January 2016 in spamtraps: Facebook

2016-01_facebook-vs-esp-big-3

What is going on? Facebook is hitting spamtraps like there’s no tomorrow. The comparison is against the total mail volume in the same spamtraps of the top three ESPs combined.

Thanksgiving (n.)

Thanksgiving (noun) (As applied to email deliverability)

One of “those times of the year” when mailing lists that were already mothballed are dragged out for one more blast, creating a spike in undeliverables, and of course in spamtrap hits.

September 2015 in spamtraps: ESPs

ESP mail seen in spamtraps in September 2015

ESP mail seen in spamtraps in September 2015

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August 2015 in spamtraps: ESPs

ESP mail seen in spamtraps in August 2015

ESP mail seen in spamtraps in August 2015

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DriveThruRPG: Legitimate Email to a Spamtrap, AND Hacked Account/Botnet Spam? :(

A customer of online roleplaying/gaming web market DriveThruRPG, Wizards of the Coast, is emailing a spamtrap in my collection. A single bulk email to a repurposed spamtrap is not in itself a huge problem, but it is a sign that a list needs attention. Since a botnet spammer has also been emailing spamtraps with forged email addresses @drivethrurpg.com, I wanted to be sure that DriveThruRPG and its ESP, MailChimp’s transactional email service Mandrill, knew that a DriveThruRPG customer also has a spamtrap on its list.

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Filip Poutintsev: Apparently no longer an issue

Filip Poutintsev keeps sending me private email asking me to remove all mentions of him from this blog.

That’s not going to happen, as it would be revisionist history, but I’ll say it that his ROKSO entry appears to have been dropped in early April after he had lain low for half a year. I also have no other evidence connecting him to any recent spamming. To my knowledge, he is out of the spam business.

Oh, and Filip is not Sheikh Ahmed. That’s Abdul Sattar, a real Pakistani. The two did collaborate way back when, but it eventually transpired that two distinct individuals were clearly involved.

July 2015 in spamtraps: ESPs

ESP mail seen in spamtraps in July 2015

ESP mail seen in spamtraps in July 2015

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June 2015 in spamtraps: ESPs

ESP mail seen in spamtraps in June 2015

ESP mail seen in spamtraps in June 2015

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March 2015 in spamtraps: ESPs

Just a quick table this time, no beautiful graphs.

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RIP: Ellen @ Spamcop, Spamfighter Extraordinaire

A friend died last night after a brief illness, Ellen R., best known to many as “Ellen @ Spamcop”. I’ve known Ellen for a couple of decades now; she was an early stalwart in the antispam world. For many years she handled the abuse desk at Spamcop, one of the early antispam blocklists. Ellen handled everything: complaints from spammers, email from bewildered end users who did not understand why their email was blocked, misdirected spam reports from angry end users who just wanted the spam flooding their inbox to stop. She handled it all with professional courtesy and something better: genuine concern for people and a desire to help them keep their mailbox free of spam so they could find the messages that they wanted to receive.

Spammers didn’t like her much. Most other people did. I did, and I’ll miss her.

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