Among other events that occured during CastleCops life, we witnessed the growth of the site as one of the most popular help sites. During that time, Paul and Robin met, married and began their family. They relocated from New Jersey to Ohio. The site was known for Startup, CLSID, BHO and Toolbar Lists, maintained by numerous volunteers. In addition to providing malware removal, volunteers trained others in log analysis and malware removal.
The famous "IRT" teams included the Phishing Incident Reporting and Termination Squad (PIRT), followed by the development of the Malware Investigation Response Team (MIRT). The development of those teams and the work behind them led to the announcement by site owner Paul Laudanski in June that he had been hired by Microsoft to work on phishing and spam investigations.
The Laudanski family relocated to Washington State in August, with the expectation that CastleCops would be transferred to new management. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Landing at CastleCops or the companion CastleCops.de visitors are now greeted with the following message:
You have arrived at the CastleCops website, which is currently offline. It has been our pleasure to investigate online crime and volunteer with our virtual family to assist with your computer needs and make the Internet a safer place. Unfortunately, all things come to an end. Keep up the good fight folks, for the spirit of this community lies within each of us. We are empowered to improve the safety and security of the Internet in our own way. Let us feel blessed for the impact we made and the relationships created.
With respect to the server marathon, by March 17 2009 CastleCops will refund contributions made through PayPal that were specifically designated for servers. Unfortunately, server donations made via check cannot be returned because we do not have the addresses for the donating entity. Unless instructed otherwise, CastleCops will re-allocate these funds as a donation to the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC.org). This organization sponsored our hosting environment for approximately the past 2 years. Please contact us [cc at laudanski dot com] before March 17, 2009, if you would like a return of your server marathon donation. Otherwise, we would like to thank the ISC for their unfettered support.
We thank everyone in creating our unique footprint and memories in time.
Love, Best Wishes and Happy Holidays, CastleCops
PST 23 Dec 2008"
A toast to the hundreds of volunteers who spent countless hundreds of hours during CastleCops life. Best wishes to friends made, the things we learned and the good times spent there.
Cheers, one and all.
May your New Year be bright, happy and healthy!
Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...