Lycos's vigilante attack on spammers has been hit by a vigilante attack. Spammers are suspected.
Lycos is offering a screensaver which, once downloaded, would launch a Distributed Denial of Service attack against spam websites. A DDoS attack makes constant requests to a specific part of a website until it gets overloaded and falls over. Such attacks are illegal in most countries. Security firm FSecure advises people not to download the program because of legal concerns.
The "makelovenotspam" campaign was launched yesterday but within hours the front page was replaced with the message "Yes, attacking spammers is wrong. You know this, you shouldn't be doing it. Your IP address and request have been logged and will be reported to your ISP for further action."
At the time of writing the site - www.makelovenotspam.com - was unavailable.
Lycos told ZDNet that no attack had happened. Chief spin doctor Malte Pollman said: "This is a hoax. We have obviously reached our goal and are getting to the spammers. On our servers we don't have any logs of an attack." The company also denied it was launching denial of service attacks - just that it was reducing bandwidth to five per cent.