Anti-Spamhaus Group Stophaus Disappears
By Ken Magill
And ironically, it may be because one of its own tactics was used against its members.
The website for anti-Spamhaus group Stophaus no longer loads. The group’s last tweet is dated July 6.
Neither the group’s official Twitter feed nor one of its more vocal members, Andrew J. Stephens, responded to a direct Twitter inquiry asking whether or not Stophaus has closed shop.
Stophaus has claimed to be behind a massive DDoS attack launched against Spamhaus in March.
A DDoS attack is designed to cripple a network by flooding it with so much useless traffic it can’t process all the requests.
Spamhaus maintains a list of what it claims are sources of spam. Many email inbox providers such as Yahoo! and Comcast use Spamhaus’s listings as at least part of their formula for determining whether or not incoming email is spam. It has been estimated that a listing on Spamhaus can result in as much as 60 percent of a mailer’s messages getting blocked from reaching recipients.
According to various sources, Spamhaus’s servers were at one point in March being inundated with 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, three times larger than the previous record attack of 100 Gbps.
After the March attack, Stophaus claimed new, massive attacks were on the way. They apparently have yet to materialize.
According to Steve Linford, chief executive of Spamhaus, Stophaus went dark because someone began publicly identifying its members.
“Someone began publicly outing the individuals behind 'STOPhaus', all of them dedicated cybercrime hosts well known to us, based in Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, who really did not want their real names and domains outed as there is great police interest in them,” he wrote in an email exchange with the Magill Report.
Ironically, someone from Stophaus or a kindred spirit published what they claimed was Linford’s home address in the comments sections of two articles on this website recently in an apparent effort to scare Linford into thinking people who would like to do him harm now would know where he lives.
According to Linford, the address was that of a rental property he owns in France.
It is unclear where Stophaus participants’ names were originally made public. A post on anti-spam discussion group Nanae identifies them as Andrew Stephens and Sven Kamphuis—two men who have already been publicly linked to Stophaus—and a Russian and a Ukrainian who previously had not been linked to Stophaus.
The Nanae post, however, did not source the information. Hence, no link here.