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ALLTEL INTERNET SECURITY RESPONSE-Email Spoofing

by trackerbill / November 22, 2005 11:21 AM PST

I am being pounded with e mails that do not contain my user name. My ISP is Alltel and this is their response.. it appears you either live with it or change your e mail address.


What you have reported is an example of email spoofing. E-mail spoofing is the forgery of an e-mail's "From:" and/or "To:" fields so that the message appears to have originated from someone (even your own email address, so it appears you sent the email to yourself) or somewhere other than the actual source. Distributors of spam (Unsolicited Commercial Email) and computer virus/worm authors often utilize the practice of spoofing. Distributors of spam often use spoofing in an attempt to get recipients to open, and possibly even respond to, their solicitations. Virus/worm authors use spoofing to get you to trust the email and activate the attachment that contains their virus/worm. Both Spammers and Virus/Worm authors rely upon two factors - curiosity and a positive emotional response - that make the recipient more likely to open or even respond to a message that seems to be from someone they know and trust. Also Spammers and worms/viruses can change the "To:" address and in some cases not even include the "To:" address in their messages as another trick to get you to open their email.

Unknown Undelivered /Returned Email

If your email address has been spoofed, you probably will get undelivered/returned messages and/or angry responses (STOP SPAMMING ME! or STOP SENDING ME A VIRUS!) for email that you never sent.

If the spoofing is a result of a virus/worm and your up-to-date anti-virus software has declared your computer(s) clean, the virus/worm is most likely on another computer (friend, relative, etc. ) where your email address has been found and used. Once the infected computer is cleaned, you should stop receiving those undelivered/returned messages and/or angry responses.

If the spoofing is the result of a distributor of spam, unfortunately the usually only way to stop the undelivered/returned messages and/or angry responses is to change your email address. Common addressing such as 'johndoe@alltel.net' is an easy target for spammers. A complex address of letters, numbers and underscores (for example:jd_257918@alltel.net) will decrease your chances of being spoofed.

How can this happen?

Email has two sets of addresses. Email has one set of addresses that is used to actually deliver email to the correct person. Email users do not see these addresses when email messages are received, even if they look at the full-headers. These addresses are used by programs on the email servers that actually direct the email for delivery into individual email accounts.

The second set of addresses are found in the header of the email message. These are the addresses that email users normally see in the To: and From: headers of an email message. These addresses need not be correct for the message to be delivered. In fact, senders can make these addresses to be anything they wish. The addresses used during the delivery process do NOT have to be the same as in the message header. This is especially important to remember when viewing SPAM. The To: and From: headers on SPAM messages are usually meaningless.

Can spoofing be stopped?

The main protocol used in sending e-mail, does not include an authentication mechanism. Until the protocol is updated to require an authentication mechanism, spoofing will unfortunately continue.

Changing your email address is the only known way to stop being a victim of spoofing by a spammer.

Changing your email address to stop being a victim of spoofing will temporary stop the spoofing, however once the infected computer gets your new address, the spoofing will start anew. Fortunately, by ensuring your anti-virus and personal firewall software are updated regularly, you can help prevent the spread of the spoofing virus/worms and reduce the instances of spoofed email virus/worms.

Please visit <https://pin.alltel.net/selfcare/SelfcareApp> to change an existing email address or add another email address to your ALLTEL account.

Thank you.

ALLTEL Internet Security

abuse@alltel.net

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Alltel Internet security toll free number
by Earlismyname / February 12, 2006 7:23 AM PST

Trackerbill,
Back in December, I got the same response, deal with the spam not addressed to me or change my email. Since I had all my business contacts using my alltel.net address, changing my email with no guarantee that the spam would stop was not the answer.

I called Alltel's customer service and after about a dozen or so calls, I finally got Alltel's internet security's toll free number, 888-738-2873. I talked to a Greg and found out that "they're working on the spam issues and will be upgrading their spam filters shortly". Turns out that was BS and just something to get me off the phone.

After another month of hundreds more spam emails, I did change my email and service provider! And when my wireless contact ends in May, I'm switching that too. How does Alltel make any money??

-Earl

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Spoofing is a problem but what about you
by BarattaDesign / November 3, 2009 2:10 PM PST

Spoofing is a big problem but what does someone due when they are not a customer of yours and they receive spam and virus's from your IP address?

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