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Is Eccentric Sven Olaf Kamphius To Blame For Spamhaus DDoS? 133

Posted by timothy
from the well-be-does-have-sort-of-a-guilty-look dept.
RougeFemme writes "Sven Olaf Kamphius, self-described 'Internet freedom fighter,' is reportedly at the center of the investigation into this week's alleged cyber-attack against Spamhaus, a group that fights Internet spam. Mr. Kamphius became incensed when Spamhaus blacklisted two companies that he runs, including Cyberbunker, a company that, earlier this week, claimed be under attack from Dutch swat teams. Though he initially solicited support for a DDoS against Spamhaus, he now disavows any direct role in the cyberattack, which threatened to slow some web traffic to a crawl."
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Is Eccentric Sven Olaf Kamphius To Blame For Spamhaus DDoS?

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  • s/iu/ui/ (Score:3, Informative)

    by OttoM (467655) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @04:36AM (#43317131)
    Yeah, I know, dutch double vowels are confusing...
  • by Delgul (515042) <gerard@ERDOSonli ... l minus math_god> on Saturday March 30, 2013 @04:49AM (#43317139) Homepage

    I heard an interview with this guy on the dutch radio and he is obviously a moron. He managed to contradict himself three times in as many sentences and obviously has no idea about how SH works. His servers are on our blacklists too and with good reason...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I second that. I really hope they prosecute this guys to the fullest extend of the law. We can really miss pigs like that.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The moment he's prosecuted, he'll become a hero around here.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 30, 2013 @05:49AM (#43317257)

          The moment he's prosecuted, he'll become a hero around here.

          What is it with Slashdot's (and other geek sites) support for criminals when they are geeks? Much of the vocal community supported Reiser very strongly when he was accused of killing his wife, interpreting and analyzing 'evidence' making the 'solid' case he was obviously set up - until he capitulated and showed the police where he had buried her. Same with Assange. Suddenly everybody here are experts in Swedish law, and know with certainty what did and did not happen, based on their expert analysis of select tidbits of information through secondary sources. At first a lot of people here claimed (with 'evidence') the women didn't even exist, while they were being interviewed by local media. As a Scandinavian following the US geek discussion of that case was part scary part funny. Our Kim Dotcom 'hero' has a long history of criminal activity (not the alleged copyright infringement, but real criminal credit card fraud, theft of calling cards, stock fraud, embezzlement, insider trading). Regardless of whether Kamphuis is behind the DDoS attack or not, his company has been proven repeatedly to host spammers. And still I can see the pattern repeating, just as you predict.

          • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Saturday March 30, 2013 @07:22AM (#43317423) Homepage

            What is it with Slashdot's (and other geek sites) support for criminals when they are geeks?

            Partly a bias the name of which I forgot, in which you require extraordinary amounts of proof against a member from your own group compared to what you'd require against someone from another group; partly the fact we like their tech and are worried further developments will be disrupted; and partly because technologists are usually on the anarchic side of things and don't see much (but not all) of what these people are accused of as morally wrong even if it's illegal (the "law isn't justice" dichotomy).

            That said, there are certain technologies that are themselves disruptive to other technologies, spam being the prime example, and thus those who defend it are seen as doing something morally wrong, precisely the case here. But there's a nuance in there. Technologists, although mostly anarchic, are also meritocratic, valuing technological prowess. Thus, if a highly skilled hackers manages to invade a system managed by a low skilled system administrator, that isn't seen as a simple invasion, but as a master teaching an apprentice a hard lesson so that he can figure out his deficiencies and improve (that the apprentice's boss doesn't see things this way is of no consequence). In any case, brute force techniques such as spammer delivery systems, DDoS via botnets and the like aren't themselves displays of skill, they're just displays of brute force. Developing such a system sure, is a clear display of skill. Using it, not so much.

          • by Viol8 (599362) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @07:26AM (#43317433)

            "What is it with Slashdot's (and other geek sites) support for criminals when they are geeks?"

