Pacific Tides
My name is Thomas Sturm and I'm a programmer, photographer and writer.

Now go outside and look at the sky.

Say Goodbye to Junk Email

Yep, that was the title of a piece of spam in my inbox... spam offering anti-spam software. Ha-ha... very funny.

So after deleting thousands of spam emails since the last Daily Spam, this one caught my attention. :-)

The spam email itself is a straight text email with no unsubscribe, so it's a piece of perfectly illegal spam. But whom to sue? The email was sent with a fake sender address from, so that doesn't help, and the email originated from a server in Brazil that is still there, but it doesn't do much, so I assume it is one of the typical open relays on the net... a badly administrated server that is taken over by spammers to do their thing.

Let's take a look at the other end then - the web site offering the anti-spam software for 50 bucks. It's at (go there at your own risk!) which is hosted in China and that page has a "secure" link to the order page at the bottom. Which very definitely is NOT secure. Not even close.

The order page tries hard to hide the source code and location, but it is hosted at, a server hosted by the Compass Communications, Inc. (who should maybe check into who their customers really are) in Seattle. The credit card data of the unsecured(!) page goes back to the same server, was seemingly registered until 10/18/03 by Ascern, Inc. which runs, a site offering travel services, cheap flight tickets and DVD rentals (that's an interesting combination, by the way!).

Did somebody fake Ascern's address for the registration? Well, I think I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now because they do not show up in any spammer database, but I have found similiar domains registered with the same slight misspellings ( for instance), so I guess somebody out there is using Ascern, Inc. as fake ID to register spam-advertised sites.

That's where the trail turns cold...

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