GodVine: Emailing a Years-Dead Address that Subscribed this Week?

GodVine, a web portal for nondenominational Protestant Evangelical Christians that focuses on contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and videos, today sent an emailed newsletter to an email address that subscribed on Wednesday of this week. Problem is, the email address has not been live for many years; it is one of my spamtraps. The ESP is AWeber, a reputable email marketing firm with a reputation as a “white hat” — a good company that does not tolerate spam — in the antispam community.

If you look carefully at the first Received header in the “Actual Headers” section of the spam sample below, you will notice that the mailserver domain has a name that starts with the string smtp-soi-. In the bulk email world, the acronym SOI stands for “single opt-in”, and refers to lists of email addresses that asked to receive the email (or opted in), but were not confirmed by sending a confirmation email to that email address that the owner was expected to respond to before GodVine put the email address on their list. In other words, while GodVine and AWeber believe that the people on this list asked for their email, neither of them knows whether the person that provided the email address to them is the owner of that email address.

I have not previously seen spam from GodVine, and so I doubt very much that they purchase lists or deliberately send bulk email to email addresses that did not opt in. Unfortunately religious organizations are frequent targets of malicious subscriptions, where an opponent of the organization or simply an online mischiefmaker adds email addresses to the list without permission. :/ If the subscription process is a web form on a web site, and the web form is not secured, a mischiefmaker can add a large number of email addresses quickly by writing an automated script that feeds a list to the form. Lists that are known to contain spamtraps are easily obtained on the Internet.

AWeber needs to discuss this with their customer before they spam, not a single spamtrap belonging to an independent researcher, but multiple spamtraps belonging to a major blacklist or reputation service.

Sending IP:

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from smtp-soi-g07-119.aweber.com (smtp-soi-g07-119.aweber.com [])
        by <xxx> with ESMTP id 523059997; 13 Jul 2012 12:xx:xx -0000
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
Received: (qmail 22104 invoked by uid 0); 13 Jul 2012 12:xx:xx -0000
Message-ID: <xxx>
MIME-version: 1.0
Content-type: multipart/alternative; boundary="<xxx>"
To: <xxx>
From: "GodVine" <newsletter@godvine.com>
Sender: godvine@aweber.com
X-Loop: godvine@aweber.com
X-Mailer: AWeber 4.1
X-Subscription: Subscribed on 07/11/2012, via web form, by <xxx>, 
        from http://www.godvine.com/Marine-Stuns-a-Crowd-with-a-Forgotten-Verse-of-the-National-Anthem-1721.html
X_Id: <xxx>
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 08:xx:xx -0400
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:godvine@aweber.com?subject=unsubscribe;<xxx>>, 
Subject: <xxx>, They Thought He Was Dead...But Watch This Miracle! 
        Plus, a Little Boy to Melt Your Heart

Readable Email:

From: GodVine <newsletter@godvine.com>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: <xxx>, They Thought He Was Dead…But Watch This Miracle!
        Plus, a Little Boy to Melt Your Heart

“And you shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless your
bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the
middle of you.” – Exodus 23:25

Hi, <xxx>!
Never forget that God is the Great Physician, the Miracle Worker, and the Healer. When you have afflictions, turn to Him and pray for His healing. The Lord’s comfort in times of need is immeasurable. We really hope you have a wonderful day – check out the videos below and God bless! 🙂

Today’s Must See Christian Videos:


Have a great day. God Bless!

GodVine Staff

P.O. Box 2274, North Canton, OH 44720, USA

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