            A large proportion of Slashdotters are still at the Stick-it-to-the-man age - anything up to 21-22yo, (maybe 25 if they're particularly immature). Rebelling against, parents, teachers etc. So in their eyes anyone who does have a go at The Man (even if The Man is you and I) is automatically a cyber warrior hero in their eyes.

            Luckily a lot of kids, most probably, don't suffer from this self important self righteous bollocks and even the ones who do eventually grow up and see that their actions are immature and counter productive. Unfortunately in the meantime we have to put up with a small subsection of the same age group doing the same old rebellious shit thinking they're changing the world and making life difficult for everyone else in the process. Plus ca change.

            • by ultranova (717540)

              A large proportion of Slashdotters are still at the Stick-it-to-the-man age - anything up to 21-22yo, (maybe 25 if they're particularly immature). Rebelling against, parents, teachers etc. So in their eyes anyone who does have a go at The Man (even if The Man is you and I) is automatically a cyber warrior hero in their eyes.

              The Man is not me. The Man is the 1% who are turning the world into a giant Panopticon and looting my pockets. I assure you, I'll hate them every bit as much no matter how old I get, an

              • by Viol8 (599362) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @09:16AM (#43317735)

                "The Man is not me"

                The Man is you if your internet access or activities have ever suffered because stupid little fuckwits on yet another cyber crusade for [insert cause of the week here] have screwed it up.

                "and looting my pockets."

                No one is looting your pockets. Learn some basic economics.

                • by demachina (71715)

                  Actually the current Fed campaign to hold interest rates artificially low for years going on a decade is in fact a form of "looting my pockets". Economist refer to it as "financial repression". In addition they rig the inflation rate computation and report it much lower than it really is, primarily by leaving out food and energy. They've also printed trillions of dollars since 2008 so they are debasing the currency, and are paying basically nothing on savings deposits so they are in fact stealing from peo

                  • Don't worry. As long as the world economy relies on the USD, this won't happen. And as long as the US keep stomping on everyone who ponders aloud switching to another currency for their international trade needs, that won't change.

                • Well, luckily I'm not in Cyprus, or I might disagree with that last statement...

              • by alexgieg (948359)

                The Man is not me. The Man is the 1% who are turning the world into a giant Panopticon and looting my pockets.

                It depends. Globally, if you own about $500k in stuff you're in the top 1% [policymic.com]. A house counts, a car, a TV etc. all count. Do you? If not, about $60k will put you on the top 10%. And even if you aren't there yet, if you're in a first world country, absent a catastrophe there's a very high probability at some point you will.

                I assure you, I'll hate them every bit as much no matter how old I get, and pity those who don't for suffering from a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome.

                Every single older person out there will tell you they thought so at the same point in their lives. You're human. You're a typical human at that. You follow the exact same psychobiological p

              • World wide the 1% is anyone who makes over $35k USD a year.
                In the United States there is over 300 million people. 1% of that is 3 million people.

                Do you think you can keep a conspiracy with 3 million people?

                We (Americans) live in a Democratic republic. The problems we have are complex and the electorate wants easy sound byte answers. (It is the rich people's fault, tax them until they are poor. It is the governments fault get rid of all government services and regulations. Get business out of government. Get

          • Because he's going to get railroaded with shitty evidence, the court isn't going to have a clue what any of it means, and then he'll get sentenced to 50yrs for something that the victim claims had little effect on their operations. It's not that he isn't guilty (I have no idea if he is or not) it's the farce that surrounds such trials that every despises, and the sentencing is ridiculous. He's should have to pay their costs for overtime to keep their sites up, any other damages that occurred and then serve

          • by Hentes (2461350)

            Because many here are liberal anarchists who don't believe in law.

            • I used to believe in laws. Back in the good ol' days when laws were put into place to create a balance, to protect those that could not protect themselves from those that wanted to abuse their position of power.

