2019-11 to 2020-04 in Spamtraps: ESPs

ESP stats in our spamtraps over the past half year
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(PROMOTIONAL) Inbox Expo

Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to attend the #emailexpert Inbox Expo in London in the upcoming March ourselves, but that won’t stop us from giving the summit and its chief protagonist Andrew Bonar some free advertising here on Mainsleaze. We’ve collaborated with him at least since his times at Emailvision and have watched the progress from email service provider abuse desk to deliverability expert to all-around email industry icon with great pleasure and we’re delighted to be able to help spread the word about this event.

  • Wed Mar 18 to Thu Mar 19, 2020
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Science Gallery, London Bridge
  • Tickets £890 (fees included)

I’ll happily wear a tee but I would do this for you, Andrew, even without one 😉 Cheers, Atro

Q4/2018+1 in Spamtraps: ESPs

October 2018 to January 2019

Another case of “didn’t get a round tuit for some time”

ESP spam seen in spamtraps, October 2018 to January 2019

Another couple of months have passed by so quickly and I only just found I had even completed the October report but forgotten to release it…

The percentages of ESP spam in the traps were, respectively, 3.0%, 3.4%, 3.0% and 2.8% during this period.

Ediware disappeared back into the void it had come from after the Oct 24 disaster. All other operations on the list are household names.

Salesforce keep increasing their lead over the competition.

I am pleased to see that SendGrid made Advisor Perspectives disappear after the very beginning of November. Nobody could guess what explains the simultaneous rise in Zeta Interactive’s spam output, from relative obscurity (#28 in October) to #11 in November and the Top Ten in December-January.

Looking forward to seeing you all in San Francisco in a few weeks!


On The Forensic Capabilities of LeadForensics

The study of forensics refers to scientific tests or techniques used in connection with the detection of crime. It is an odd choice of name for what I think is a data seller, especially one whose targeting seems poor enough to be spamming me. They claim to want to help me generate more leads for my website, but my website doesn’t sell anything. I do not really need any leads.

They are sending from IP address 46.236.37.232, which appears to be an email platform called Message Focus or Adestra.

From what I can tell, the only forensic capability this entity has shown me is that they seem to buy B2B spam leads, which is very disappointing.

The Four Horsemen of Finnish Spam

If you sent Finnish B2B spam recently…

  • Your spam is illegal if it does not identify the sender (Section 15 of the Business Information Act, 244/2001).
  • Your spam is illegal if it does not identify the spam list (Section 25 of the Personal Data Act, 523/1999).
  • Your spam list is illegal because it contains outdated and erroneous personal information (Section 9 of the Personal Data Act). If you bought a list, you can’t avoid this.
  • Your spamming is illegal because you hit natural persons with no business context (Section 200 of the Information Society Code, 917/2014). If you bought a list, it contains outdated and erroneous personal information and you can’t avoid this.

Bonus item:

  • If you own a product or a service and bought a spam campaign from somebody else, you are responsible for failures regarding the above even if you’ve never seen the materials.

Marriage made in Hell: Emaileri and Suomen Asiakastieto

It was reported in Finnish news about a week ago that Suomen Asiakastieto Oyj has purchased Emaileri. Apparently this is important enough to be reported elsewhere, such as in Financial Times.

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Why purchased lists are a big no-no

Over on the DotMailer blog, Lino Freire wrote an excellent piece on why purchased lists are a big no-no.

Thanks James Koons for sharing.

Take #2: B2B Prospecting Spam from IBM

Almost a month after I reported that a salesperson at IBM was sending B2B spam to a scraped or purchased list, the same individual spammed one of those email addresses again. As with this sender’s previous spam, the email was sent from IBM’s corporate mailservers, and specifically from a Lotus Notes system apparently used by their business development team.

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Snowshoe-like email verification and lead generation services

Many email verification and lead generation services act a lot like snowshoe spammers. They bounce around from host to host, hoping to avoid detection and suspicion caused by their unusual SMTP traffic.

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Long-term ESP performance in spamtraps

A collaborator inspired me to draw a few more graphs (you know who you are, and thank you very much for the idea).

I had retained the numbers for the ESP blogs ever since May, so it occurred to me that it might be pertinent to do a time series. The graphs are expressed in percentages against the total amount of ESP spam received, so the growth of total volume (for example, as a result of adding more spamtraps) is already accounted for. Since the data points are naturally mostly at the low end of the scale, a logarithmic scale seemed appropriate.

So, please find enclosed three graphs of ESPs appearing in spamtraps, divided into Transactional, SMB Marketing and Enterprise Marketing. The selection of ESPs and their division to these three categories is according to the ideas of the collaborator. NB. We only started tracing Zeta Interactive in August.
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