Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam...
So, did you get my e-mail about my new online pharmacy? how about my new generic Viagra? what about "re: your details"? or "re: your application"?
Well, Actually, none of these are or were from me. Yeah, I know, the return address was something "@tikiking.com", but really, I did not send them.
So here is the deal. I have been getting a ton of "returned" e-mails. The thing is, I didn't send of them out. These are offers for various crap, generic Viagra, penis enlargement, online pharmacies, porn, you name it. I was running my self ragged trying to stop it. I thought someone had hijacked my e-mail account. I changed providers I changed passwords daily, I use firewalls and virus protection, I cut my phone lines and built a wall around my house. I buried my computer in an unmarked grave filled with salt under the full moon. I hid in a sealed underground bunker wearing night vision goggles, and eating dehydrated food. And yet the e-mails continued. Then I found out a secret. It had nothing to do with me.
It was not my computer.
It was not my e-mail account.
It was a "spoofing" program, and it works in one of two ways:
A person receives an e-mail containing this little program, which picks a name from the persons address book and inserts it in the "From" field. In this case, it was "firstname.lastname@example.org" then sends itself out to everyone in that address book. So, you get an e-mail looks like it is "from" me, open it up, and the whole thing starts over.
The other way it works is that there are programs that scour the Internet looking for anything that looks like an e-mail address. They collect anything that is (variable)@(variable).(variable) and puts all these addresses on a list. So, it collects thousands of names, and then people buy these lists of names, and use a "spoofing" program to send out thousands of Spam e-mails from a random name on the list. Lately, that name has been Tiki King. It really sucks. What can you do? well, first of all, do not open any attachments, regardless of who seems to have sent them to you, unless you know for sure, without a doubt, ABSOLUTLY what that attachment is, and even then, run a virus check on it. These days, I delete anything with an attachment, no matter who sent it. If it was important, they can send it again. Also, I pretty much never send out attachments. So if you get something from me with an attachment, delete it. you can be pretty certain I didn't send it to you anyway. for a while I was reporting the web sites that were in these adds, but pretty much as soon as I found out, the web site had already been shut down. It confounded me. Why would someone advertise a web site that was not available? I mean, what are these marketing idiots thinking? if I set up my e-mail to filter out anything with the subject "viagra" why in the world would I want "v.i.a.g.r.a" or "V_I_A_G_R_A" or "vi@gra" or any other combination.
Come on! If I don't want the product, It is probably not due to the spelling. Sheeesh! Then I found out an interesting tidbit. A lot of this has nothing to do with the web site or the product, but rather is being done by hackers who's motive is only to see if they can get that e-mail into your in box, or to infect your computer with whatever is the virus de jour. I guess the problem its that people are curious. They get an e-mail that says "here are the Pics" or "the file you asked for" or "your details" or what ever and they think "hmm, I guess this unexpected attachment is something nice from a good friend"
So they open it, and unknown to them, their computer is now working late at night, serving up porn, or sending out Spam or often being used as a host to hack in to other computers, leaving a trail that leads back to where? yep, their computer. So the upshot is this. if you get anything "from" me with an attachment, don't be curious, just delete it. It was not from me anyway.
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