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 So are we training these guys?

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Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 4:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

To Wright and others:

the article you cited is great. Here is what spammers are doing to thwart that... they include garbage phrases in the text to skew the ratios. Scammers, OTOH, are prevented from taking such measures because it is "sneaky" and twigs the mark.

This system would work against scammers even though it is not useful against viagra floggers Shocked .. no I didn't mean it that way.... Laughing

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tritium
419Eater is my life


Joined: 28 Apr 2004
Posts: 253
Location: Toronto, Canada


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 6:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

A good spam filter using Bayesian statistical analysis can easily catch those kinds of spam. It has often caught spam mailss where the content consists of maybe a dozen words and a link, but the rest of the message was filled with maybe a hundred random words thrown in to confuse spamblockers based on simple word lists. My spam filter's logs show that in the past 202 days (I had been using the filter for another 150 or so days before that), with a total of 47,415 emails (both legit and spam), only 11 spam mails have slipped through as "good" mail. That represents an incredible 99.98% accuracy rate.

EDIT: Looks like I made an error. 11 is the number of good mails that were flagged as spam (false positives), not the other way around. The number of spam mails flagged as good (false negatives) was 98.

It is incredibly hard to fool a proper spam filter. Blacklists and filters based on word lists are, in my opinion, completely useless. Apply a little math to the problem and it's amazing how well it works.

BTW the spam filter I use is called K9, available at www.keir.net.

_________________
The Modest Mugu: "My dear,You are making me to fall laughter any time any day.Your words concerning black mens pennis,I dont really know.but people arround the world says that black man pennis is big.Anyway,I have not seen white mens pennis but to my own understanding it is the same God that created us all."

A Scared Lad: "his me nog peter i think some one have just hack my box and is nname is usman bello..."

Last edited by tritium on Mon May 17, 2004 8:07 am; edited 3 times in total
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Dont_B_A_BaiterHater
Elite Baiter


Joined: 09 May 2004
Posts: 1195
Location: IniTech Corp. HQ


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 6:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

If people intend to play the seeding game, can I claim the phrase:

"recursive descent compilation"
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Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 7:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

To Tritium:
It's great.... but.... false positives? be honest now...

Is this a typical mail account, or one set up only for spam? Of course the answer has nothing to do with our purposes, but I have seen sophisticated mathematical methods applied to all sorts of linguistic problems. To my knowledge, they never... oops can't say never... achieve 98% without causing other problems. Those problems would include massive dictionaries (or corpora), numerous calculations, or... false positives. Really, that is the Achilles heel. If you have to go looking through the bit bucket for that letter from your son at college asking for money, you would be hating life. Hey... happens to the best of systems. If AIDS or pregnancy tests had a teensy bit higher false positive rate, no one would use them. Of course, with those things, you also have to avoid the false negatives. Yikes. I will go back and read the article you suggested again...

Anyway, like I said, we don't care here. And, like I said before, the nonsense text strategy is not likely to be used by scammers anyway. Bring it on.... the proposal is to set this thing up monitoring a bucket account to gather (and sort?) scam and spam?

To Dont_B_A_BaiterHater: shhhh... >They< might be watching. small voice...<if they knew you would include that in every post, they would chuck your mail> shhh.

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tritium
419Eater is my life


Joined: 28 Apr 2004
Posts: 253
Location: Toronto, Canada


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 7:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Buta Shi wrote:
To Tritium:
It's great.... but.... false positives? be honest now...


Oops I made a mistake. 11 is the number of false positives, i.e. good emails that were erroneously flagged as spam. The number of false negatives, or the spam emails that were erroneously flagged as good, was 98. So to sum up:

False negatives: 11/47,415 (99.98% accuracy)
False positives: 98/47,415 (99.79% accuracy)

As you can see the false positive rate is exceptionally low. This is for an account that gets about two dozen legit emails (and about 300 or so spam emails) each day, so there are plenty of samples to draw on. Oh and if you're wondering about the corpus size, you'd be surprised: 295KB for the "good" words and 2,214KB for the "bad" words. It processes and ranks the emails faster than I can download them. And the kicker: K9 is free. This is as close to the anti-spam Holy Grail (aside from eliminating spam altogether) that I have ever witnessed with any filtering software.

