What is this 'Going Postal' thing?

Attrition.org has been around for over ten years and has enjoyed/bemoaned various levels of popularity. As a result, we often get folks mailing us for every reason you can imagine... and many you can't. Early on, due to our site using 'dark' colors, we were frequently labeled a "hacker site", even though the information we provided was equally useful to security professionals as it was to hacker types. One thing lead to another and some people started mailing us asking for hacker advice and that quickly lead into requests for us to hack sites for them. These mails, along with other odd requests, comments, observations and insults, lead us to start publishing the mails on the web site.

How many of these mails did you make up for flavor?

Zero. Really. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we get enough odd mails like these so we don't have to make them up.

OK, so how often do you get odd mail that may end up on postal?

Recently, we average about 1 a day. Sometimes we go days without postal fodder, other days we get half a dozen. Internet stupidity is constant. The rate at which it assaults us is not.

Why do you leave their e-mail address? Aren't they humiliated enough as is?

Probably. We leave the e-mail address on the thread in case other people want to join in the fun at any point. It also helps validate that we don't make these mails up.

Isn't that really an asshole thing to do?


Are you allowed to post their private e-mails like that?


Why do you string them along, taunt them, and ask for weird stuff?

They mail us and bother us. We get enough mail as it is, so why should we have to dutifully answer the most absurd questions? We're under no obligation to be nice, help them, or play the role of Internet Tech Support. So, we do that to amuse ourselves.

What's with all the "teach me to hack" or "hack this for me" mails?

Attrition.org has been branded a 'hacker' site since day one. It doesn't matter what information we make available, what services we provide, or what we say and do. Our web page is BLACK AND RED and therefore it must be evil and the den of evil blackhat malicious hackers! Apparently, it isn't just ignorant security professionals spreading fear that come to this conclusion which leads to these mails.

Why do some of your mails tell the people that asking for hacking services is illegal?

Because asking for hacking services is illegal. In U.S. law, this is called solicitation. Since hacking a system across state lines is a federal felony in the United States, solicitation of a federal crime is punishable by half of the punishment given for committing the actual crime itself.

Why do you get so many requests to cancel AOL service?

For the first half dozen or so, we really weren't sure. No clue what prompted Sanjay Ahire to mail asking for us to cancel his service. The difference between 'aol.com' and 'attrition.org' should be fairly clear but apparently not to some people.

Since then, subsequent requests to cancel service are likely somewhat of a cyclical result. The more we put up, the better chance we come up as a result if you Google 'aol cancel' or some variation. Of course, if the AOL (l)users that do this actually read our pages, they would avoid us like a Mexican border town hooker.

What's the story behind Todd Shriber?

Poor Todd Shriber decided to solicit us to hack into his college to change his grades. Like any other postal fodder, we tried to have fun with the guy and lead him on an exciting Internet cat-and-mouse chase (dramatic eh?). After a long thread and a world of fun (for us at least), we left him scared and confused. Months later, Paul McNamara from NetworkWorld figured out that Shriber was the "communications director for Montana's lone congressman" (we had no idea until Paul's mail to us the day before the article broke). Shortly after this story, the entire fiasco made the rounds and we were (in)famous for 24 hours, while Shriber was fired.

Would you like to know more?

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