Comedy king of spam

This is really old news – I actually remember when it happened, but I was reminded of it again having received Bruce Schneier‘s excellent Crypto-Gram newsletter this morning.

Crypto-Gram is “A free monthly newsletter providing summaries, analyses, insights, and commentaries on computer security and cryptography.” and is generally both worth reading, and not impossible for the mathmatically-challenged (that’s me, by the way).

This month, the lead article is about Alan Ralsky, a “spam king” who managed to grab the attention of Slashdot’s readers. In December he gave an interview to the Detroit Free Press in which he (rather foolishly) mentioned his new $750,000 house in West Bloomfield, Michigan. This was then posted to Slashdot, and one enterprising reader managed to track down his new postal address. Cue a subscription frenzy, with readers exacting revenge by subscribing him to “thousands of catalogs, mailing lists…” and such like.

Apparently, he now receives an obscene amount of junk mail – “hundreds of pounds [lbs] per day”, and has difficulty finding real mail amongst it. Ahhhh.

The feature in Crypto-Gram then goes on to talk about the prospect of automating this sort of attack through Google’s catalog search – a sort of automated revenge system for the technically competent?

FOOTNOTE: Ralsky apparently attempted legal action, which seemingly failed, and put his lawyer under the mailing-list spotlight as well! I guess some people just can’t take a joke, can they?