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Thursday, December 02, 2004
Lycos Europe Loves You, Motherf#$%er
Who -- who, I ask you -- could have predicted that Lycos' "make love not spam" screensaver, intended to create an army of drone machines that download data from sites advertised in spam and thereby increase the bandwidth costs associated with spamming, would end up acting like a vigilante-style DOS attack and knock sites completely off the Web?

Well, pretty much everybody except for Lycos, apparently, who stated at release that the software was specifically not intended to overload the target servers. Alas for Lycos, the BBC is reporting today that in the three cases checked by Netcraft, the targeted servers were either completely offline or responding only intermittently. That's with just an estimated 90,000 downloads of the screensaver, running for less that a week.

It's not just that fact that Lycos is merrily handing bricks, torches, and bottled water to the angry mob that disturbs me, it's that they seem to genuinely believe that only the houses of the wicked will get burned to the ground. No apparent thought given to Joe jobs, shared servers, or misuse of the software through security breach or insider abuse, just to hit a few of the more obvious possibilities.

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