Oh and I agree that mugus won't bother sending random words, but if they ever did it would be easy to cut through it.

Image

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The Modest Mugu: "My dear,You are making me to fall laughter any time any day.Your words concerning black mens pennis,I dont really know.but people arround the world says that black man pennis is big.Anyway,I have not seen white mens pennis but to my own understanding it is the same God that created us all."

A Scared Lad: "his me nog peter i think some one have just hack my box and is nname is usman bello..."
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Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 8:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

To trit and others:

Yeah. I checked this out. It looks neat.
Caution: only POP3 accounts can use it.

I will download it and use it, but just for our listeners... it learns from the mistakes it makes, presumably, and allows some tweaking. The programmer is a cure fan. ha.

How did you find the false positives? 11 among a pile of 40k messages? Wanna sort my mail for me? Shocked

Do you get a downloaded bucket of files or do they stay in your server?

just asking....

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tritium
419Eater is my life


Joined: 28 Apr 2004
Posts: 253
Location: Toronto, Canada


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 8:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I check my mail a few times each day, and I usually get about 50 emails flagged as spam each time I check. I don't filter the spam out totally...I have it set up so that it moves into a special Spam folder, where I then scan the subject lines real quick. In the year or so I've been using K9, I've acquired the amazing ability to visually scan a hundred subject lines in about 15-20 seconds to quickly determine what is spam and what isn't. I only do this because my mail is important enough that I need to make sure I catch all the false positives.

_________________
The Modest Mugu: "My dear,You are making me to fall laughter any time any day.Your words concerning black mens pennis,I dont really know.but people arround the world says that black man pennis is big.Anyway,I have not seen white mens pennis but to my own understanding it is the same God that created us all."

A Scared Lad: "his me nog peter i think some one have just hack my box and is nname is usman bello..."
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Frodo
Gone fishin'


Joined: 06 Apr 2004
Posts: 2592
Location: The Shire


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 12:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Buta Shi wrote:
... the FIRST PHRASE WHICH OCCURS >>IN THE WILD<< (like say in a scam letter, probably not a reply).


I like to train my Lads in the WRONG way.
As you point out, language itself can be a virus.
On that basis, I try to 'contaminate' my Lads future scam-writing by throwing in old proverbs with just one change - that might act as a warning to a western victim.
Hopefully the Lad will use one of them in a scam and this will put the victim on their guard.

eg.

If you trust me you will find that "the road to trust is paved with good intentions" - as the old saying goes.

or

The more you get to know me, the more you will find that "Familiarity breeds content!" - as in the old saying.

or

People who deal with me always say "there's a white sheep in every flock" - like the old saying.
Wink
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 2:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
It is possible that J-Dog, in a socialite persona may get more emulation then we would. I guess the new trophy here is not a picture, but ....


I would because a human operator will always yeild more data. However, if you use data seives, you can and should filter out known 419 formates (or letters) and look for uniqueness. Here is what I mean:

1) Collect all known 419 letters and load them into the computer. Tell the computer to auto-reply to known LadSpam. What we want to find are the new and unique formates and assign those to human operators.

2) IMO, we should auto-respond to known LadSpam to teach them that known Spam will be ignored. This will force them to expend resources into new formates. Once a new formate is identified, it is played by a human operator. However, it is also then loaded as known LadSpam and auto-replied to in future appearances.

3) Our most successful technniques are used in auto-respond modes. This is where writers come in who can script really vivid characters and responses. The creative part of the enterprise is vital so that the lad thinks he is talking to a real person. I would be willing to write such script along with the other top writers here. I don't know how to do code and am a technical midget, but I can follow all of this conceptually. The tech wizards who have to do the integration.
Internet Avenger
Hello I'm New here!


Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Northwest United States


PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 11:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I threw together a text generator program that produces a first reply to a scam letter. Here's some of the random text it produces:

==============================


Greetings, Mr. Smith;

Your e-mail came as an abrupt surprise. The story that you relate is quite tragic. But as you know, a dollar earned is a dollar for tomorrow.

I promise to perfidiously execute your instructions. I will be awaiting your instructions. The more you get to know me, the more you will find that Familiarity breeds content!

Until I hear from you again, here's to our mutually severable gain.

