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SPAM after so many years of immunity.

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Arc, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    I’ve never had a problem with SPAM. Never. Between my surfing habits and sensible elementary basic security measures plus good SPAM filtering by my ISP, TWC, I only get a very few SPAM messages. Those that do come in go directly to my GMAIL Junk Folder.

    Things have changed. Overnight. Suddenly starting about a week ago I’m being bombarded by SPAM. It’s come in two separate waves. The first wave was mostly the usual type trash stuff from sex to money scams. But then after several days those disappeared and have been replaced by stuff that is from legitimate real deal mainstream commercial entities. Many of those emails are duplicates of each other.

    Three things: One, all the real deal stuff is “accurately” targeting my correct email address. They are not random or robot sequence emails. These organizations, (many diverse mainstream ones), have gotten my legitimate email address. They know it’s MY email address. Two, despite being legitimate and correctly addressed they somehow are being filtered by Google into my junk folder. How does Google “know” they are junk? Three, the trash emails have all been eliminated by some magical act. (For now. I didn’t happen to notice if they had my real email address or they were random.)

    What’s the deal? Should I smell “rat” or think goof when I think of Google? (As much as people hate to admit it or need to deny it Google has more on US citizens than any agency of the government—especially via Internet use.)
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    It just means a spammer got a hold of your email and spammed the shit out with it. Just keep marking spam spam in gmail and you will see less and less.

    This shit happens with me almost weekly (with my original email addy).
  3. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Ah but how did "they" get hold of it and why are so many of the emails apparently legitimate emails from legitimate main stream companies in addition to the traditional crap spam. (I checked this morning the crap spam from the sex and scam group and they too have my email address.)

    I have one guess on how they got my email address but the timing is a little off.

    Hey its no big thing, just a matter of curiosity and if address will get spread around in an endless chain forever. Fortunately all of it is automatically going to the junk folder as it comes in so its not intrusive. (192 over night.) But LOL, just imagine I've avoided it since 1995 until now. :)

    Anyway thanks for the response.
  4. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Often you have some chump friend who knows shit about anything technical, and has some ridiculous Yahoo or Hotmail account with a stupid password that any dictionary attack could crack in several minutes. That's always how my email addresses get in the hands of spammers. My idiot friend Bob got his Yahoo cracked and my idiot real estate agent in Santa Fe (name withheld) got his Yahoo cracked too. I can always tell when I get a spammer wave because the usual email is just a link, implying "click this." If you do I hope you have good anti-virus protection. These are almost always attack sites (from what I hear, I am not so stupid as to click them).

    I have an additional system in effect that would benefit almost nobody except an Internet nut like me. I have a main email address (let's call it spam-me@example.com) which is my own domain (no, I don't own example.com, that's reserved) and then I give almost everybody I don't communicate with frequently an address that I set up forwards for. With my hosting package (I own about a dozen domains) I get so many forwards I don't even know how many. So for example for Verizon I set them up as verizon@example.com, Time Warner is twc@example.com, etc. I set up all the forwards to go to my main example.com address, then set up spam-me@example.ccom to go into my junk mail folder. With Thunderbird I set up filters and a folder for each so that when for example I get an email directed to twc@example.com it goes into my "Time Warner Cable" folder. Likewise for Verizon, etc. Of course only an Internet geek would spend this much effort to avoid spam.

    The beauty of the system is when I start getting spam at one of those forwards I just delete it. Oddly, Adobe started sending me spam or let somebody get my adobe address. Buh bye address, deleted the forward, no more spam. Of course the problem is the complexity of the system. And of course only a geek will want a hosting package, although there are many providers where you can get your_own_name.com for about $12/year. (Not as many forwards but you can at least set up several accounts, and it has the benefit that some day when you change ISPs you can just keep your email address.)

    Unfortunately probably each of us knows some incompetent person we trust who gets their Yahoo cracked and our address gets harvested, and thereafter we will always get spam on that address because spammers sell spam email address lists to each other. I hate to tell you, but once you are on a spammer's list, you are on it forever.

