Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

Computer People Play a Duel Role that Serves Many Masters
by Doug Chick

Many of you probably don't think about it, but we sometimes have to work for the dark side of the net too, especially when jobs are scares and we have bills to pay. Who do you think harvests all the e-mail addresses for Spam and builds all the porn sites? You know who. Someone e-mailed me today asking what they could do to keep spammers from getting their e-mail address? I thought, I can't think of anything you can do to keep me from getting your e-mail address, much less spammers. Hell, I can't stop people from spamming me. I've even gone into spammers machines and renames the admin passwords and shut all of the services down. Now I just delete, delete delete...It doesn't bother me anymore. I used to track down the IP Address and block their entire range from accessing my network. But now it would be a full time job. Most spammers use other peoples mail servers to send their mail. And since 90% of all mail servers are open to mail forwarding, there's not much that you can do. Many computer people have played a duel role in their careers: they have worked as Security Administrators protecting large companies from the bad intruding Hackers, and their next job could very well be that of the Attacker. 

Below are a few examples of duel role computer jobs: 

Spammers and Harvesters: You already know what a spammer is, but many computer people have never heard of a harvester? A harvester is someone that goes out and retrieves e-mail addresses for a specific market demographic and sells them to the spammers. Say company X might need a group of e-mail addresses for people that might be interested in penis enlargements, so a harvester might harvest addresses from groups interested in sports cars or bodybuilding. 

Commercial hacking: There are commercial hackers that break into companies, monitor their e-mail, even set up registries to forward all incoming and outgoing mail to an alias account. And if they can't access their target network via the Internet, then they find a job with the company that will grant them access to the building. I mean what's easier, trying to bypass routers and firewalls or just get a night time data entry job, or security guard or janitor. There's also industrial espionage. I'll leave those possibilities to your imagination. There was a time that I thought software companies housed their own hackers to do nothing but espionage their competition. I can't use any examples, in fear of a lawsuit, but it happens. 

Porn sites: I think that there are more porn sites on the Internet than Jesus sites made with FrontPage express. (I mean I've heard.) I think porn sites invented popups. (you know what I mean.) I once interviewed for a network administrators position in Seattle for a company that had phone sex and porn sites. I expected to walk it to an office that looked like Singapore's red light district where people were going at it right there in the middle of a lit stage and rows of cubicles with old women answering the phones. Needless to say it was nothing like that at all. In fact, it was very professional with no obvious indication of what type of business it was. I think that I would have gotten the job too, if not for the comment I made about a hooker, a diuretic chimpanzee and an umbrella. I never know how to answer the question of where I see myself in 5 years.

I'll add more to this article later in the week.



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