Yours truly,

Stephen S. Scambaiter
====================


My Dear Mr. Smith;

I was very surprised to get your letter today. The story that you relate is quite tragic. But this may turn out for the best, since a stitch in leather is somewhat better.

This opportunity sounds splendiforous. Nevertheless, I deign to be of service to you. The more you get to know me, the more you will find that Familiarity breeds content!

I must run, as my cabinets are bursting.

Your newfound friend,

Stephen S. Scambaiter
====================



Dear John;

I received your extremely interesting e-mail proposal today. I feel sorry for the individuals that you describe in e-mail message. However, we all know that you should never look underneath the fatted calf.

I promise to perfidiously execute your instructions. I am your servant in this transription. If you entrust me with this endeavor, you will find that a 'good apple leavens the entire loaf'.

Peace be to your uncle and kin.

Truly yours,

Stephen S. Scambaiter
====================



My Dear Mr. Smith;

Your letter today came as quite a surprise. The story that you relate is quite tragic. But this may turn out for the best, since a stitch in leather is somewhat better.

I promise to perfidiously execute your instructions. I am interested in helping you however I can. The more you get to know me, the more you will find that Familiarity breeds content!

Peace be to your uncle and kin.

Yours truly,

Stephen S. Scambaiter
====================


Keep the good suggestions coming!!!
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Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 6:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well. Who wants to play TANEMAKU?

We choose a phrase and put it somewhere for safekeeping...... then we wait to see whose phrase appears first >>in the wild<< . If someone has been using one for months, then they have to start with a new one.

The phrase that appears first in a REAL letter or correspondence from a mugu wins. Then we can keep going with it to go for bulk occurrences or start over again.

Shall we set up a formal game? When shall we start? PM me if you have a phrase and the inclination. I propose we start on ... er.... Monday at 12:01 am Greenwich.

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Angie Mima
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 4:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

BADger Nose wrote:
"Those 90 percent are the catchers, who really don't need to have language skills, computer skills, forged documents, etc., etc. All they are there for is to do the donkey-work of sending out scads of email offers, and sort the responses. As you get passed up the line, you have already been vetted to some degree. It is assumed that you are an idiot for not recognizing it is a scam in the first place so a little intellectual independence on your part isn't out of the ordinary.


This is an interesting point and likely explains why the Mugu's language skills improve as time passes. I've worked some guys that suddenly go from very poor English skills (almost unintelligible) to being able to comminicate in English better than I do.
Borstal Boy
Master of Master Baiters


Joined: 01 Apr 2004
Posts: 751


PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 4:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

So, where do I order my J-Dog X? Woo-hoo, I bet that baby can extract some precious trophies!
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Wright B Hindyou
Elite Baiter


Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 1795
Location: Bangkok


PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 12:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Angie wrote:

Quote:
I've worked some guys that suddenly go from very poor English skills (almost unintelligible) to being able to comminicate in English better than I do.


That's almost certainly two different people -- the initial catcher who is linguistically challenged, and his oga, who is better-educated. You'll notice that often the bad English speaker returns at random times through the bait when his superiors are busy.

_________________
"YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO HUMANITY" - Douglas Minning

"bastard like you, I will kill you with my hand, son of nobody. May your soul rust in help." - Titi Andrew

"I trusted you very much without knowing that you are a drug addit person" - Emma Bambara

"THIS YOUR BEHAVIOR IS IRELEVANT AND CROSPOLOS CARACTER" - Madam Clarrise Keita.

"you must speak beter because we dont train mad people in this company." - Incredible Self-Baiting Pastor Joe
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Mr Fishe
Baiting Guru


Joined: 22 Nov 2003
Posts: 2242
Location: PL_Goldrush


PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 12:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Borstal Boy wrote:
So, where do I order my J-Dog X? Woo-hoo, I bet that baby can extract some precious trophies!


Mr Fishe heartily endorses the JDOG X - “I wouldn’t bait without it! TM

_________________
Lads love forms!

Magic eye fun: Western Union MoneyGram
Pre-transfer red tape: Department of Homeland Security HM Revenue & Customs
Mandatory customer survey: Western Union


"I have decided to leave the church and join a travelling circus..." - the original and best

star
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Epistimon
Not quite a Newb


Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 49
Location: Hurricane Alley


PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 3:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I went to the link J.Dog mentioned and read the whole thing. I started thinking about this comment.

