The goal

The proxypot project aims to intercept spam messages as they are being sent, record the sender's identity, and provide evidence that can be used to get the spammers kicked off the Internet and thrown in jail.

Success stories

A group of spammers in Michigan was pocket option for pc download spanked by the FTC for their fraudulent diet-pill spam, and are still facing criminal prosecution, thanks in part to evidence supplied by a proxypot. Information on the case is available on the FTC web site. There is a second case pending against 4 more members of the same pill-spamming ring. Since I haven't seen it show up elsewhere yet, here's a copy of the new criminal complaint against pill spammers John Lin, Steve Yui, Elaine Espinosa, and Daniel Mankani. (Large scanned-text PDF, sorry but that's how it was sent to me.) Be sure to read paragraph 40; it has a great punchline. A plain text version of the same document is here, but may contain errors since it was generated by OCR on the scanned PDF.

The "University Diploma" spammer who was pushing the https:/ phone number 1-510-892-4659 was terminated by his ISP thanks to proxypot evidence. (Or at least that's what one source says; I have seen no official public announcement of it and don't know if there will ever be one. It looks like a true story from this end though.)

The evidence

Evidence gathered from intercepted spam is periodically posted in the Reports area.

Targeted documentation

Further information on proxypot is available in several forms, each tuned to a specific target audience. So who are you?

For users

Basic principles

On the Internet there are some bad people. Bad people like to do bad things, and they don't like to get caught. One way they avoid getting caught is by using open proxy servers.

An open proxy is a server that forwards Internet connections from anywhere to anywhere, no questions asked. If you want to do something bad, and don't want to get caught, all you have to do is find an open proxy and tell it to do it. Nobody will know who did it, except the open proxy, and even there the records are usually short-lived or nonexistent.

An open proxy honeypot (proxypot) is a server that pretends to be an open proxy, taking requests from bad people to do bad things, and responding with a simulation instead of doing the evil deed. The goal is to fool the bad people into thinking they've done their bad thing and got away with it, while actually they didn't do it, and they got caught anyway!

The proxypot found here is designed primarily to catch one kind of Internet bad guy: the mail spammer.


Miscellaneous links

Completely unrelated