Internet portal Lycos has made a screensaver that endlessly requests data from sites that sell the goods and services mentioned in spam e-mail. Lycos hopes will it make the monthly bandwidth bills of spammers soar by keeping their servers running flat out. The net firm estimates that if enough people sign up and download the tool, spammers could end up paying to send out terabytes of data.
The list of sites that the screensaver will target is taken from real-time blacklists generated by organisations such as Spamcop. To limit the chance of mistakes being made, Lycos is using people to ensure that the sites are selling spam goods. As these sites rarely use advertising to offset hosting costs, the burden of high-bandwidth bills could make spam too expensive, said Pollmann.
"We've never really solved the big problem of spam which is that its so damn cheap and easy to do," said Malte Pollmann, spokesman for Lycos Europe. "In the past we have built up the spam filtering systems for our users," he said, "but now we are going to go one step further."
News source: BBC Technology