Sendmails Corp are a marketing firm that know that people will do anything for money – and that includes allowing their PCs to be used to send spam. The New Hampshire-based company is offering US$5 (€4.22) to internet users who download and install their VirtualMDA (Mail Delivery Agent) client, followed by US$1 for every hour of CPU time the agent uses sending out bulk emails to “customers”.
Despite fact that most net users complain bitterly about the unstoppable rise in unsolicited emails, anti-spam groups fear that plain old human greed will prompt people to sign up for the service, and spam will just get worse.
There is, of course another problem here. Sending spam isn’t SETI@home – it doesn’t take massive amounts of CPU cycles to even huge amounts of mail. Sendmail don’t really want your processor time – what they’re really after is your IP (internet protocol) address.
Companies who make a habit of making huge bulk mailings tend to get their IP address blocked by ISP’s mail servers. Internet service providers know who the key culprits are and block or at least heavily filter all mail coming from their domains. Users of VirtualMDA will be sending spam from their own IP address – and that’s not going to make your DSL provider very happy. They’ll ban you, and your email address may well get blocked by several mail providers.
Of course, Sendmail and their customers don’t care about this as plenty more people will sign up and take the US$1.