    Best way to get away from it other than endless tinkering with anti-spam software is to change your email address.

    By the way, look at the to: headers. Often you can figure out WHO got hacked, and then you know who to not trust in the future with a real email address. My friend Bob got his Yahoo hacked, and I recognized our common friend Vanessa's email address, so every time we both get spammed we end up enjoying several emails exchanged. Vanessa and I are more like acquaintances but it's always fun to catch up with her when we get commonly spammed. :)
  5. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    Probably the way that Greg described above -- they hacked somebody else and harvested their address book with your email address in it. And then they sell the harvested mailing list to legitimate and not so legitimate customers.
  6. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Not to mention, more and more companies are selling that kind of information.

    Email addresses can also be stored in the browser information which many sites collect.

    AVG proudly admits that it sells user info, and may even share personal information with 3rd party collaborators.
  7. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Yep, all true. I think that the fact that the emails are addressed as a known true email address of a real person, (me), and the my email client recognizes the address as such shows that someone got my email address and the most likely source was from a hack of some individual personal user's contact list which would include me, a hack of a company that legitimately has my email address, or someone "sold out." Also 90 percent of the junk comes within a given time window like its a mass mailing. It happens overnight. Given all the circumstances that seems most likely. I"m glad I don't have to deal with them unless I choose to as they go straight to the junk folder and other than the erase command I don't have to deal with them or even see them if I don't want.

    There is another possibility. Remote, but interesting.

    I have several computers including one setting on the floor and not currently in use. It has both OS X and Windows 7 on it. I haven't used if for about four months. One or two days before the SPAM deluge started I logged on to that computer to update Windows and the security products. Soon I'm going to be deleting everything on it and doing a clean install of Windows 10 making it just a Windows Computer. It took hours to do the updates. When done I ran some basic multi-source scans and everything was clean. But...I'm a person that from an analysis and investigative standpoint doesn't believe in coincidences.

    ADDENDUM: By the way I thought when starting this thread that I first clicked on the Forum "Bits and Bytes" but unknowingly because of my great eyesight and eye-hand coordination clicked on Economy and did not realize I accidentally put this riveting subject in the wrong forum. Sorry about that.

    ADDENDUM TWO: AVG is interesting. They were a leader and one could even say a pioneer in being one of the first free AV programs that were free and really good. Excellent in fact. Overtime they have morphed to their current sad conditions. But have you noticed that has happened to a large degree to some of the paid giants in the field like Kapersky and some others too? Their products have gone into the toilet. (It's called cashing out or taking the money and run at the right moment.)
  8. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    So move it to Bits & Bytes. No problem.

    I have known for years that one day I would have to leave Windows. I didn't know when, I only knew what. I think it was around the time when Win2k was the schlitz and XP came out, and then the abomination I will not name after XP. That was when I realized the true nature of MSFT, not that they are evil, but that being a disciple would lead me to evil.

    On that day I knew that one day I would be running Linux. All the smart techie guys I knew were already running Linux. That was like a dozen years ago, even before they adopted DRM. I always figured if I bought one copy I should be able to run it on all my own computers at home, particularly since I'm single and you can only use one computer at a time. (Actually I've come to learn that you can use several computers at one time.)

    Well today my desktop runs Debian Wheezy. One reason Wheezy is it's a 386 and later Debian versions require 64-bit architecture. Just today I got my Debian workstation up to running except having trouble with Firefox ESR. Currently stuck with Ice Weasel. Not only does my new desktop have everything I need but it even has an Apache web server and MySQL installed, the whole LAMP stack, so I can have local websites and test my website design without uploading it to my remote servers.

    If they could make installing Linux a bit more user friendly... Those text config files are difficult to learn, altough most people won't want their desktop to have a web server, ftp server, ssh server, etc.

    The remote desktop works great! It's based on VNC which I already had a VNC client on my laptop, so all I had to do is enable remote desktop and I can sit on my couch and run my Debian workstation upstairs no problem.

    The best software is often open source. I bet half the world's Internet servers run open source.

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