In their battles against junk emailers, anti-spammers constantly remind themselves of a bit of folklore known as "The Three Rules of Spam":
In January of 2001, Davis Hawke got a rude introduction to Rule #3. He had accidentally left a sensitive file exposed at one of his web sites. When Shiksaa stumbled upon it and announced her discovery on Nanae, a fellow anti-spammer cried out, "Rule number three shining bright!"
Shiksaa had been poking around at CompuZoneUSA.com after someone on Nanae called attention to Hawke's Spam Book ads, which included a link to the site. Shiksaa had taken to referring to Hawke on Nanae as "that neo-Nazi idiot" or "the creep Mad Pierre exposed." So she was pleased to discover Hawke's server had been improperly configured and allowed any Web surfer to view files not intended for the public. (She had used the same trick two years before to find unprotected customer order logs at a site run by computer seller and convicted stock manipulator Glenn Conley.)
Shiksaa didn't uncover any order logs at CompuZoneUSA.com, but she did stumble across something known as a file transfer protocol (FTP) log. It included a list of over two dozen web sites operated by Hawke, most of them previously unknown even to anti-spammers such as Mad Pierre, who had been tracking Hawke closely.
Hawke wasn't the first spammer to fall victim in that way to Rule #3. In the past, the discovery of FTP logs had helped anti-spammers notify ISPs that they had a chronic ...