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 Providing webmail accounts for scammers?

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Bankster
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

While my abilities as a baiter aren't exactly much to brag about, I do enjoy the numerous other ways of messing with scammers that modern technology so nicely is providing us with.

In particular, this thread has got me thinking about legal and easily feasible ways to tap into the data of as many lads as possible.

My best idea so far:

MuguMail, the friendly e-mail service with a backdoor for baiters!

Dear fellow scammer,
As you've probably already heard from your friendly fellow guyman / dolla chopper / oga (who in reality is a baiter), the stupid westerners have caught up to the fact that a real barrister, bank representative, president, ... doesn't use Yahoo Mail. Your scam letters are just so much more credible when they're sent from a domain that ends in "-ltd.com" or "-bank.ch". That's why the modern scammer uses this fun new e-mail service that lets you choose from a number of business-like domains. The service is currently invite-only, but I could give you an invite, maybe in exchange for (insert something here)?

What the scammer doesn't know is that the baiter who sends him the invite will have access to all mail they send or receive.

In order to keep this legal, the lengthy TOS agreement (that boring legal text above the AGREE button) would explain exactly how the service works. It's a well-known fact that nobody has ever read this, so it's probably safe to write something as "upon pressing the AGREE button, we will collect your first-born" and people would still sign up.

The only real risk I see is that the new domains in fact do add credibility to the scammer's mails. I'd say that risk is offset by the ability of the baiter to watch all e-mail traffic and warn any victims, or - if you buy MuguMail Enterprise Edition - redirect all mail to their own inbox and impersonate the victim.

I know the main reason why this works so well on paper is that I've missed some important piece of information. Does anybody care to enlighten me? Smile

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N N N
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

probably is a technically illegal idea as to all intent and purposes you're hacking someone elses private email/data. Which is a no no for discussion on these forums ....
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mugu_eater
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

the idea is good but i am afraid you educate them this way...i could be wrong...on the other side i am not sure that this legal so eater will not back you up on this but again i could be wrong...

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Bankster
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
as to all intent and purposes you're hacking someone elses private email/data.

Well technically it's not hacking. Wink But you're of course right. That's why I'd explain everything in detail in the TOS. Something along the lines of "the person inviting you to this service will have full access to your account and be able to f*ck with you in any way they deem appropriate and/or fun."
You're of course free to refuse that offer, but once you've clicked the I have read and agree to blah blah blah button, you're obviously asking for it. Very Happy

I'm well aware of this forum's rules on the discussion of illegal activities, and if this idea leads to something at all, it'd of course have to be legal (not only because of the forum rules, but also in order to protect the people behind it).


I don't see how this would educate the lads though...?

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Mr Tambourine Man
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Bankster wrote:

I don't see how this would educate the lads though...?

The bit about Yahoo addresses not being used by barristers, etc.
Some l;ads do know this and register free websites for the email address. We try and close those, and don't want more lads using them.

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Bankster
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
The bit about Yahoo addresses not being used by barristers, etc.

Aw, man. Forest and trees. I see.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Tambourine: That is of course a valid concern. However, on the other hand, if your mugu decides to join your mailservice this has many, many applications.

For example, you can make it so that outgoing mail does not actually reach it's recipient. This way, the scammer will not be able to send any scammail. It of course looks like it has all been sent. Instead of delivering the mail to the intended recipient it will be sent to selected baiters.

I am not sure of exactly what percentage of people normally responds to a scammail, but if we know this we can make sure to assign the correct number of baiters. The scammer receives replies to his emails and will keep using the service. In fact, the baiters he reaches will be so thick he'll think he has just struck gold! Very Happy
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MrBadLuck
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't think you could legally make a TOS that violates peoples basic rights (as pertaining to the service). Didn't microsoft get in some hot water over this in the late 90s?

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Jammy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think it's a good kernel of an idea: Providing lads with some kind of fake web-based tool that they think will help them with scamming, when it actually feeds them right to baiters.

Also, I suspect that a TOS that said "We retain the right to review all mail posted and received through our email service" would be perfectly valid and legal (unethical perhaps, but almost certainly legal). I've seen worse in TOS's!

