Stophaus Threatens Spamhaus in New Video
By Ken Magill
Update: The man in the mask clearly identifies himself as Andrew Stephens 13 seconds into the video referenced in this article. No excuses. I simply missed it.
The Stophaus story has certainly taken a turn for the weird.
The group of unknown numbers dedicated to destroying anti-spam outfit Spamhaus last week published a video on YouTube titled: “We Are Coming for You Spamhaus—Sincerely Stophaus.”
In the video, a man is wearing a version of the Guy Fawkes mask first made famous by the movie V for Vendetta and adopted by hacktivest group Anonymous. He accuses Spamhaus, among other things, of censoring Ron Paul, Best Buy, the Gap and Google Groups.
“The actions in themselves have cost the global economy billions in unrecoverable revenue,” he said. “Censorship has no place on the Internet. The Internet has been the last place of freedom in the world. It has been our home, our lives our stores, our phones, our radio, our television and even our communications. The Web is not designed to be filtered. That being said, I want to personally state that Stophaus does not stand for spam.”
By censorship, the Stophaus representative is presumably referring to blocklisting.
Spamhaus maintains a list of IP addresses its volunteers deem are sources of spam. Some email system administrators and Internet service providers use Spamhuas as part of their spam filtering formula.
Spamhaus is popular enough that listings on its anti-spam blocklist have been estimated to result in as much as 60 percent of the sender’s email being undeliverable.
In December, Spamhaus blocklisted Gap and other retailers for email sent to addresses with typographical errors.
The typos were believed to be the result of addresses incorrectly entered into the retailers’ databases at point of sale as part of their e-receipts programs—paperless systems that allow customers to have receipts delivered to their inboxes.
In March, someone or group launched what has been called the largest DDoS attack in Internet history against Spamhaus. A DDoS—or distributed denial of service—attack is designed to cripple a network by flooding it with so much useless traffic it can’t process all the requests. Stophaus, which has claimed some 400 members, took credit for the attack.
Stophaus claimed the attack was aimed at exposing Spamhaus to public scrutiny as part of some unexplained endgame.
“Before the largest attack in Web history, as the New York Times so sensationally put it, Spamhaus had been working in the shadows censoring your [unintelligible] communications,” said the man wearing the V-for-Vendetta mask in the YouTube video.
“Spamhaus has been an elusive terrorist cell since 2004, extorting countless Internet service providers and forcing them to terminate communications on behalf of governments and [unintelligible] corporations for over a decade and Stophaus has their number,” the man in the mask said. “We will not stand for censorship. We will not stand for libel. We will not stand for tyranny,” he said, with a poke of his finger at the word “tyranny” for emphasis.
The man in the V-for-Vendetta mask ended the video with a nonspecific threat against Spamhaus and its president Steve Linford.
“Let this be a warning to you Steven John Linford and the rest of your minions at Spamhaus,” he said. “We are coming for you, all the time, every day, every week, every month and every year. Expect us.”
Linford did not respond to an email asking if he’d seen the video.