              It's kinda hard to remain on the side of the law when it abandoned this function and sided with power against the ones it should defend.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            What is it with Slashdot's (and other geek sites) support for criminals when they are geeks? Much of the vocal community supported Reiser very strongly when he was accused of killing his wife, interpreting and analyzing 'evidence' making the 'solid' case he was obviously set up - until he capitulated and showed the police where he had buried her. Same with Assange.

            You have here used a cheap technique of propaganda to conflate Reiser and Assange. So tired of that kind of cheap shit from people too afraid to create a throwaway slashdot account.

          • It's priorities. I don't know Reiser's wife, but I know his file system. It don't know the women Assange allegedly raped but I know of his work. And Reiser's system as well as Assange's work is more important to the geek community than their alleged crimes. Does that "justify" those crimes? No. But bluntly, I neither care about the wife nor about the women. I do care about reiserfs and wikileaks. Take a wild guess what side I'll root for.

            Kimmiboy is another issue, and personally I'd love to see him disappea

          • by Sigg3.net (886486)

            I'm not apologizing, but wouldn't that be defending the group's identity?

            I just watched TPB AFK, and it really brought across the message (to me anyway) that behind "heroes" are regular people. TPB and the case of free information culture (whether separate or not) is better understood and stated by everyone else than the 4 guys of TPB.

            But I sympathize with them, uncritically, because I recognize a geek anywhere, being one myself.

            I can recommend the film! It was more nuanced than I'd expected.

          • by Xest (935314)

            This post is stupid, you're implying Dotcom and Assange are criminals when they've not yet been found guilty of anything. This says more about your bias than it does about the majority of Slashdot supporting them.

            Specifically though, both Assange and Dotcom have support outside the "geek" community too, in fact I'd wager in Assage's case at least the majority of the world's population recognise there's something really fishy.

            For me in the UK, it's rather obvious that something is up, we can trivially extrad

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Dutch "Openbaar Ministerie" (public prosecution) is currently looking into the issue.

        • by gmack (197796)

          That name must result in a lot of very disappointed foreigners.

          • It does sound like a place where you could have a good time, doesn't it?

            Then again, a lot of things sound a lot more funny in Dutch.

    • by Zan Zu from Eridu (165657) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @05:36AM (#43317225) Journal
      He's not a moron (in spite of his eyebrows), he just plays one. This guy earns a ton by providing services to well known spammers and other criminal organisations, but every time he makes the headlines and gets interviewed he either plays the naïve internet activist or the village idiot, depending on his public.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        He's not a moron (in spite of his eyebrows), he just plays one.

        This guy earns a ton by providing services to well known spammers and other criminal organisations, but every time he makes the headlines and gets interviewed he either plays the naïve internet activist or the village idiot, depending on his public.

        Sociopath? Check.

        Pandering to the current audience? Check.

        Vocal idiotic supporters who'll defend him no matter what he does? Check.

        He should probably run for political office.

        He's perfectly qualified....

        • by 1s44c (552956)

          You say this guy has supporters but who are they? Everyone on here hates him.

          Maybe the spam scumbags like him, but everyone hates them too.

          • Everyone HERE does. I tend to think that /. is still, at least to some degree, filled with people who have at least a higher than average intelligence and a hint more knowledge about the inner workings of the internet and such.

            But then again, despite the ever higher climbing UIDs, we're a tiny minority.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      I heard an interview with this guy on the dutch radio and he is obviously a moron.

      I'm sorry to hear that. I was hoping with the name and accent and all that he'd at least have Bond supervillain intelligence and could be played in the movie by Mads Mikkelsen.

