Saturday, March 19, 2005

I've become a spammer

When I first came online I signed up with freeserve, one of the main providers in the U.K. who have subsequently been taken over by Wanadoo. I've never actually used the email that comes with the account, prefering hotmail instead. However within a matter of days of joining up I started getting a lot of spam, so I've been keeping the account to see how the spam industry is developing over time. I've seen phishing examples for all the major UK banks posted to this address.

Today I look in the inbox to find it full of "Undeliverable" or "Returned" mail notifications. As if I'd been sending the mail out. The format of the email address you get on joining is john@smith.freeserve.co.uk but you can in theory have anything at the front so that you can have accounts for all the family. What appears to have happened is the spammers have got hold of the bit following the @ and are putting random womens' names in the front bit.

I've reported it to Wanadoo and await their reponse. I doubt there's anything they can do though. It's just as well I don't use this account, I'd never be able to pick my legit mail out from the junk.
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