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Simply Ridiculous

 

I wrote a software product called Newsletter Ease back in 2001 that helped people create and manage email newsletters. Over 1,000 have bought and used the software worldwide. In doing this, I learned a lot about spam - after all, Newsletter Ease was a mass email product. (I wrote many things into the software to prevent people from using it for spam purposes.)

I don't like spam, but there's one thing that I despise more than spam. It's spoofing. Spoofing is the practice of using someone else's valid email address to send spam. So, let's say that some Russian guy decides to send spam worldwide. He might send it from his servers, but he masks the email headers to make it look it's coming from your account. In short, it's like identity theft.

You know when you've been spoofed when you start receiving "returned email" messages by the truckload for email accounts that don't exist. Like this:

The original message was received at Tue, 17 May 2005 18:38:12 -0400
from adsl-80-238-104.jax.bellsouth.net [65.80.238.104]

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
costaric@gwm.sc.edu
(reason: 550 No such recipient)
termales@gwm.sc.edu
(reason: 550 No such recipient)
MINUGENT@gwm.sc.edu
(reason: 550 No such recipient)
BMayerEsq@gwm.sc.edu
(reason: 550 No such recipient)
TMTRKT@gwm.sc.edu
(reason: 550 No such recipient)
RIKCRANEUM@gwm.sc.edu
(reason: 550 No such recipient)
BCOREY@gwm.sc.edu
(reason: 550 No such recipient)
jeaniehill@gwm.sc.edu
(reason: 550 No such recipient)


And so on...

Well, my brogers email account at this web site has been spoofed. Which is strange to me, because I've given it to very few people personally and I've masked my email address from email-gleaning robots by construing it as brogers (at) this web site. But if you look upward, you'll notice that the mask is now gone. I refuse to be spoofed, so I'm changing my email address. To email me from this web site, you now have to use an email form.

I have a suspicion how this happened. I have a relative who likes to send me mass forward email - you know, where you and 82 people are in the To address. Most of the time it's innocent, but on occasion, it's not. Spammers will get in the loop of these mass forwards where your email address is there for everyone to see. Voila! A ton of valid email addresses. A spammer's delight.

Worse, I've tried to educate my relatives about this stuff, but it's no use.

I have a Yahoo account that I use for everything commercial. If I buy something, I use that account. Unfortunately, that group of relatives will get my Yahoo address, which I check about once a week. If someone wants to spoof my Yahoo account, more power to them. But not my personal web site.

So if you've sent email to me personally here at beatcanvas.com, and you want my new email address, I'll send it to you.

 


Tags: spam
by Brett Rogers, 5/17/2005 7:32:29 PM
Permalink

   

Comments

This is actually happening to me at work and at home. Tech support said it's something that went out over the weekend worldwide. Our company has stopped the resending of it (it reads your address book) but you still get these from computers who don't have the capability to stop the cycle. I'm still getting emails here at work and we are a technical company! Just thought I'd let you know.

 

 

Posted by Anonymous, 5/18/2005 2:01:47 PM



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