Spam shuts down wireless at local coffee house

After reading multiple national sources on this, I figured it’s about time to weigh in. I got word of the fiasco before it hit the News and Record from IMs and Sue’s post. Green Bean’s wifi was abused by a spammer…
Uhh.. okay?


My first thought was that someone was not careful and had been clicking on those spam e-mails with Viagra and other types of popups. Hey, who knows what people click on these days. You should know better if you own a computer in the ideal world, but in reality, people actually do click the most random things. Call it computer ignorance, but it happens. So perhaps it was a zombie laptop.
So then the N&R article went live. Still no detailed information, so the conclusions were still based on logical deductions. Amusingly enough, WiFiNetnews picked it up and so did ArsTechnica, both are well established technical sites.
Glenn Fleishman of WiFiNetNews takes some jabs at the N&R article due to the non-technical details echoes the thoughts that I had on how it probably wasn’t “millions of spam” originating from the wifi hotspot, but instead a spam push that was traced back to the Green Bean’s IP. There were some solutions that were given, but it was noted that most open hotspots have the same issue regardless.
Arstechnica also provided some solutions such as blocking port 25, which is smtp port. Unfortunately, there are many ways to bypass a port block, of which many spammers already incorporate into their trojans. Port 25 blocks are a thing of the past when it comes to the more technologically devious spammers.
No knowing what sort of new hardware Pete and company bought from the ISP to stop this spamming, I hope they didn’t spend much since they’re no different than running Nocat or chillispot which are opensource wifi portals. While this will at least give you some sort of protection, you pretty much are in the open when it comes to open hotspots unless you do some heavy duty filtering/logging systems. These systems are the equivalent to leaving the front door of your store open and hoping that no one will shoplift anything. There’s always someone there that will come in and do it, and the only thing you can do is install a surveillance camera and go back to try to capture the creep.
I hope the Green Bean, which is a favorite of many downtown-goers replaces their hotspot in a timely fashion (supposed to go up today). Either way, it’s interesting to see the them get some shine due to punk spammer.