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Author Topic: A question for all you geek gods  (Read 7513 times)

Claire

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A question for all you geek gods
« on: November 24, 2003, 04:42:21 pm »

Okay, since we've just certified in another thread that these forums are heavily populated by heavy geeks, I got a question for you.

This morning a client of mine received an e-mail from "Clairewolfe." Only it wasn't from me. (I assure you, I had NO reason to send him a Viagra ad.) The spammer who sent the message didn't spoof my e-mail address. He, she, or more likely IT, just used a version of my name attached to a different address. Nor did anybody's virus get ahold of my MS Outlook info because my computer is 100 percent MS-free.

Here are the message headers, with the recipient's info deleted. Can anybody tell me 1) how or why this was done (e.g. was it some random choice to use my name or was there a reason they used me instead of Joe Blow or Mary Smith?) and 2) whether, if I sent a message to abuse@aussiemail.com.au they'd likely be able to identify this cretin and block him (or is the aussie.com.au address itself some sort of spammer spoof)?

Claire

Return-Path: <woodqqjalq@aussiemail.com.au>
X-Original-To: (recipient suppressed)
Delivered-To: (recipient suppressed)
Received: from john (unknown [81.241.117.51])
 by boromir.vpop.net (Postfix) with SMTP id 3DB533A943C
 for <recipient suppressed>; Sun, 23 Nov 2003 07:25:42 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <kzqon.806648lhmqetbht@Clairewolfeywqhihiztc>
From: "Clairewolfe" <woodqqjalq@aussiemail.com.au>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 16:28:53 +0100
To: (recipient suppressed)
Subject: Re: Good Enough For Her?
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
« Last Edit: November 24, 2003, 04:48:36 pm by Claire »
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

rick

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A question for all you geek gods
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2003, 04:47:47 pm »

Probably too close a hit for a chance spam bomb. Maybe someone "likes" you...
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rick

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Carl

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A question for all you geek gods
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2003, 04:52:27 pm »

Heck Claire, that's easy. You are on some spammer's list. His spam software then psuedorandomly grabs a name from the list (yours in this case) and uses that ID in its "from" block, with extra characters grafted on (to get past character string defintions in spam filters. SOme programs just grab your name, some fill in your name and your address.

If you think that's bad, just watch your in-box. You're going to get a message from Dubya himself. :o  
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Claire

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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2003, 04:57:05 pm »

Quote
Probably too close a hit for a chance spam bomb. Maybe someone "likes" you...
Oh, that's SO wonderful to hear. I've always wanted to be popular.  :blink:  
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

enemyofthestate

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A question for all you geek gods
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2003, 05:03:17 pm »

This is just a spoof.  The To: header in an email is for the conveniece of human beings and is generally left untouched by a mail server.  Even the Return-Path: can be forged of the sender controls the mail server.  If you want to see how it works, try this from a terminal screen next time you connect to the internet.  Note: the "$" is the shell prompt -- don't type that part.  Comments are set off by <-----

I'll assume that your email address is claire@clairewolfe.com

$ dig clairewolfe.com mx

;; ANSWER SECTION:
clairewolfe.com.        0       IN      MX      10 mail.clairewolfe.com. <-- this is how mail gets to you

$ telnet mail.clairewolfe.com 25   <--- port 25 is for email
Trying 12.129.229.63...
Connected to mail.clairewolfe.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 host99n.ipowerweb.com ESMTP

Now use these commands (resonses are in brackets[])

helo clairewolfe.com
[250 host99n.ipowerweb.com]
mail from: <god@heaven.org>
[250 ok]
rcpt to: <claire@clairewolfe.com>
[250 ok]
data
[354 go ahead]   <-- do NOT put a blank after this line!
Subject: Subject: Just messing around
From: "The Big Kahuna"<god@heaven.org>
To: "The little people"<punk@rock.com>
                                            <---------  this blank line is important!
This is a test
.                                           <------------ '.' (period) at start of line means end of message
[250 ok 1069714535 qp 16211]
quit
 
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Atheist   n.   A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence, and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others
-- Chaz Bufe, The American Heretics Dictionary

Claire

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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2003, 05:05:01 pm »

Quote


If you think that's bad, just watch your in-box. You're going to get a message from Dubya himself. :o
Ohmigod ... This freaks me out.

And you can tell Dubya that if he throws Ashcroft's can in prison, pulls all troops out of ... everywhere ... and learns the proper pronunciation of NUKE-U-LAR, I *will* send him my last remaining copy of 101 Things.

