Controversial vigilante anti-spam service Blue Frog has decided to shut up shop after a spammer threatened to mount more denial-of-service attacks on its servers and those of its partners.
Two weeks ago, an unknown number of users of the service were bulk emailed by a single spammer telling them to stop using it or risk receiving even more spam. Its websites were also rendered unreachable on 2 May, most likely by a denial-of-service attack.
In recent days, however, threats of more attacks including on third-party and ISP sites associated with Blue Frog have convinced the company running the service, Blue Security, that it has no future.
"We cannot take the responsibility for an ever-escalating cyberwar through our continued operations," Eran Reshef, CEO and founder of Blue Security was quoted as saying to Symantec-owed news outlet, SecurityFocus.
"As we cannot build the Blue Security business on the foundation we originally envisioned, we are discontinuing all of our anti-spam activities and are exploring other, non spam-related avenues for our technological developments."
Launched last July, the do-not-intrude registry service has always been as controversial as it was innovative. Anyone signing up to Blue Frog was added to a mailing list that spammers were arm-locked into agreeing not to use. If they sent spam anyway, they risked being inundated with automated email returns, which critics pointed out was a form of denial-of-service attack.
A number of large spammers complied, but one spammer alleged to be PharmaMaster appears to decided to strike back, fearing the services success could set an example to others. It is said to have signed up 450,000 email users at its peak.