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Glossary - Whack-a-mole [Whack-a-mole game]

A hand-eye coordination game with an emphasis on timing that was popular at carnivals and amusement parks in the 1970s and 1980s.  In this game the player holds a wooden mallet, and enjoys trying to hit (or "whack") all the moles that pop up randomly from within an assortment of small circular holes in the game board.

Spam fighters sometimes feel like they're playing whack-a-mole when fighting spam because many spammers are known to continue spamming from a different IP (after the one they're sending from gets blocked) and/or ISP after their account gets terminated for spam abuse.  Spammers are known to repeat this process of switching IPs, or signing up for other ISPs, until their spam run is complete (and then they do it all over again for the next spam run).

This can be a frustrating aspect of spam fighting because, in addition to the victimization of eMail recipients, ISPs end up wasting precious time and costly resources on a spammer who knows that it's a matter of "when" rather than "if" their account will be terminated for spam abuse yet again.

See also

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