    • Not an idiot just applying the classic Big Lie Strategy, whilst most experts are still blustering at the absurdity of the lie; he's moving on to announce his next big lie.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @05:34AM (#43317221) Homepage

    For those who can't read Dutch, and thus rely on second hand sources:

    http://www.automatiseringgids.nl/nieuws/2013/13/cyberbunker-niet-meer-in-bunker-kloetinge [automatiseringgids.nl]
    Claims Cyberbunker hasn't used the bunker location since 2010. I guess that explains why the claimed SWAT thing wasn't reported in Dutch news (and also why they waited to pose so nicely on the picture). The bunker location is currently property of http://www.bunkerinfra.com/ [bunkerinfra.com] which apparently has several such locations and has nothing to do with the old occupant.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      He has not only been lying about having a bunker and operating "Cyberbunker" from it, when the real bunker has in fact been owned by another company with whom he has no connection at all for the last 2 years and they say he's an idiot they last saw when they bought the bunker 2 years ago, but when he did have a couple of 'servers' in the bunker many years ago it was visited by Dutch police (after a fire broke out) and they found just a few servers in one room and an Ecstasy Lab in the room next to it. That

    • by Incadenza (560402)

      I guess that explains why the claimed SWAT thing wasn't reported in Dutch news (and also why they waited to pose so nicely on the picture).

      The picture on their site does not even a show SWAT team (which would be a ‘arrestatieteam’), it shows ‘Mobiele Eenheid’, i.e. Riot Control. Or does anyone think they would use those batons to hit the bomb-proof door? Also, that kind of shield is good against bricks, but not against bullets.

      Mobiele Eenheid is very seldom used for police raids. They only keep these at hand when they suspect a lot of bystanders that will interfere with a riad (trailer parks, really bad neigbourhoods),

      • by sgt scrub (869860)

        "trailer parks"? What is up with the trailer hate? Parkies are people to thank you very much. :P

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They never said once they were under attack by SWAT teams, their website merely states they have in the past successfully slept-through an attempted SWAT raid that failed at the blast doors. Whether or not this is even true is questionable. It was most certainly not recent however.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      It would be fun have an old missile silo or something with hardened blast doors and then watch the fun on hidden camera if you got SWATed or something.

      I'd love the police goon squad to show up at an address with their usual battering ram, automatic small arms, and tear gas, only to discover they can't get through the door and have been played to boot.

      • Yes, it would be so entertaining to watch police be diverted from actually fighting real crime over a prank. Think about what you said. There is *nothing* funny or entertaining about 'SWATting', regardless of whether you are the one perpetrating it or the target, or just a spectator.

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          Yes, it would be so entertaining to watch police be diverted from actually fighting real crime over a prank

          In the case of general police offices sure; your sarchasam is well placed but not for SWAT. Where SWAT teams are concerned anything that impairs them is a good thing. The police are supposed to be a civilian force; not a paramilitary unit. The entire idea of SWAT teams on police forces is abusive. If this situation calls for a SWAT team than its so out of hand that its not simply a criminal matter any more its a rebellion and should be dealt with by National Gard at the direction of someone clearly ac

          • by mjwalshe (1680392)
            Actually many European countries have paramilitary police forces there is a lot of difference between the constabulary model and a gendarmerie.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Yes, it would be so entertaining to watch police be diverted from actually fighting real crime over a prank.

          False dichotomy. Third option, hoovering up donuts and harassing the populace on specious grounds. At least half of my interaction with cops have been pure bullshit, pulling me over on a lie to get a better look at me. Pulled over for no bumper when I clearly had one, pulled over for making a perfectly legal pass on the right and then he claimed I hadn't stopped at a sign which I had, etc etc. But now I drive a Mercedes and if I forget to put my tags on all year I don't get pulled over, they just run my pla

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      their website merely states they have in the past successfully slept-through an attempted SWAT raid that failed at the blast doors.

      SWAT teams are well known for just giving up and going home if they can't get in, of course.

      • by danomac (1032160)

        Naw, if they can't bomb the blast-proof door, they just move a few feet down and blow a hole in the 6" wall.

  • If someone had objective evidence, as opposed to an opinion or a feeling, that Kamphius had masterminded or participated in the campaign, then they would have already come forward publicly. They certainly would not withhold the information and then suddenly be inspired to reveal their secret just because Slashdot decides to speculate about it. Asking the question here just generates traffic but does nothing at all to answer it.

