I believe that it's fairly common for merchants to sell their mailing
lists (one of the ways to improve the bottom line).
with outside parties, but I'm wondering if that includes their
Soon or later, the spam league will find you so I determnined long ago
that it's easier to hit delete than to fret much about it.
I see and hear a lot about people receiving huge amounts of spam, but
I've never been bothered with it. A few come in sporadically but
nothing that wears out my delete button. Several months ago, I got at
least one email each day encouraging me to buy some off-the-wall penny
stocks that were guaranteed to triple (or more) in value within a few
weeks, but that stopped after a week or so. I noted the ID of a few of
them and checked on them later. Every one had lost value. Wish I had
shorted them. Figure it was someone trying to inflate demand for the
stocks to drive the price up so they could sell theirs.
Right now, some fool is trying to sell me some kind of outrageously
expensive watch for some seriously discounted price. I took my watch
off when I retired 5 years ago and haven't worn it since. Think I'll
pass on that offer, too.
That's about it for the spam I get, and I take no special pains to
hide my email address from vendors or anyone else, for that matter. I
do have a rule on my inbox that sends emails from anyone not in my
address book to a junk folder and automatically deletes any of those
that aren't addressed specifically to me. Maybe that's getting rid of
all the junk.
I have an account that I have had for more than 10 years, back then, one
included a valid e-mail address with one's Usenet postings. That account
now gets on the order of 300+ e-mails per day. It amazes me the number of
people concerned about my need for time pieces or the size of one of my
anatomical features. I used to use that address for all on-line
transactions, but it has become so clogged with spam, any confirmation
e-mails are washed out by the spam. I've missed confirmations from Grizzly
and Woodworkers Supply.
So, I'm now in the process of abandoning that address to the spammers.
I've notified those from whom I wish to continue to receive e-mail and
changed account ID's with those merchants who use the e-mail address as an
account ID. I will periodically delete all e-mail from that account with
no effort expended to read any of it. Since it was the primary e-mail
address for my ISP account, I can't just delete that box, or I'd do so.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
I have a 'thingy' in Firefox that generates a random email whenever I
find myself dealing with a company that I think would sell my address to
a Tattoine slave trader for two game credits.
Companies like those that pay guys in Indiastan to tell you that their
name is "David Jones". ##
It generates an address like " firstname.lastname@example.org", which
lives exactly long enough to check a confirmation email or two.
Then the email address disappears off the radar.
## As I explained to the last "David Jones", "Why would I want to do
business with a company that pays people to lie to me as a matter of
policy? After all, they've already proven that they can't be trusted."
I'm not not at the above address.
Know the feeling ... spammers sucked so much bandwidth from one of our
little Internet companies, that was doing very well otherwise, we got tired
of fighting it and shut the whole thing down.
Should spammers ever incur the death penalty and executioners are in short
supply, I'm available.
I love that analogy :)
That is the kind of horror story I was referring to. I don't know what
I'm doing (or not doing), but my spam receipts - including those that
are rule-directed to my junk mail folder- are rarely more than 3 or 4
per week. There could be more that are rule-deleted before I see them
(Rule = From: not in my address book, To: not my email address, then
Delete) but I wouldn't know how many of those there might be.
Tom, it could be that your ISP is helping out. I know that Comcast is
pretty good at reducing the flow substantially. It's one of the reasons I
put up with their (expensive) services.
That, and I guess I don't really want to change addresses very much.
You have to understand that a dictionary crack does not rely
exclusively on a dictionary as you know it. They often build user
names from combinations of of words, letters, numbers, etc. It's not
uncommon to see your mail server hit by email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org ... until it hits email@example.com. You get the
I'm not trying to absolve woodcraft, but I wouldn't rule out a
dictionary crack. I administer several mail servers and I used to see
these things all the time. Fortunately sendmail has a macro to stop
these sorts of attacks.
I know exactly what a dictionary attack is. I watch my logs, (I see
each and every attempt to guess every account) and I notice when this
Most of the time I see guesses that try accounts like "info" "guest" etc.
I would have noticed attempts where thousands of accounts fail.
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