Quote:
J Dogs' comment: Ergo scambaiting exists in the "house of language" to use Wittgenstein's phrase. In scambaiting the lads use language to create mental representations of trunkboxes full of money. The victims who buy these fictions are reverting to a naive, pre-verbal, and maladaptive psychology, and one that might as well believe in Santa


Even in todays' world of mass media and illiteratacy, there are many people who will still make the statement "the book is so much better than the movie". Why? Because language is cognition. The richness of words alone is still more stimulating to our minds than 30 foot screens and THX Sound. Why is that? I think it's because literature gives a "skeleton" around which our mind constructs "muscle and skin" (sort of like your own personal "Frankensteinian" monster). An average movie gives us a fence from which we can't escape. Ten people reading the same book recreate ten different worlds. Ten people watching the same movier are all stuck behind the same fence.

I think this power of language is why the scammers have had any success at all. The best scambaiters are the best writers, the ones most able to provide the best "skeleton" for the scammers to build their own "monster" The best scammers do the same thing. I know we laugh at their stilted English, but they just provide a framework, the victims' imagination supplies the rest. It's that power of inference that the article mentions. I'm not saying we shouldn't be too hard on the victims' greed, but the power of suggestive language can be a powerful thing. I think keeping communication confined to the printed word (no phonecalls) is the baiters most powerful tool.

That being said, I'd like to know if it has been harder for veteran scammers to get trophies. I think the scammers are getting smarter, and as they get more sophisticated so must our tactics. Build a better mousetrap and nature will build a better mouse. However, If we high-mindedly tell ourselves we're providing a public service by keeping the scammers tied up, then I think time wasting tactics are better than trophies. I still want one though...

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I believe, said Epistemon, that this is the language of the Antipodes, and such a hard one that the devil himself knows not what to make of it.

http://www.mugu-circus.net
[url=http://www.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk?botid=999310654e35f80c&skin=randi's%20page]RandiBot[/url]
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Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 12:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I wonder...

Don't you think the mugus would make movies if they could?

Using faxes, they avoided mail fraud charges, probably, but they had phone charges.

Using e mail, they leverage a little effort into a lot of contact. Using cut and paste cookbook stuff and some cheap labor, they set up the scams. The English language message sent from some node with virtually no cash cost or opportunity cost, or even risk.... well, from a Mugu perspective, it is free money. Growing on trees.

Here in Japan, it costs a buck to send a stupid letter. Communicating IN Japanese (not in English) has its own inherent costs, and doing a credible job of it is more expensive than hiring a lawyer, say in the US. I was worried that Japan would have problems with 419, but I don't think so now. Not from Nigerians anyway. The bar of credibility is pretty high here.. maybe.

I don't know, one could attribute the MUGU printed word to literate values and linguistic/ontological analyses, but I am inclined to look at it from an economic perspective. If TV commercials were cheaper than the way they are doing it, then we'd be watching the guymen for 12 minutes of every hour on the telly....

infomercial modalities....



And maybe I missed this... but aren't we a lot better at telling the stories than they are? I once read a book called the Beaver Papers. What if famous authors had written Leave it to Beaver episodes? Dharma Beaver, The Beaver and the Fury, it was full of episodes... dialogue and themes written in Kafka-ese, Faulkner-ese, Hemingway-ese, Sartre too. It was funny. Anyone want to try to bait with literature styles? Might be fun. Send a reply all in haiku.... all in iambic pentameter... IVANHOE! Now THAT'S entertainment.

A man who dreamed he was a beetle... or a beetle who dreamed he was a man....

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Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 6:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

http://www.personalityforge.com/

Probably just about time to let this thread die, but if you want to mess around with organic bots that are up and running, go for it.

Apparently there are hundreds of these. They accept pretty big blocks of text. Whatever. Play and bait.

Very Happy

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Nyankunde
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 3:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

There seem to be a number of issues in this thread. One - and a less interesting one - is the technical question of automated baiting. Another theme here, however, is the sneaking feeling of moral ambivalence which some members seem to have about the whole practice of baiting, a feeling which, in my case, means that I remain a fascinated, if occasionally repelled voyeur rather than becoming a participant. Hmm... If ever I get time and can formulate my thoughts properly, I shall post a proper explanation.
Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 5:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Trolling?

