Sunday, October 29, 2006

Spammers and Spitters

Where are the days that only the odd fool phoned people for “fun”?
I lived in a village where telephone numbers had only 3 digits after the area code. Our former number was 249.

The famous Dutch stand-up comedian
Herman Finkers told his devoted listeneres he lived in a village where only 5 people had a phone connection: the Mayor had telephone number 1, the Doctor no. 2, the Baroness a secret number, the Solicitor no, 4…….

SPAM”, a meat product in the UK got adopted in a Monty Python skit in which S
PAM was featured.
In this skit, a group of Vikings sang a chorus of "spam, spam, spam . . . " in an increasing crescendo, drowning out other conversation. Hence, the analogy applied because UCE was drowning out normal discourse on the Internet.

Nowadays, everyone who has been and still is connected to the Internet, at least received one Spam message in his / her e-mail box.
Fortunately there are great anti Spam programs. My favourite one is definitely
Mailwasher which I am using successfully for over 4 years now.

On Skype’s Forum we do read the occasional complain about being Spammed via Skype; “companies” sending ad’s as a chat messages. Something I dislike. Skype is an ad-free program, one (there are many more!) of the reasons I prefer Skype. If someone is sending me unwanted information about their product or telling me they want my bank account for a temporary deposit of 16.000.000 Dollars of a lonely soul who died in a plain crash two years ago (can you believe that the senders, 99% from Nigeria, still think we believe this story???), I am annoyed.

But there is a new phenomenon: Spam via VoIP, also called SPIT, Spamming over Internet Telephony.
This means that Spitters can now send annoying, repetitious advertisements similar to the Spam choking our e-mail inboxes but in pre-recorded voice format. Not only can they send you voice messages, but they can also take over your VoIP network and send messages to other users that appear to originate from you.

It isn’t only VoIP that’s under siege, also Skype if you can believe the media. But Skype isn’t VoIP, it’s Net telephony—Skype uses the public Internet, VoIP works over a closed user group (CUG). Also Skype is a P2P (Peer-to-peer) application while VoIP applications follow the client-server model.

We know of Skype users being under attack, receiving Spit voicemail messages but this is via a SkypeIn number. If it is a Skype to Skype voicemail message, the name of the other Spitter is visible as a caller and action can be taken. You can report this as abuse because Skype takes this very seriously. Send as many as possible details to
abuse@skype.net

Spitters are going to be a new genration of annoying VoIP bulliers. How are we going to deal with them?

Read more about SPIT.

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