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Knujon spam fighting made possible by open source

We know who the bad registrars are. We’re trying to work with ICANN to handle it. There are a couple of more like Registerfly, and they’re allowing all this to happen.

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Within sight of Mt. Snow in Vermont retired programmer Bob Bruen is using the economics of open source to fight spam in a new way.

KnujOn takes spam apart and then shuts spam landing sites down for violating ISP policies.

"We figure out where the landing sites are and take the spammers down due to policy enforcement," Bruen said.

"We figure out the rules and use them. We simply say they lied to you here. We’ve shut down 50,000 sites. The more email that comes in the more we can shut them down.

"Spamhaus accuses people of spamming. What we’re doing is automating the process and building it on a larger scale. They’ve identified 10-15 people, but it takes time to do that. What we’re doing is backing into making them do things."

Bruen thinks spammers can be cut off forever if registrars which continue to do business with them can be forced to stop, or close.

"We know who the bad registrars are. We’re trying to work with ICANN to handle it. There are a couple of more like Registerfly, and they’re allowing all this to happen."

Bruen is an old Unix hand, a wizard with Perl, and while his son (and partner) Garth is a Windows user he says open source is essential to his business.

"I could not run this business all Windows. I couldn’t afford the licenses. All my machines came from auctions, or  I put them together. It’s self-funded. We don’t have any VC money. We have to build ourselves."

Bruen also gets help from the open source community, as with a new Thunderbird plug-in which automates the collection of spam for investigation.

"I’ve been using open source forever and I trust it more. I can also get starter code from the Perl web site to do work I need. It’s hard to do that otherwise." Also, "open source people tend to be open about things, making it easier to get things done."

You can track KnujOn's success at its news page, but Bruen would prefer you give the site a paid registration or sign up for its brand protection services. He promises a cold rain is gonna fall for spammers, with your support.