I think I know exactly what you are wondering about:
1) these are poor black people
2) they are working really hard to communicate with "us"

3) we ridicule and abuse them
4) we take enjoyment from doing it
5) we enjoy planning it

Wow. Looks really one sided. Even looks kind of elitist? racist?
You can draw your own conclusions, but at the very least:

these people are abusing a communication system
they are engaging in criminal behavior
they appear to use the former ONLY to accomplish the latter...
they always misrepresent themselves and their situation

commonly
they steal people's money
they steal from poor, ignorant, or otherwise disadvantaged people
they threaten victims and others

sometimes
they are able to physically confront victims
those confrontations can be violent
victims are killed

And frankly, I don't know the half of it.
The way I see it, this is a nonviolent exercise in guiding the efforts of some pretty smart people to solve a glaring social problem. Along with formal prosecution, other means are developed and used to record, study, repair, and sometimes prevent damage to victims. It is a tremendously constructive and creative enterprise that apparently has no greedy motives whatsoever. We learn and serve.

The pillories that used to be used in the 1700s in the American colonies were actually quite moral. Sometimes a good dose of ridicule helps everyone to remember what is right and wrong, and it leaves no lasting damage.

Personally, I was awakened at 5:30 am by some dickhead who decided to send me a fax using my machine and my paper. I was tired, and that guy is going to pay. He started it, and I am going to finish it. He took liberties he ought not have.

There are some straw men there if you want to hack away, sir.

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Nyankunde
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 9:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Buta Shi - thank you for your response.

Trolling? I'm not much of a user of these sort of forums and don't exactly know what the term means. Being deliberately and uncouthly provocative? In that case, no.

The simple equation which you draw up does not quite represent accurately what I was thinking.

I am under no illusions as to the true nature of a 419 scammer. One interesting aspect of many baits is that most baiters play for laughs and thereby disguise or belittle the real sense of violence that often comes through from many scammers. So oddly enough, whilst I appreciate the value of ridicule, sometimes here it might be a way of domesticating something that should not be made into a cartoon of itself.

Similarly, I do not think that scambaiting is, per se, racist. That is not to say that a few isolated posts are, to my mind, at the very least at the level of rhetoric, borderline. But just as one should not generalize about Nigerians so one should not generalize about baiters...

Elitist? Certainly. Baiters necessarily use superior linguistic skills, education, technological know-how, savoir du monde, et cetera, in order to bait. Otherwise it simply wouldn't work. (Imagine trying to bait a scammer British, American or Dutch scammer of similar socio-economic background to yourself!) Baiting relies, then, on the sad fact of this gulf between the Western and the developing world. This gulf, of course, does not excuse in any fashion the choice which a scammer makes when he becomes a scammer. The apologetics of scamming I have read allusions to that draw on colonial experience and so on are wrong and in bad faith. Nevertheless, as a result of the fact that baiters come from an elite position in respect of the baited, their ridicule may sometimes seem less joyful and more sneering - sneering is never pleasant and not really funny either.

The paticular point that I wanted to raise in connection with the above discussion, however, is as follows: it seems clear from what members have posted above that the future of effective baiting might not lie in the creative and ridiculous baits of cakes, bread and wine, but rather in a clever but mundane technological solution, say, automation. If the true pupose of baiting is to combat fraud in the most effective fashion possible, this future should be welcomed by baiters. This notwithstanding, some of the correspondents above point out that the joyful, ridiculous and creative aspect of baiting - cakes, bread and wine - would become redundant. The central tension in baiting is laid bare: is it a moral crusade (cleaning the worl of scammers)? Or is it entertainment? Clearly it is both. Nevertheless, members tend to make a great deal of the moral aspect which helps them justify to themselves the abivalence that would result if it were just entertainment. (In so doing, baiters might be, so to speak, scamming themselves....)