Just before I got Dubya's book order, I also got mail from The Big Kahuna <god@heaven.org>. (Hm, which one is the higher authority?) Nobody's confessed to being Him yet. (BTW, God, when you are ready to fess up, I have some really serrrrious questions for you. And "What is the meaning of life?" is going to be one of the easy ones.)

Okay, I knew you could spoof an address easily enough. And I knew spammers did. If it's just a matter of choosing a random name out of a spammer's address book, okay. I'll grit teeth and get over it. But it's pretty weird that someone I know would get a spam with my name on it. And I'd love to hear any ideas about what I can do about it.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2003, 05:10:15 pm by Claire »
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

rick

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A question for all you geek gods
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2003, 05:07:10 pm »

I'd rather get a spam BS with my name on it than a .30 bullet... ;-)
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rick

I bear no hate against a living thing I just love my freedom all above the King

Claire

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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2003, 05:09:27 pm »

Quote
[354 go ahead]   <-- do NOT put a blank after this line!
Subject: Subject: Just messing around
From: "The Big Kahuna"<god@heaven.org>
To: "The little people"<punk@rock.com>
                                            <---------  this blank line is important!
This is a test
 
Aha! So God Kahuna was confessing even as I was writing about Him! Well, damn, that's interesting enemyofthestate. Thank you.

Now ...why me? Or was it really just random that someone I know gets a spam message from "me"? And is there anything I can do about it? (Besides rant and foment, I mean.)

Claire

P.S. Mr. God, I'll save the rest of my questions for later. But here's a hint: You'd better have a *really* good answer about that little Inquisition thingie. And those witch-burnings, too.
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Claire

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A question for all you geek gods
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2003, 05:10:48 pm »

Quote
I'd rather get a spam BS with my name on it than a .30 bullet... ;-)
How about "C: None of the above"?
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Augustwest

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A question for all you geek gods
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2003, 05:12:01 pm »

Quote
...than a .30 bullet...

From the looks of the geek thread, you're gonna have to be more specific.  :)  
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Augustwest

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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2003, 05:14:04 pm »

Take a breath there Don...
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\"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.\"  - Capt. Reynolds

rick

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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2003, 05:14:55 pm »

Quote
How about "C: None of the above"?

Sure, but we can't always decide the way we like, that would spoil the game ;-)

Don, in other, plain words, you have no solution at all to offer...
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rick

I bear no hate against a living thing I just love my freedom all above the King

Claire

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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2003, 05:18:24 pm »

Quote
Actually, I can tell you who that message is from, with a little detective work.

But forget it, why expend the energy?

This is not a forum that welcomes the free thinking, so, why should I help you when you have a technical problem?
 
Well, Don, I didn't specifically ask you to help.

Why expend all the energy to deliver gratuitious spite?
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Jac

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A question for all you geek gods
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2003, 05:37:59 pm »

Um... well, that was interesting. :blink:

Anyway, Claire, I can answer your questions for you. God had nothing to do with the Inquisition or witch burnings. (Those were the work of <surprise> government [either the government of the Church or just plain ol government])

There! Now you can get to the real important mind-bending questions; like, where does infinity end? :unsure:  
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I have never regretted that I chose to "take the red pill." But there are days, just rarely, when the truth is so ugly, so brutal, so unmerciful, so relentless, that even if I wouldn't rip the truth from the wall socket and hurl it out the window to crash on the sidewalk below, I wouldn't mind if it featured a snooze button so we could savor just a few more moments in slumbered pretension and warm, fuzzy lies pulled snugly up over our heads.
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enemyofthestate

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A question for all you geek gods
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2003, 05:41:29 pm »

Quote
Now ...why me? Or was it really just random that someone I know gets a spam message from "me"? And is there anything I can do about it? (Besides rant and foment, I mean.)
Most likely just a coincidence.  Spammers use a lot of tricks to hide their identity and to bypass spam filters and one trick is to use a forged From: address.  It is very unlikely that this doofus (who is probably on a dialup account in France or the Netherlands) even know who you are.  He probably just bought a spammer software package, clicked "OK" at all the prompts and started sending out his junk.
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Mystical man values human life.  Rational man values the ability to value human life.
--Stephen Carville

Atheist   n.   A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence, and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others
-- Chaz Bufe, The American Heretics Dictionary
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