However, there are some problems:

Educating the lads has already been mentioned.

How would you prevent ITPs from finding your free mail service?

What would you really do with the information you gathered? Warn everyone that each lad was communicating with? The lads would just stop using the service. Would you bait each and every email sent out by every lad?

You could be overwhelmed quickly without a well-defined plan. If this worked, you could have hundreds or thousands of fresh emails a day. Will you read and sort through them all? Will you simply delete them all, making it seem (to the lad) that it's just broken?

But I like the basic idea though! Very Happy

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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We don't step close to that illegal line, let alone all of the other implications of using non-yahoo addresses, hosting (by definition) spam servers, etc.

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Bankster
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Also, I suspect that a TOS that said "We retain the right to review all mail posted and received through our email service" would be perfectly valid and legal (unethical perhaps, but almost certainly legal).

If the idea took off and it was me who provided the hosting, the server would be located in a country where this would be waterproof. (And even if it were not, the 'victim' would have to either show up personally or hire a local lawyer to file charges.)
The fact that such additions to the TOS are generally considered unethical doesn't bother me very much in this particular case. Very Happy

Quote:
How would you prevent ITPs from finding your free mail service?

That's why I'd make it invitation-only. That won't work well for a large-scale deployment for reasons you've already mentioned, but would be a nice start for the pilot phase.

Quote:
What would you really do with the information you gathered? Warn everyone that each lad was communicating with? The lads would just stop using the service. Would you bait each and every email sent out by every lad?

I was kinda hoping that some elite baiters come up with a good plan. Rolling Eyes
For starters, I'd just let the lad send anything he wants. He'll probably want to send a few test mails and see if it works. The system would provide you at least with means to block and redirect outgoing messages (though to the lad they'll appear as having been sent), wait for your confirmation before actually sending a message, edit any message in his mailbox, send messages to the lad from any sender, and disable his account for "violation of our TOS". Blocks and filters could be applied to all messages or to messages to a particular e-mail recipient. That way you could watch him, impersonate a victim, silently neuter him altogether or bluntly kick him off the service. (Maybe there's a special modality to re-enable an account that has been disabled for security reasons?)

The only legal problem I see here is that if you watch him talk to victims, you might (at some point) knowingly let him use your infrastructure for illegal activities. Whether that's a problem remains to be clarified, and preferably by somebody who's more familiar with the law than me.

Of course the lads will eventually wise up to it and abandon the service. But hey, think of the fun that is to be had until then! Very Happy (Not to mention the information collected and victims warned.)

The question is, how would one convince the lads to use the service without educating them too much?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A creative idea but unfortunately it's flawed for all the reasons mentioned. It's skirting the line both ethically and legally, and the cardinal rule of not educating the lads is a huge impediment.

Keep your thinking cap on, I'm sure you can come up with another idea that will cause lad pain without all the potential ramifications of this one. Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
As you've probably already heard from your friendly fellow guyman / dolla chopper / oga (who in reality is a baiter),


Personally, I would never acknowledge the existence of baiters or scambaiting to a lad. My guess is that there are thousands of them out there who have never been baited and we don't need to be on their radar.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

N N N wrote:
probably is a technically illegal idea as to all intent and purposes you're hacking someone elses private email/data.


But it can't be illegal. The government does it! Mr. Green

Bad jokes and legal issues aside though, even if it was possible to set this up, I think the scammers would have to be incredibly stupid not to notice the sudden drop in their income just at the time they started using this new service.
Still, might be some potential here if you can trick them into using some sort of service that doesn't bend any laws in the process yet still gives you useful info.
Keep thinking Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Bankster wrote:
If the idea took off and it was me who provided the hosting, the server would be located in a country where this would be waterproof.


But you are not located in a country that is "waterproof". Wink

Regardless of the where and the wonderful fine print, if an individual who is not a lad were to sign up or even read the terms of service you may quickly find yourself in a legal mess. Even if you were 99% certain that you could get out of it, it could ruin you financially.

Personally, I do not see this as any different than phishing and that is against 419eater's rules.

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