"We learn and serve," you say, Buta Shi. Well, no. We learn and serve and have a damn good laugh as well. Not to add the last part runs the risk of po-faced piousness and hypocrisy.... Or at least it could do so! Very Happy

Put another way: if baiting, on the one hand, were simply about doing good (as it might be with automated baiting), then it would not be much fun. Nor, incidentally, might it be the best or most attractive way of doing good, and we could all go and do shifts in our local homeless centre instead.

If baiting, on the other hand, were just about having fun, (for example, if scammers were not trying to scam but simply trying to get pen-friends) then it might not be the most ethical way of finding entertainment. The sneering side (and possibly worse) would come to dominate.

Now, I am convinced that baiting is an excellent thing in so far as it combines both these aspects, the moral and the entertaining, in all honesty. For a minute, however, in this column, correspondents sighted their possible coming-apart and seemed to sense the moral ambivalence that is potentially always there.

Dose this make sense? Confused Smile [/quote]
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 2:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Nyankunde, your writing betrays inexperience. Scambaiting is hostile and aggressive. It is a sharp-edged, adversarial pursuit. Veteran scambaiters have no moral ambivalance and in fact are outspoken in their anger towards these thieves. When you see the human wreckage the 419 con artists leave behind, you realize they steal not only money but they violate a person's soul at a profound level.

Thus, automation is only a means to make our campaign of unrelenting aggression against them more effective. The entertainment has value insofar as it attracts readers and therefore raises public awareness. In my mind, entertainment = ratings = public awareness = a wider public intolerance of 419 scams and a wider public refusal to deal with these cowardly internet hoodlums and liars.

This is the same outrage that led decent citizens in the Wild West to take matters into their own hands and hang outlaws over the nearest tree so that families could live in peace and without fear. The internet is the new Wild West and scambaiters are netizen vigilantes who lay snares and traps for these rampaging criminals. Scambaiting is very black and white and its apologetics -- assuming we need to defend what we do -- are self-evident and rooted in the long tradition of vigilanteeism.

You winced about sneering and that was a tad too effete for my liking, but I assume that you have an aesthetic about sneering that is perhaps visceral and rooted in some deep personal conviction and so I can leave that one alone. In any case, I go far beyond sneering and into strong reproach and have sometimes used my hobnailed boots to leave my mark in a lad's face.

Scambaiting is not exactly a sport for the sensitive, but it does draw very intelligent people who like to get up close and personal with criminals and just wreak havoc on their plans and lives. Komsomol. a frighteningly smart fellow, just helped to get a married couple arrested for their 419 activities. This couple have a one year old child and I hope the court takes their child away so that it does not have to grow up with criminal parents.

Komsomol's work clearly shows that scambaiters have an aggressive intent towards 419 conmen and are not primarily concerned with articulating a critical theory of scambaiting, although I am working on one myself because I like critical theory. As with any artist, I want to be able to say why I do what I do and what my work means.

My personal motto is, "Humor is the distraction that hides the sledgehammer coming their way." Some lads perhaps find my characters amusing and believe they are conning an idiot, but when I turn the tables they never laugh. The same applies to my colleagues. The good scambaiters here can set their hooks without the lads realizing it until it is too late.

Nyankunde, I mean no offense, but you should get out of your armchair and do some baits. You need to get your hands dirty and see what it is like when you are talking to an actual criminal whose only intent is to steal you blind. You will feel a sense of outrage, I guarantee you. And that sense of outrage will steal your innocence and shift the basis of your evaluation of scambaiting from the abstract to the actual. At present, you have the luxury of inexperience, but we can help to change that for you if you so desire.
Dont_B_A_BaiterHater
Elite Baiter


Joined: 09 May 2004
Posts: 1195
Location: IniTech Corp. HQ


PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 3:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

When someone in China attempts to hack/bring down my web server I contact the owner of the ip address, I telephone and get lost in ridiculous (lmao almost k7 like) phone answering services.

No organizations are willing to help. No one cares.

I could physically fly to some place I know nothing about and cut a cat 5 cable and say "Don't do this, you are being bad!" but by the time my plane landed back here, chances are they would have replaced that cable.

Should I sit by idle while these people attack my server? I give to caesar what is owed. I am a law abiding citizen. I have done nothing wrong. Why should I watch my server logs as these attackers attempt to destroy my running processes?

Perhaps it is fair enough that I attempt to destroy their running processes. Why not? They do this to me for no reason. Apparently this is acceptable behavior. If it is acceptable, then I shall participate.

