I've spent the last few days cleaning this "malicious toolkit" crap off my web site, and my patience for the Dark Side is wearing thin. People bright enough to write code ought to be able to find more entertaining, productive things to do with their time. My daughter says she doesn't feel sorry for me; she claims it's the price of Internet fame. I am, as David Herrold of the Houston Chronicle points out, more popular than a robot.
I got a little snappish, earlier, when I noticed I'd been spoofed by one of those companies in China offering "herbal supplements" to increase the length and girth of body parts I don't possess. But even worse, the little scum-sucking bottom dwellers are abusing a really nice company called 2 Fish Group, claiming recipients opted in and agreed to be spammed by them. I was immediately suspicious - having never heard of 2 Fish Group. "Bullshit," I muttered. "Opted in, my Aunt Fanny." Curiosity piqued (and fully cognizant of the fact that 2 Fish Group was as much a victim of these infantile and time-wasting marketing pseudotactics as I was), I dropped by their Web site. The following notice, in bright red letters, caught my attention:
NOTE: 2 Fish Group's name is being used without permission at the bottom of SPAM emails. We appreciate your patience as we resolve the issue. The emails are not being processed by our server. As always, 2 Fish Group strives to provide excellent service to our clients -- please know that our company is not involved in any way.
Given that I was already in a snitty mood, my first reaction was, "Nice way to disclaim all responsibility, but I'm still getting crap in my inbox - purportedly sent BY me - and you should be at least as concerned about the abuse of our good names as I am!" I have no idea what I thought they could do that I can't, but surely something. I used to send reports to the FBI and US Customs every time I got one of these things, and I've had the satisfaction of shutting down a few sploggers who violated my copyright, but it's like trying to sweep the beach free of sand.
I sought out 2 Fish Group's contact form and fired off a note that basically said, "Thanks for appreciating the patience I don't have, and I trust you're doing SOMETHING to get to the bottom of this..." And then got really, really irked that the "required fields" on their contact form weren't labeled. These guys do Web design? I filled in name and phone number fields with snide comments.
Some people shouldn't be allowed to type drunk; others, like me, should be required to have a shot of something other than caffeine before emailing people when they're already irritated.
I hereby apologize - and major kudos to Matt Ousdahl of 2 Fish Group, who not only replied promptly on a Saturday evening around 9 PM Eastern time, but had, within minutes of my clarifying the problem, fixed any issues with their contact form. I'll bet their paying clients get that personal touch, coupled with responsive, top-notch support.
At 2Fish we’re all about local businesses. We cater almost exclusively to the needs of independent businesses, helping them grow and succeed in a marketplace increasingly dominated by national chains and franchises. You see, it is our belief that independent businesses are the heart and soul of our nation and our local economies, and to allow these chains and “big box” stores to dominate our landscape is to allow the uniqueness of America’s heritage to be lost, and to expedite the degradation of our society and communities. So we decided to do something about it…