June 28, 2003

Spam problems

Someone named Jake D at jake.duffy@bigpond.com sent me an email claiming to have received spam with my email from one of those penis-enlarging outfits. I didn't reply to him through my email in case this was just a slightly more clever way of getting email addresses for a spam list. But I did go to the trouble of running my virus checker -- nothing was found. (Yes, it's up to date.) So if some spambot stole my email address and you get something from either harrisandrea-at-earthlink.net or webmistress-at-spleenville.com offering you a foolproof method of adding inches to your dick, rest assured it's not really from me.

Posted by Andrea Harris at June 28, 2003 01:40 AM

And I thought you cared. I'm devastated.


Posted by: Spike McGehee at June 28, 2003 at 07:56 AM

A lot of those viruses 'spoof' e-mail addresses. They look in an address book and grab one address to be 'from'.
If you can get the full headers, you can sometimes trace it back to the person whose computer has the virus.

Posted by: Kathy K at June 28, 2003 at 08:39 AM

"So if you get something...offering foolproof method of adding inches to your dick"

Oh, hon, you do that just be being you. ;)

Posted by: Ken Summers at June 28, 2003 at 10:48 AM

Oh, lord, not this again.

Normally, I'd say to pursue the bastard who spoofed you to the ends of the earth and show him what justice really is. However, since the actual spoofer is probably in Russia or Namibia or some damn place, and the penis-enlargement business owner will just say, "Duh, I had NO IDEA this would happen," and can't be successfully sued anyway, my suggestion to you is to just drink some tequila until the pain goes away for a little while.

Oh, yes, I am plumbing the depths of bitter here.

Posted by: Dave at June 28, 2003 at 01:07 PM

I figured it's just one of those hazards of the internet, somewhat less hazardous (well, for me anyway) than getting a virus through email or having someone hack into my computer.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 28, 2003 at 01:49 PM

I just got some spam from some jackass claiming to need $15,000 for a kidney transplant... don't worry though, they weren't using your address Andrea. ;-)

Posted by: Watcher at June 28, 2003 at 02:21 PM

You're fortunate that it was just one account. A while back some slimebucket started generating spam that purported to be from (random name)@(domain that I own). Hundreds and hundreds of random names.

Since mail to non-existent addresses at that domain get forwarded to me, I got to see all the bounces AND all the irate email demanding that I stop sending spam. It probably also means that (domain that I own) is now in about a zillion people's spam filters, even though no actual spam was ever generated from there.

Something cruel and unusual needs to happen to spammers. Very cruel, and very unusual.

It's really no different from paper mail. There's nothing to stop someone from sending someone else paper mail with "Atilla the Hun" or "Abraham Lincoln" written in the return address slot. Same thing with email (yes, this is a poor design for modern conditions, though it made sense under the conditions that prevailed when email was first developed).

The only long term solution is to abandon RFC-822 email altogether and go with something better.

Posted by: Nick at June 28, 2003 at 04:21 PM