The same should apply to people who use a less technical protocol to access my bank account. I'm new here, but I feel the experienced baiters have shown amazing restraint in not actually scamming thousands of dollars back from these assholes.

My guess is that most baiters are in fact also law abiding citizens who aren't going to organize giant "reverse scams" and take back a bunch of money which would in turn go to the victims of this most ridiculous scam bullshit. (Though they would certainly be capable fo doing this, from what I've been reading.)

Anyway, I think I'm babbling again. I'll stop soon. If someone mugs you on the subway and you pull out a roll of fake photocopied $20 (TWENTY DOLLAR BILLS!) bills and hand them to him, have you done something wrong? Passing forged notes? Deceiving a thug?
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Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 4:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

OK... you might have to sift through this one....

Nyankunde, I think I understand. I jumped to some conclusions about where you were headed. I think I may have been wrong about that. The ambivalence you are talking about is the kind we all have when we think of Karl Marx and sigh... is that it?

I think you might look further back in this thread and watch the development of the ideas. Automation vs. labor intensive baiting was an argument, but I think it was resolved. There were some opinions and scenarios put forth.

Here is what I think might happen:

1) Automation starts in. Instead of getting 4 replies, the scammer gets 400 and must try to sift through them to find a real victim.
2) Scammers adapt and whittle away the obvious baits... but oops... they let a victim get away too because... well... that's the way it goes.
3) The scammers then try to work with the remaining potential victims, maybe 40 of them... but oops... they are too long in replying. Two more victims wise up in the meantime.
4) The scammer winds up with 30 solid leads and works his/her buttocks to the quick trying to juggle that mess. Maybe there is one solid lead to a victim in there somewhere... but ... grrr... which one? Is it the guy asking for the picture? Is it the guy who has no phone? The reverend? The paraplegic? The 72 year old in Chandler Arizona? What to do? What to do?
5) Send out another batch of emails and hope for the best buwhahahah Laughing Laughing .

Well, that is no good. The scammers have to adapt. To dovetail this concept with another thread regarding spam filters, the scammers will either have to become VERY good at filtering, or they will lose all their victims to FALSE POSITIVE identification. OR to avoid that, they will have to not discriminate at all and try to reply to every response. Their responses, in turn, will become very transparent form letters and the scams will crash. I think it is a checkmate. They rely on a 1% response rate. Let's see how they handle a 40% response rate. Maybe they should reduce their mailings... grrr ... that didn't work.. what now? Hire more help? The cost! The modalities!

There is no way to adapt and no appeal.

Now, Marx would be pleased, though. In the numbered scenario above, there is room for the J-dogs and the Shivers at step 4 or so, or even 2 or even 1. Automation will succeed BECAUSE of them and the randomness that they will throw into the equation. Personally, I think it is beautiful and efficient. Also, baiting WOULD get boring if not for them... the craftspeople. There is even room for multiple automated systems of all scales. The more the better.

I think the automated baiting is a freight train that will hit the scammers where they live. It will be an irresistable force. WU WU... want to get on? We will all still have fun though. One other topic being discussed right now is how to increase that false positive rate. Can you think of some good strategies to do so? I sure can.

Someone said it before in a really good post. The great thing about baiting is that we can all copy each other and just have a good time. I don't worry too much about hurting scammer's feelings.

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Buta Shi
Master Baiter


Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Japan


PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 4:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Really will keep this short.

Nyankunde, you will find all sorts of people on this forum. They all seem to be decent people. The ones who post a lot may not be the ones on the phone to the cops 4 times a week, but there are such members. Others are gathering all kinds of information and contacting others to work against the scammers. We are all helping and educating one another as we can. Please join in and show us how we are wrong.

Personally, the "sneering" bit is the window dressing, IMO. I think everyone is working to do the job better and in a serious manner. When all the 419 are prosecuted, there will be other scammers in different countries that we might apply our skills to. Don't assume (as your post seems to imply) that we could not work effectively against a group of Canadians doing the same thing. Use of the English language seems to be the lowest of scammer priorities, after all.

Yeah, ok. Back to work....

_________________
Never wrestle with a pig. You just get all dirty and the pig loves it.
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