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I'm on a spammer's list and the list is public


fseeker
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I received a Google Alert notifying that my e-mail address was found on an indexed page.

I couldn't be more surprised to learn that the page was a spammer's e-mail list ht tp://89-149-209-111.internet serviceteam.co m/gcheck/logs/log172.html

You can find there several files and ready to run PHP scripts that just happen to be public.

What is the recommended course of action in this situation?

[edit - link broken don't try to restore it]

Edited by Farelf
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...What is the recommended course of action in this situation?
Stop posting from a Romanian ISP for a start (it's a trust thing when you come here talking about exploits). OK, that may be an unreasonable stipulation.

Don't paste suspect links in public.

Next, try online scans (several) to see if your computer is compromised.

See http://www.forumpostersunion.com/showthread.php?t=3041 (or any of the other about 103,000 Google search on that domain). Maybe someone is doing something about shutting that site down.

Once you're on 'a list' (whether public or not), chances are that your address is picked up on many other lists. Experience will show if you need to start seriously filtering or abandon your address.

Make sure you don't have your own address whitelisted.

[expanded on edit]

This doesn't appear to be a reporting issue - may be moved to the 'Lounge'

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I moved it to the Lounge and pm'd the OP.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could edit a list like that? Maybe some geek could come up with instructions! If only people in the know could take their email addresses off, the spammers probably wouldn't notice. But that's listwashing and true reporters don't want to be listwashed so that they can keep spamming sources blocked!

As Farelf noted, the choice is to abandon that email address or keep spam out of your inbox with filters. It is unlikely that the list is posted where there are any laws against posting email addresses. In fact, I don't think you could do anything legally about an address which was obtained and published. Once it's published, it's fair game for anyone to use. Finding out how they obtained it would be a very difficult job - maybe even impossible. And then you might find out that they didn't 'steal' it, but that you gave it to someone who sold it to them.

I don't quite get the point of Google alerting people that their email address can be found on the web. Once it is there, it is too late - the spammers have it. One of my addresses has been on the web since 2002 and you can still find it if you google. Perhaps they think that it will help educate people NOT to put their email address on the web. In fact, another one is still there even though I have cancelled the account - I am not even sure if the part after the <i>at</> is still in use. I don't get very much spam, except 419s and phishes, to the one from 2002 (though that might be due to filtering). I once said on the newsgroup that even though I knew it was there, that I didn't get spam so apparently it never made it to a bought list, and immediately after I posted, there was a spam! I think that the 419ers and phishers take the time to Google email addresses, but other spammers rely on bought and sold lists and what they can find currently with spiders judging from the amount and type of spam on different accounts.

OT, the 419ers sure have been busy lately. They are cycling through hotmail, gmail, yahoo, and even one from aol plus several from obviously compromised computers though the drop boxes are generally at one of the free sites. I even got a faxed 419!!! (with a yahoo contact).

Miss Betsy

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The e-mail address being on the spammer's list is my oldest (e-mail) account ever (2001) and abandoning it is not really an option. Being that old and well known it had time to be known by spammers as well, one way or another. Deleting spam is just as common as taking a leak for me. But this is the first time I actually see it on a list and I thought I might be able to do something about it.

Stop posting from a Romanian ISP for a start (it's a trust thing when you come here talking about exploits). OK, that may be an unreasonable stipulation.

I live in Romania.

I don't quite get the point of Google alerting people that their email address can be found on the web.

I wasn't explicit,

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

So I found out interesting to set alerts with my own name and the e-mail address is based on my name.

Edited by Wazoo
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I figured you lived in Romania. Farelf was just referencing the fact that a lot of computers in Romania seem to be sending spam, knowingly or unknowingly. I think he apologized for assumption.

Yes, it is interesting to see where your email address is. However, without the geeky knowledge of how to hack into that list, there is not anything you can do. Probably don't want to confront the actual 'owner' of the list because nowadays most of them, apparently, are criminals. Also, asking them to remove your name is not guaranteed to be useful. Since they are unethical characters to begin with, they might remove your name, but then sell it to someone else as an 'active' address.

Someone once said that it wasn't that difficult to change even a long term address. Just do it gradually. When you get a legitimate email, reply with your new address. It may take a couple of emails before they get the point. Eventually all your real correspondents know your new address. You can still keep the old one if you want to report spam or to see if some long lost correspondent turns up.

However, if you have good filters and have no problem with 'just hitting delete,' that works too.

Miss Betsy

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...But this is the first time I actually see it on a list and I thought I might be able to do something about it. ...
SpamCop is all about the SC block list and feeding it with the IP addresses of spam sources. It has no regulatory or enforcement roles or responsibilities. But this is certainly a forum where people are interested in all aspects of the elimination or control of spam. There are undoubtedly 'better' forums in terms of supporting activism and more broadly-based spam fighting and associated security and privacy matters.

Depending on how the data were gathered in the (many hundreds of) pages similar to the one you indicated, that list might very well be illegal in my country or, in view of the anecdotal accounts of internetserviceteam.com activitiy, that would definitely be the case if there was supporting evidence for the alleged 'scraping'. It might be a similar situation in Germany where the list is hosted or in the European Union. That would need to be researched and complaints made to the appropriate authorities if there is supporting legislation covering Germany. It might also/instead be contrary to the service provider's Terms of Service/Acceptable Use Policy/Customer Relationship Agreement. I posted a SiteAdvisor (McAfee) comment, perhaps activists will take up the battle.

...I live in Romania. ...
Yes, my paranoia setting was too high, sorry. I had just, virtually that very minute, finished responding in one case where extensive exploitation of Romanian webspace was demonstrated when you popped up posting a link where you said "You can find there several files and ready to run PHP scripts that just happen to be public." :D
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