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SPAM from YOURSELF?

by DerfX / May 27, 2009 8:26 PM PDT

This has probably been asked a thousand times but here goes, how do people send you SPAM and make the "From" address show the recipients of such. I have seen this happen with several of me email accounts and it is usually for some cheap Internet pharmaceuticals or something like that. I have always done my best to examine the headers to find some domain or something I can block but more recently, they have been getting trickier about it. It's really weird seeing junk mail with your own address as the from and return address as well as the receiver.

If this is a common practice of today's spammers, is there a convinient way to use whitelist/blacklist type filters to block them? I can't imagine blocking my own email address although I don't know that I need to be able to email myself.

It just seems the spammers keep getting better and we need to be able to head them off at the pass.

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lack of website security.
by white-bread / May 30, 2009 5:36 PM PDT
In reply to: SPAM from YOURSELF?

If a website is secure, this doesn't happen.
If a person has a secure setup, this doesn't happen.

It's masking.

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Spam from yourself
by dell645 / May 31, 2009 12:16 AM PDT

Please explain "masking".

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Seems nonsense to me.
by Kees Bakker / May 31, 2009 5:46 AM PDT

The first 2 lines, especially. And, like the OP, I don't understand the third line.

Kees

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What I do
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 31, 2009 5:38 AM PDT
In reply to: SPAM from YOURSELF?

What you describe is not uncommon. The spammer will setup a system where he sends millions of spam emails, all to randomly generated email addresses, and will make it look like the email has come from that same randomly generated email address. He will get lucky and some will get through. Enough to make the business worthwhile. The ones that bounce he just discards.

He will get even luckier if any recipient opens the email. The emails can include carefully crafted content that will send a message back saying, "Hey, we have a live one here". Then he knows the email address is a real one, and active, and so more spam can be sent.

I don't open those. I don't even highlight them. I just Junk them. My Thunderbird email software has a Junk button besides each email in the Inbox which I can click to Junk it without highlighting. The Junk controls learn from this, and will remove similar emails in the future.

You can set up filters or message rules, but you would have to do that on 'keywords' in the subject line, eg any email with the subject line including pharmaceutical, move to the Delete folder. Make sure that the Delete folder is emptied whenever you close down your email software. And also, make sure no messages are left on the server once they have been downloaded to you.

That works for me, but I still get the occasional spam email. You will never stop them until the authorities around the world decide to work together. That would be something.

Mark

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My filter setup
by DerfX / May 31, 2009 8:30 PM PDT
In reply to: What I do

What you posted pretty much describes my setup. I never see these emails in my "Inbox" but curiosity forces me to at least "see" what my SPAM filters have caught on occasion just to make sure the rouge nephew or someone hasn't sent me something using some email that I have yet to whitelist.

I have a variety of email accounts half of which are still "pop" accounts. I know pop is almost "old-fashioned" now but I like the fact that once I look at the email, it's done and gone.

I have a filter on my local machine that catches any strays that might sneak through but most are caught on spam filter on my mail server. I have my own web server based setup and it's that filter where I find all these emails that initially appear as though I sent them myself. At first, they look like something I might have forwarded except the spam score is way high and I have my filter set pretty agressively.

I just thought there was some other key component that I could set a filter to look for that would enable me to isolate these kinds of spam even more. But it's not really important because they are already in quarantine.

I never preview these emails in fact, I don't even have the "pre-view" feature turned on for my regular inbox. That way, I can discard mail without ever allowing it to be opened should something sneak through.

I'm pretty happy with the way my spam filters work but it just irks me that someone can make it look as though I'm sending the spam myself.

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It sees to me
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 31, 2009 9:10 PM PDT
In reply to: My filter setup

that you're pretty well clued up about this.

You say that perhaps using POP is old-fashioned. Not as far as I'm concerned! Happy

I rarely use my web-mail option, and much prefer POP systems.

Good luck.

Mark

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