[sf-lug] spam vs. anti-spam

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Fri May 7 15:15:50 PDT 2021

Michael Paoli writes:
> And spammers abusing the BALUG VM is a problem that goes way back,
> even many years ago, they had bots using the wiki registration form ...
> because it generates an email.  Spammers and their bots love to use any
> email or web means that can generate/forward/relay an email, most notably
> if they can control most any content of it - even if it's only some tiny
> bit - they don't care.

Oh, wow. Is that why I keep getting mail from services like paypal
(and other real services) for someone with an obviously autogenerated
realname, but my email address? I've never been able to figure out
what possible good that would do spammers, since the owner of the
email address obviously isn't going to confirm it. But maybe they
could use it to test whether my email address is live (by logging
back in to paypal and seeing if it says the email couldn't be sent?)
It seems like a lot of extra trouble to go to, but I suppose it
would be easy enough to automate (or pay mechanical turks).

(I'd also like to know why web services like paypal don't delete
accounts where the email was never confirmed, but instead keep them
live forever, and continue to send promotional mail to the owner of
the email address, year after year. And they never respond to email
to abuse@ trying to get it stopped. Grumble.)


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