My main interest in computer security is as an anti-spammer, or "anti" as the spammers call us. I was a regular at Castlecops.com until it was put down. I'm still a regular at the Firetrust forums. I'm most active at the KS Forums (Kill Spammers forums, previously at thecarpcstore.com), but they're not currently publicly visible because of spammer retaliation. Our SpamWiki is still public at http://spamtrackers.eu/wiki .
I found bleepingcomputer.com from Googling things I find in task manager to find out what they are and why they feel they need to launch themselves every time my computer boots.
Malware and spam have become very closely related. The majority of spam (in terms of total emails sent) is sent from hijacked computers and is being hosted on hijacked servers. It often is advertising links to sites that will download a trojan to help make your computer another zombie in their botnet, like an electronic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
There is a massive potential for profit from this. The same computer used to host a scam pharmacy might also host a phishing site to steal credit card numbers and banking passwords. And a botnet of these computers can be used to attack other websites -- maybe to try to shut down antispam sites like KS and Castlecops, but also to extort money from commercial businesses or even to gain military advantage, as happened when computers all over Russia participated in distributed denial of service attacks against computers in Georgia in advance of the Russian invasion of that republic.
Because spammers are in it for the money and we "antis" are mostly volunteers, a lot of us feel the most effective long term solution is to help other computer users educate themselves about the criminal nature of spam and the websites it advertises, so potential victims are less easily deceived by spammers. I'll just put a plug in here to ask everyone to do some reading in places like the SpamWiki to find out what the risks are and how to avoid them, so you don't inadvertently aid criminals by allowing them the use of your computer.
I very much appreciate the information available on bleepingcomputer.com, which has helped me out so many times.
Edited by KoanYorel, 17 January 2009 - 02:24 AM.