back to article Viagra spam shop live on Twitter for a month

Canadian Pharmacy spammers have set up shop on Twitter, staying online for weeks despite complaints from a leading security firm that would normally prompt action. The micro-blogging account @canadianshop features nothing beyond links to unlicensed sites selling Viagra and other prescription medicines - just the sort of thing …

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Hooray - Twitter finds a business model

and the spams are probably more interesting that the crap put out by the rest of the twats.

Paris, 'cos I think she'll go down on this one.

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Grenade

The business model has always been there

That is the Web 2.0 business model - anything for another personalised ad impression. Nothing is sacred. Personal info? Privacy? Wass dat?

LinkedIn is a prime example - there scammers and spammers reign supreme. I am surprised it took Twitter so long to get there.

The scary bit is that there are people talking about Web 3.0 now. I really do not want to think what will that be...

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Dead Vulture

But we have to think about it!

How else can we find out what it's made out of? 2.0 is made of badgers paws as everyone knows by now. When is the 3.0 competition going to start? I feel left out already... El Reg, step up! We're depending on you.

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Grenade

yes, come on

they should be pulled... what are people thinking off out there.

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Thumb Up

Nice subutlty there

Some people just dont get good, low key humor.

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Flame

Copywriting correction

Amend: "This is blatant promotion of pharmacy sites that are normally advertised via email spam, in order to sell Viagra et al." .......

....... Make that: "This is blatant promotion of pharmacy sites that are normally advertised via email spam, in order to sell FAKE Viagra et al THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO KILL GULLIBLE PUNTERS." A SpamCop search of the URLs in conventional penis-pill spam takes you to a Chinese ISP 99.9% of the time.

The vermin that promote fake drugs, produced by slave child labourers, are no better than the scumbags that destroy lives with heroin and cocaine.

You may have noticed I feel quite strongly about this, and I condemn Twitter's management for such dereliction of duty. Apologies to all who were hoping for a more light-hearted response.

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Joke

Viagra spam shop live on Twitter...

"There's no stiff competition", complains regulator.

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Joke

Plus,

Did anybody involved wonder just how long they could keep it up?

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WTF?

Er what???

Why does Sophos want them shut down? Let's see, they have set up a legitimate Twitter page. They are not even hiding the fact, thus are NOT breaking the TOS. Individual people get to choose whether to follow them or not, hence there is no spamming involved. Am I missing something here? I would rather them do that and let people actually interested in it choose to receive their Viagra emails, licensed or not, then to have them filling my email box with spam to get the word out to the ones that would be interested.

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Anonymous Coward

Well said, that man.

So, why is sophos all a'twitter about this?

Well, because it gets them free publicity, courtesy el reg and other rags. Much like politicians wither and vanish without a good controversy to keep them sufficiently foaming at the mouth. I have about the same respect for both.

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FAIL

"They are not even hiding the fact, thus are NOT breaking the TOS."

You might want to re-read the Terms of Service; I see two areas they are violating just off the top of my head.

Section 7 of the Terms of Service, "Restrictions on Content and Use of the Services," has a sentence reading "Please review the Twitter Rules (which are part of these Terms)". The Twitter Rules have two prohibitions which are directly on=point:

"Unlawful Use: You may not use our service for any unlawful purposes or for promotion of illegal activities. International users agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content." In almost all jurisdictions, purchasing prescription drugs without a prescription is unlawful.

"Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. [...] Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are: If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;... Your account may be suspended for Terms of Service violations if any of the above is true. " The account in question consists of nothing but links.

You may support the right of people everywhere to advertise phony products as prescription drugs, or the right of consumers to purchase phony products from organized crime, but claiming this is permitted by Twitter's Terms of Service demonstrates to me that you have not, in fact, actually read those Terms of Service.

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Pirate

Crime gang

CP uses hijacked servers, criminal-owned networks, and botnets to run websites having fake credentials. A computer security service has a great interest in shutting down CP.

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Silver badge

Re: Er What???

My thoughts exactly. I've never visited twitter but from what I understand from the article it just sounds like it's a web page with a load of links that take you to exactly what it says on the tin. No spam, no con, no story.

@Sergie Kaponitovicz

>spam takes you to a Chinese ISP 99.9% of the time.

WTF are you on? I'm not going to question your ridiculous figure of 99.9% just suffice it to say that even if the ISPs are in China then it's most likely a US or Canadian company behind the domain name. Also, if the pills being purchased aren't genuine then it's far more likely that they are inert low cost ingredients than active poisons.

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Paris Hilton

Apart from V196r@...

...decent medication for most common Afflictions of the Flesh can readily be obtained with a little (Technical Perispicacity) via the Veterinary Supply Market Route. Virtualshoppe w/plastic or brick+mortar w/cash; take your pick.

Either way is a nospam winner.

Haven't paid human-pharma retail for antibiotics, antifungals nor anthelmintics in nigh on to thirty years now. Effective and safe as any other means when used wisely. Result: Ole Elsie 'n' Bossie're still frisky as yearling calves and producin' like thunder today. No V196r@ for Old Ferdinand @ Agway though, poor doomed fellow.

Paris, who weeps bitterly for him.

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Pint

No surprise!

Twatter founders seem to be spending all their time having a pop at SysAdmins, rather than getting their house in order!

"All mouth and no trousers!" as my Granny used to say!

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Anonymous Coward

All mouth AND trousers

I think you mean...

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Anonymous Coward

Depends

Both terms are widely recognised, but the original was "all mouth and trousers" originating from the North of England, it has since developed into "all mouth and no trousers" probably by a southerner to be fair who wanted to make more sense of the phrase by adding the "no".

In short they both mean the same though.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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FAIL

Utter nonsense

Does the author not know how Twitter works?

Its not spam unless they message you directly with links.

No-one but the accounts followers can see any of the tweets(barring going to their page), so whatever links they put out trouble ABSOLUTELY NO-ONE, as anyone but their 629 followers can't see them.

Now if they were sending random people the links, or DM'ing people, or hi-jacking trending topics, then push to get them off Twitter.

Otherwise, you just show that your definition of "spam" doesn't quite work with Twitter.

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Thumb Down

"Its not spam unless they message you directly with links. "

Incorrect. For the definition of 'spam' as used by Twitter, see

http://help.twitter.com/forums/26257/entries/18311

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Silver badge

Too close to call

There's a vas deferens between where viagra is aimed and what is generally twittered.

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Coffee/keyboard

My friend, you have just now narrowly missed...

receiving a wee invoice for a New Keyboard. Fortunately for all, cookie crumbs tend to shake out at least semi-clean.

Lenny Bruce "Golden Vulture" Double Entendre Award. Or a Permanent Funny Hat. Either one you like most. Great shot. :)

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They don't have to message you

It's considered Spam if they follow you in an attempt to get you to click on their page (which you have to do to unfollow, alas). Twitter shuts most of these sites down.. they're really obvious.. 1 follower, following 10,000 people..

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FAIL

Not spam

I'm with the other coupla posters who are crying foul on this article. I do not see the harm in what this company is doing. Only folks following them will see their tweets.

Ipso facto, not spam.

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Trusting unlicensed sources?

I don't think I would want to trust the quality and safety of such drugs from an unlicensed and obviously non-quality controlled source. (Not that "approved" sources have been absolutely 100% without problems-not a knock, just an observation)

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Hack 'em and post BitTorrent links in their account.

Well, it's a thought. Oh to be a fly on the wall when they defend their actions to Twitter. And, being a fly, I could puke on their lunch... and they wouldn't notice... at first.

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