    • by thaylin (555395) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @07:21AM (#43317413)
      He posted to his facebook that he was behind it, of course he has sense deleted it. On marge 21 he wrote

      "Hi Spamhaus, despite allowing your crap to be back up for a day or so, i see our demands still have not been met. stand by for more.".

      • by thaylin (555395)
        bah since
      • by macraig (621737)

        Doesn't invalidate my point that trying to foment discussion about it here is point-less and serves no purpose except to drive traffic, does it? I have misgivings about helping drive the traffic by commenting.

        • by thaylin (555395)
          No, it just invalidates the first part of your point, not the entire point.. But than again this is a site that needs to make money to live, so driving traffic is not necessarily a bad thing.
          • by macraig (621737)

            Driving traffic isn't always evil, but drivel like this doesn't offer much value in return for it! There's no value in speculating about whether he did or didn't. Does Slashdot aspire to become the Enquirer tabloid of tech news? Now there's a question worth some speculation! :-)

        • Doesn't invalidate my point that trying to foment discussion about it here is point-less and serves no purpose except to drive traffic, does it? I have misgivings about helping drive the traffic by commenting.

          Then stop posting. If needed suggest Slashdot adds something to the FAQ to explain how to not post comments. Also suggest they add something to help people distinguish their personal opinions from objective points.

  • I find this hilarious. I am picturing some 1's and 0's threatening some other 1's and 0's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 30, 2013 @07:40AM (#43317479)

    From TFA:

    "He describes himself in his own Web postings as an Internet freedom fighter, along the lines of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, with political views that range from eccentric to offensive. His likes: German heavy metal music, "Beavis and Butt-head" and the campaign to legalize medicinal marijuana. His dislikes: Jews, Luddites and authority."

    Anyone want to put that profile on a dating site to see if it garners interest?

  • Everyone hates SPAM, so obviously Spamhaus is good and Cyberbunker is evil...

    ...except, SPAM exists because SMTP is broken, and we can't fix SMTP because of the network effect, and SMTP is not really awful enough to fix because ...wait for it ...Spamhaus. So, it is not entirely clear to me that this guy who fights for a free and open Internet is really the bad guy. Wouldn't it be better if we actually FIXED THE PROBLEM instead of suppressing anonymity to compensate?

    No pancake is so thin that it has only
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I know. It's not fair to blame robbers -- locks are too easy to fix.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Everyone hates SPAM, so obviously Spamhaus is good and Cyberbunker is evil... ...except, SPAM exists because SMTP is broken, and we can't fix SMTP because of the network effect, and SMTP is not really awful enough to fix because ...wait for it ...Spamhaus. So, it is not entirely clear to me that this guy who fights for a free and open Internet is really the bad guy. Wouldn't it be better if we actually FIXED THE PROBLEM instead of suppressing anonymity to compensate?

      No pancake is so thin that it has only one side.

      And Charles Manson was an activist, too.

      Deliberately misuing a tool for illegal activity just because it CAN be miused doesn't exonerate ANYONE.

      Good God, you fucking moron.

    • It sounds like you are suggesting...spam filters, hashcash, and greylisting. Oh, wait, we do that already.

      The reason SMTP endures despite numerous attempts to replace it is that it does one thing and it does it well. Spam exists because SMTP is so good at delivering messages, and because it does so cheaply. I will not be parting with email any time soon.

      Much as I dislike Spamhaus, it is hard to side with someone whose grievances include "Jew lies."
      • Spam exists because SMTP is so good at delivering messages, and because it does so cheaply

        I would add to those two, and for the same reason, something equally important : you don't need anybody's permission to use it

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      What technical fix do you suggest?

      I run mail servers. I'll happily change them if I never have to see spam again. The problem is that everyone has to change theirs too which might just be possible given that the entire world hates spam.

    • No pancake is so thin that it has only one side.

      You haven't tried my Mobius pancake recipe.

    • by kwark (512736)

      "...except, SPAM exists because SMTP is broken"

      SPAM exists because it works, people are clicking/buying stuff advertised through SPAM.

