the spam?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

You know, two wrongs don’t make a right.

But, I wouldn’t complain if someone started fighting the spammers with spam. ;)

gorillapaws's avatar

@YARNLADY most spammers are normal people with viruses on their machines. I’ll bet there are likely a good number of people here on fluther that are unwitting spammers.

If you receive spam with consistent phrases, you can create a filter to automatically delete those.

plethora's avatar

No, but you can subscribe to spamarrest.com. I recently did so and went from 200 spam emails a day to less than 10.

Rarebear's avatar

Or you could do what I did and just change email addresses. I find that gmail is really good about weeding out the spam. I just ignore them now.

Whatever you do DON’T reply to the spammer.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Rarebear My Yahoo account, which is the only one that gets them, by the way, has a good, working spam filter. I just think there should be a way to get back at them.

plethora's avatar

@YARNLADY I have read that over 95% of all email traffic is spam. It’s a losing battle. Spam filters, btw, are virtually useless, so I’ve read and also based on my own experience.

gorillapaws's avatar

@plethora You can create personal spam filters though. So if there’s a phrase you constantly get spammed with, you can use that to exclude all email that contains that phrase. The only real downside to this is that it will delete the e-mail of a friend who happens to use that phrase too. In most cases this shouldn’t be an issue though (unless you have very weird friends).

lillycoyote's avatar

Getting some bit of revenge does sound nice and kind of satisfying but I just have this feeling that if everyone on the planet who got spam spammed the spammers back we maybe really could break the internets. :-)

YARNLADY's avatar

@lillycoyote Ouch, you are probably correct.

plethora's avatar

@gorillapaws I wasn’t aware of that. Spamarrest.com for about $5 a month simply asks each emailer once to confirm who they are. Of course, the spammers don’t and they get deleted. It’s not intrusive at all and very effective.

gorillapaws's avatar

@plethora you’re absolutely right that scammers are rampant in the anti-malware/spam world. I would highly suggest doing research before spending money on any service.

downtide's avatar

Most spam isn’t sent by the actual spammers. It’s sent by some poor sod whose computer has been infected by a virus, and is operating as part of a botnet. Your virus wouldn’t get anywhere near the computer of the actual spammer.

Rarebear's avatar

@YARNLADY My Yahoo account was the one I abandoned because my spam was too high.

anothermember's avatar

Most spam is done by bots that won’t care if you send an email with a virus to them because they won’t open it and even if it was a real human I doubt he/she would bother with reading and installing software/opening pictures/what-have-you, all they will do is add you to a “confirmed” email address list. So, unless you had physical access to their computer you would probably be out of luck. Although it is thought that you can slow down spam engines by posting millions of fake email addresses on the net as spambots will hunt down any text that looks like an email and add it to its lists. That is one reason why if you have to put your email out publicly you should type out your address with different punctuation. foo@bar.com is bad. -thingy ( at! ) place &do t whodat is better.

See this site can pick one is an email but not the other.

YARNLADY's avatar

@anothermember So that explains why so many people are using the word at in their e-mail addresses instead of @

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