15 March 2017

Confused by personal information published on the ‘Stophaus’ website?

A website labelled ‘The Stophaus Movement’ has published a number of pages containing information about various persons and organisations involved in combating fraud and cybercrime. Each such page typically contains the name of a person as well as other data, e.g. contact details, photos (such as of the person’s family members and homes) etc. Much of the data is outdated or otherwise incorrect, but the pages nevertheless appear intended to convey some kind of ‘we know where you live’ message. Indeed, one of the pages vows, ‘We Are Coming for You’.

However, a reader who just briefly glances at the Stophaus website or views a search engine result pointing to that site may get the erroneous impression that the persons listed would be affiliated with the Stophaus organisation in some way. This is a good example of why web users need the ability to read critically; everything found on the web should be taken with a grain of salt, especially if the publisher is unknown (or, indeed, infamous).

The Stophaus organisation has been described as a group of spam and malware hosters seeking retaliation against anti-spam service provider Spamhaus for listing various cybercrime networks on the Spamhaus Block List. Stophaus has claimed responsibility for a major denial-of-service attack against Spamhaus as well as threatened to carry out further DoS attacks. In addition, Wikipedia has been threatened with vandalisation of 1,000 articles each day until Stophaus is allowed to rewrite the English Wikipedia article about Spamhaus.