      There is nothing wrong with email if you consider it the equivalent to mail. Anybody can stuff your mailbox with stuff you think is undesirable, only difference is stuffing your emailbox costs less.

  • What about the idea that Spamhaus, by being a blacklist, is denying service to all sorts of websites itself? Why is a DDOS attack that much different from what they do every day?

    I mean, sure, they block a lot of spam, but what about all the times someone's domain gets blacklisted and it's not spam? And yeah, I realize domain admins opt in to use their blacklists.

    It still does not change the fact it's a denial of service, coming from a self-appointed body that is in no better position to judge what is and is

    • by Phroggy (441)

      What about the idea that Spamhaus, by being a blacklist, is denying service to all sorts of websites itself? Why is a DDOS attack that much different from what they do every day?

      I mean, sure, they block a lot of spam, but what about all the times someone's domain gets blacklisted and it's not spam? And yeah, I realize domain admins opt in to use their blacklists.

      I don't think you really understand what you're talking about. First of all, Spamhaus isn't denying service to web sites; they're listing IP addresses of known spam sources. Mail administrators use the list to block email - not web sites - from those IPs. Spamhaus is just one of many such services, but Spamhaus happens to be the best. Why is that? Exactly because they keep the false positives to a minimum. What you're talking about theoretically COULD happen, and certainly does happen with other black

      • by cheros (223479)

        Believe me, if we were blocking legitimate mail, our users would complain. It's not happening.

        How would they know they're not receiving email? I'm all for what Spamhaus does and have used their lists on many mail servers, but I have also been on the receiving end when they had it wrong.

        I was abroad, and the ISP I was using was blocked. Spamhaus basically tells you "talk to the ISP", but if you're dealing with a large ISP the theory that they will pay any attention to you doesn't always work. It wasn't di

    • by raxx7 (205260)

      Spamhaus are not self appointed.
      We, the system administrators, choose to use or not Spamhaus' black list (or any black list) in our systems to reject potential spammers.
      And we, the system administrators, are responsible for consequences of choosing to use a black list in our systems, including the possibility of rejecting legitimate messages and users and all that stems from it, from complains from your users to your boss yelling at you because the e-mail system rejected that important e-mail he was expecti

    • by Todd Knarr (15451)

      Simple: Spamhaus blocks not a single thing. Anywhere. Ever.

      I block things by configuring my servers to check Spamhaus' list and use it to control what I accept and what I reject. If I choose not to use Spamhaus' list, Spamhaus can't and doesn't do a single blessed thing to prevent e-mail from a domain they list from being accepted by my server.

      By saying you don't want Spamhaus to be able to work, you're saying you want to deny me any right to control my own servers.

      And yes, Spamhaus does expand it's blocki

    • by theNAM666 (179776)

      It's not an *attack*.

      That is all.

  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @11:59AM (#43318569) Journal

    Mr. Kamphuis’s current nemesis is Spamhaus, a group based in Geneva that fights Internet spam by publishing blacklists of alleged offenders. Clients of Spamhaus use the information to block annoying e-mails offering discount Viagra or financial windfalls. But Mr. Kamphuis and other critics call Spamhaus a censor that judges what is or isn’t spam. Spamhaus acted, he wrote, “without any court verdict, just by blackmail of suppliers and Jew lies.”

    • Clients of Spamhaus use the information to block annoying e-mails offering discount Viagra or financial windfalls. But Mr. Kamphuis and other critics call Spamhaus a censor that judges what is or isn’t spam.

      Unsolicited email is spam. It is not the content that makes it spam, it is the fact that it is unsolicited. Spammers never seem to address the unsolicited part of the argument.

  • He is not fighting for a free and open internet. CyberBunker says it accepts business from any site as long as it does not deal in “child porn nor anything related to terrorism.” This tells you immediately he is NOT fighting for a free and open Internet. He is fighting for the right to spam because he deems spam acceptable. I'm in favor of a free and open Internet. Completely free, spam, porn, games, copyrighted content, etc... I also believe in being allowed to use RBL's to filter out

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