I’m Crying a River Here

One of the major purveyors of Russian Viagra spam found murdered.

I wish I felt worse about the fact that my first reaction to this bit of news was to say “good.”

But, yeah. I don’t.

Update: Apparently, a hoax.

27 Comments on “I’m Crying a River Here”

  1. Live by the ‘botnet, die by the bullet.

    I feel a little bad for anyone who loves him, but on the whole, I can’t say I regret his death.

  2. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, liberated!

    Yeah, well… While I mourn the loss of a human life to murder…

    Live by the spam, die by the sword.

  3. Odds are, it wasn’t vigilante justice, but that he ticked off someone important in the Russian mob. Possibly by sending spam.

    Or by saying “nyet” to “protection” payments or some such.

  4. Kushnir has his head caved in with a wrench. Dating back to the last days of the USSR, when telecom was pretty much under KGB control, private telecom and computer networks in Russua tend to be Mafia-affiliated, either by direct ownership or minority control (for money laundering). My local Mafia guy in Moscow was big into computers in 1989.

    I have a feeling the bosses don’t like paying for the bandwidth and express their displeasure this way.

  5. So he gets (well, got) a percentage of all the sales of these products he advertises via spam and he made about 2mil a year?

    Who are these people who are clicking on the spam? For the love of all that is holy, STOP FEEDING THE SPAM INDUSTRY, people!!! There are plenty of other ways to purchase products to enhance your sexual organs! Just google it already if that is what you are looking for.

    (I’m not directing this at anyone here. I have more faith in Scalzi readers than that. I’m just amazed that there are that many people out there that actually decide to be persuaded by a spambotted email to pay for a drug to ingest into their actual body with the words “B A re41 m4n w1t H A re41 P3n15!!” )

  6. As we used to say in Jr. High, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.” It is a pity that he died fast though. He deserved a sadistic killer who would make sure it took a week or so of intense pain to kill him.

    May other spammers similarly meet their ends, especially that damn Nigerian money-smuggling crowd.

  7. Unfortunately, further evidence is available.

    The blog is on a domain that was just created, and appears to have no pointers to it in google except for that one page.

    There aren’t any corroborating stories in the press.

  8. “McAfee has more information”

    Damn, but I didn’t realize that McAfee’s anti-spam program was so effective. Now what does poor Norton have to do to up the ante? Invade Nigeria, maybe?

  9. Well, yeah, I’d be more excited if I didn’t know that spammers are like cock(heh heh)roaches, stomp on one, and ten more come to funeral.

  10. Hmm I epxected more from the commenters here. Look, if email spam is an actually issue for any of you, uh, how do I say this politely?

    Oh hell, I won’t bother – If spam is hitting your inboxes, get off your lazy behinds and start filtering it. There’s no reason for you to see spam in your inbox anymore and if you do it’s your own damn fault.

    Really folks, if you don’t have a decent spam filter running by now, you deserve the hassle. I get dozens of spam emails in my GMail account. Far more than 99% of them are filtered, virtually none of my legitimate emails are misidentified. All of my other addresses are forwarded there, so those emails are filtered as well. Occasionally I have to manually nuke a couple of emails. Per day. I can’t get all worked up about that

    I don’t like spammers. I get that they’re bad, I get that viruses etc spread that way (among others). I get that it’s a HUGE issue for IT and that spam and the filtering technologies make email less useful.

    But rejoicing over someone’s murder is way more reprehensible than spamming. If email spam is anywhere close to a major issue for your email accounts you have a pretty stress-free life.

  11. Well, jeez, Rick, I’d like to get up there on that pedestal with you, but Lot’s of people die in this world every day. Many don’t deserve it. For some it’s just their time, for others it’s a dammed shame, and for others – well, they’ve got it coming. And I’ll shed no tears for this parasite, his death gives me joy and I hope his compatriots soon follow him, and all your moral posturing isn’t going to change that. So thanks for the thought, now piss off.

  12. You know, I spend hours every day fighting spam for my company…and while I won’t be shedding any tears if it were true, I certainly wouldn’t be dancing a tarantella and fantasizing about killing other people over the perceived damage waged by spam.

    If people were really as bothered by spam as they claim to be, they’d push much harder for a new e-mail standard that would address many of the root causes of these exploits, and make sure all the machines that they have a responsibility for are patched to be secure…because for these spammers to be effective, they need to use botnets. For botnets to be effective, people merely have to put there machines in a public place and leave them vulnerable there.

  13. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, liberated!

    Hoax?

    El fuck.

  14. Why don’t I just filter out spam? Because no spam filter can have the human intellegence it takes to get it right every time. I don’t mind when an occasional Canadian pharmacy ad gets through. But I mind VERY MUCH when a filter throws out real e-mail. That I can not tolerate, so I don’t use filters. I even got my ISP to bypass their filters on my account.

    Now, that said, I get very little spam. Maybe 5 on an average day, sometimes as high as 10, sometimes none. None of them are ever pornographic. So it isn’t a big deal for me personally.

    But spam is a public blight, and every time one of these carbonated turds sends out 10,000,000 claims that “You have won 2 millions dollars USA based from your post code” it steals that much bandwidth. They steal money from those who believe them, which is even more reprehensible. Talk to someone who has lost their entire savings account because they got a false warning apparently from their own bank that there was a security problem. You would see that it is not “perceived damage.”

    It is unreasonable to expect millions of barely computer literate people around the world to put measures in place to stop spam. It is necessary to stop the spammers. They are the problem, they need to stopped. No mercy.

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