Skype: Emailing Upgrade Notices to Long-Closed Email Addresses

Microsoft Skype sent a massive emailing out warning customers in Scandanavia that their Skype versions were soon to be phased out and urging them to upgrade. The mailing hit around 50 spamtraps. The ESP is Acxiom.

Does Skype ever check its logs and remove undeliverable email addresses? Does Acxiom do so? Or do both think that this is not necessary for email addresses associated with customer accounts? 🙁

Sending IP: 198.160.114.22-198.160.114.29

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from client-di-114-22.delivery.net (client-di-114-22.delivery.net [198.160.114.22])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Sat,  2 Aug 2014 19:##:## +0300 (EEST)
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
DomainKey-Signature: <xxx>
Received: from [192.168.##.##] ([192.168.##.##:##] helo=fcvm23a1.dc1.prod)
        by oms16.dc1.prod (envelope-from <noreply2@emails.skype.com>)
        (ecelerity 3.3.2.44647 r(44647)) with ESMTP
        id <xxx>; Sat, 02 Aug 2014 09:##:## -0700
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2014 09:##:## -0700 (PDT)
From: Skype <noreply2@emails.skype.com>
Reply-to: noreply2@emails.skype.com
To: <xxx>
Message-ID: <<xxx>@dc1.prod>
Subject: Den version av Skype för Windows som du anvÀnder avvecklas snart. 
        Uppdatera idag
Errors-to: noreply2@emails.skype.com
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="---=_NEXT_<xxx>"
X-eid: <xxx>
X-pid: <xxx>
X-AcxSID: <xxx>
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:noreply2@emails.skype.com?subject=unsubscribe%20<xxx>>

Readable Email:

From: Skype <noreply2@emails.skype.com>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: Den version av Skype för Windows som du anvÀnder avvecklas snart. Uppdatera idag

Skrivbordsversionen av Skype hÄller pÄ att avvecklas

BĂ€sta <xxx>!

Vi hÄller nu pÄ att avveckla Àldre versioner av Skype och det verkar som om du anvÀnder en av dem. För att kunna logga in pÄ Skype frÄn skrivbordet framöver mÄste du hÀmta den senaste versionen. Den nya versionen har högre prestanda och de senaste funktionerna och sÀkerhetsuppdateringarna, sÄ att du fÄr bÀsta möjliga upplevelse med Skype.

<removed>

© 2014 Skype och/eller Microsoft. AnvĂ€ndningsvillkor ‱ IntegritetsinstĂ€llningar

Skype Communications S.A.R.L., 23-29 Rives de Clausen, L-2165 Luxemburg.

6 Responses to Skype: Emailing Upgrade Notices to Long-Closed Email Addresses

  1. FWIW I don’t think Skype has any logs to check. If you don’t email, you also don’t get logs that you could check.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t ever sent email from their own IPs. However, their ESP or whoever does bulk emailings for them needs to check bounce logs and remove undeliverable email addresses from the list. Continual pounding of dead email addresses is not acceptable and becomes spam at some point even if the email address is connected to a live customer account.

      That is what Skype appears to be doing: emailing email addresses ad infinitum and not checking to see if there is anybody on the other end receiving them.

      • What I am saying is that I don’t think Skype has been emailing, at all. Of course my own Skype account is only one case in point, but that email address has never received anything else but transactional email (such as password resets &c) from Skype.

        • Huh? Are you suggesting that the several dozen (nearly 100) Skype emails that hit my spamtraps were not sent by Skype or with their authorization? In other words, were some sort of phish? I don’t think so….

          • Quite the contrary. The mails (such as described here) that I see in my own spamtraps too look legit (as in, authorized by Skype).

            However, my experience with being a Skype account owner indicates that they rarely, if at all, contact their customers via email, and if they don’t send, they don’t get many chances to remove bouncing addresses from their lists.

  2. Hmmm…. I guess I could believe that Skype simply hasn’t emailed their customers often enough to find out that many of the email addresses that they were provided years ago were either typoed or forged at the time, or have since been abandoned.

    I’m not sure that it matters, however. It is the responsibility of companies and ESPs that send bulk email to maintain their lists. Acxiom (in particular) *knows* that emailing a list that has not been contacted in years is extremely risky, likely to result in a high rate of bounces, and likely to hit spamtraps. Why did Acxiom agree to allow Microsoft to email a list that had been uncontacted for years from their IP ranges?

    This was a living example of what happens when list maintenance is not done, whether because a list has not been contacted for years or because the company ignored their bounce logs.

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