Author Topic: Spam on my email address soley used here.  (Read 24992 times)

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Online bob3160

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2012, 01:08:40 AM »
Sorry but I always check my Spam Folder for possible misdirected emails.



Quote
Do you know exactly how spam is filtered via static and dynamic rules?  Can you check the logs to see if an attempt was made?  Nearly everyone doesn't fall into this category and thus their not see a spam isn't a reliable datapoint so to speak.


I think I've been around the block a few times and can recognize a Spamming Attack if one happened.  ;D
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Offline FlyingRobot

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2012, 01:17:02 AM »
You failed to comment on the key question, which is whether you run or otherwise have core access to your email server and have the ABILITY to SEE everything you need to in order to make such a call.  Do you?  If you are using any major web mail provider, ISP, etc you don't.

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2012, 01:23:28 AM »
Since I primarily use gmail, you're correct I don't.
That doesn't change the fact that I've not received any spam as a result of being
a member of this forum.



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Offline FlyingRobot

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2012, 01:45:18 AM »
Since I primarily use gmail, you're correct I don't.
That doesn't change the fact that I've not received any spam as a result of being a member of this forum.

Your not having full visibility into your email server configuration and logs calls that "fact" into question.  Furthermore, have you always given the avast forum a unique email address that you've used no where else?

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2012, 01:53:34 AM »
The answer is NO and to me this is a dead issue.
I have never been spammed as I've already mentioned.

We can continue with additional non meaningful replies or simply leave this to the Mods.
Which is exactly what I intend do do.

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Offline tbessie

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2012, 02:56:47 AM »
Since I primarily use gmail, you're correct I don't.
That doesn't change the fact that I've not received any spam as a result of being a member of this forum.

Your not having full visibility into your email server configuration and logs calls that "fact" into question.  Furthermore, have you always given the avast forum a unique email address that you've used no where else?

I think this is a very valid question.

For example, my situation is that, while I don't run my own email server, my ISP allows me to set the level of ferocity of their spam filtering software (I haven't checked if they let me view their logs of attempted spams that were completely filtered out, blacklisted, etc.).

My ISP also puts emails it is not 100% sure are spam into a 'graymail' box, so that I can examine them.  In this case, the filters didn't catch it.

Also, once mail gets past the spam and graymail filters, I have a large number of procmail filters that are applied, sorting emails into about 20 different mailboxes based on various rules - from, to, subject, indirectly-sent (eg. mailing list or BCC), etc.  That way, I quickly can find suspect emails, or emails in mailboxes that have nothing to do with the associated email address.  Since I tag EVERY email address I give out, pretty much, I find any spams to specific email addresses very quickly.

I think the above set of conditions provides a lot of visibility into what's happening to my email addresses, short of running my own mail server.  There are probably quite a few emails I don't ever see that are caught by my ISP's (very good) spam filters, of course.

In any case, though we may not have convinced Bob that our emails have been stolen/sold/harvested/hacked or otherwise gotten by something other means than a dictionary-style hack, I maintain that it is likely that it has.  From things folks have said here, it's likely some sort of injection on known insecurities in this forum software, or an inside job by an untrustworthy employee (unless we want to believe that Avast would risk its reputation purposefully, which I do doubt they would).

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Offline FlyingRobot

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2012, 04:26:01 AM »
The answer is NO and to me this is a dead issue.
I have never been spammed as I've already mentioned.

Thank you for answering those questions.  Given this NO to the last question, I think we've established that you lack the *information* necessary to make a "I've never been spammed as a result of giving this forum my email address" call.  Because you don't use recipient unique email addresses, you lack the ability to assess from where spammers acquire your email address.  Because you don't know the intimate details of how your server is configured and can't check the appropriate logs, you can't rule out that your email address(es) have been a spam target.  Please forgive me for pressing this point, it is nothing personal, but it IS important.

It would be interesting to know if anyone who is setup and watching for email address leaks *hasn't* had their avast forum email address hit *as confirmed by their server logs*.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 04:28:14 AM by FlyingRobot »

Offline AdrianH

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2012, 08:13:41 AM »
One important question is whether 1) this is only affecting email addresses in the forum database,  or 2) whether it is [also] affecting email addresses shared with avast via other mechanisms.  My impression after going through this thread is that there is no useful evidence of #2.  If anyone has useful evidence of #2, please report it here in very clear terms.

FWIW, I do have some reason to doubt #2 and it is this:  I use recipient-unique, time-limited throw-away email addresses for software registrations and forum registrations.  My older avast-specific email address which was hit, which I think I might have once used in the forum, was for some reason tagged incorrectly and thus it was not automatically deactivated.  What I realize today is that in the past I used several other email addresses *just when registering avast software*.  Those were properly deactivated, but I found them today and thus could double check my logs to see if they were a RCPT TO within the past year or so.  None of them were.  This "two of two avast forum email addresses were targeted,  zero of two avast registration only email addresses were targeted" is non-conclusive but I consider it a good sign.

You missed out 3)   the same spam message is being received at email addresses that have NEVER been used in connection with avast ......... which it is.
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Offline CraigB

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2012, 09:31:42 AM »
Seems very strange that only a limited number of fairly new forum members are recieving this spam, i myself have recieved general spam not related to avast but similar to what others have mentioned here in content so it could just be random i believe and the other point to look at is did any of these new members have there email showing when they first joined the forum  ??? as if so they would have been easly harvested.

Offline FlyingRobot

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2012, 01:23:22 PM »
Seems very strange that only a limited number of fairly new forum members are recieving this spam... did any of these new members have there email showing when they first joined the forum  ???
I don't think this is affecting only fairly new forum members/addresses.  IIRC, several have reported having older avast only email addresses just hit (myself included).  I've seen numerous posters claim their forum email address was hit and three claims that their forum email address wasn't hit.  Problem is, none of the one's claiming their email address wasn't hit backed that up with the right words you would want to hear before you put weight on it.  So I don't think we can at this point assume that a limited number of forum member email addresses were affected. 

FWIW, I always immediately walk through the settings of a forum account and make adjustments as necessary.  I'm certainly not one that would opt to have their email address shown or allow email from members.  What's interesting though is that I've recently come across some past messages which suggest that at some point in time *the default* was to show or make revealable your email address.  I can't remember that.  I can't even imagine anyone allowing such a default to occur or continue.  I've since, recently, gone back into my settings to double check them.  I can't find a hide or show email address option.  What I do see is the "Allow users to email me" option, unchecked, which the help page describes as: Allow users to email me - A member may choose to allow other members to contact them via email. The forum does not reveal the member's e-mail address, but instead provides a contact form.".  However, I tried clicking on someone's email icon and it did display their email address in the contact form.  So at least in some cases there appears to be an easy way to harvest an address.

I just went back over the thread.  I don't see any email addresses displayed for anyone, and I only see one member (avast IT crowd) with the email icon (and whose address I can reveal by clicking on their email icon).  This makes me inclined to doubt that those reporting a hit were hit due to their email address being harvested in such a simple way.  I'd like to see something more to back up that idea before buying into it.

Offline essexboy

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2012, 04:09:46 PM »
OK a final question to kill this dead...  Apart from the initial spam  have you received any further ones ?

If the answer is no then to me it appears a targeted attack just to get this sort of rubbish clogging the forums and producing distrust.

So who has received any spam after that first burst... Anyone ?

Will a spammer stop at just one shot ?

Offline curious!

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2012, 04:26:04 PM »
Seems very strange that only a limited number of fairly new forum members are recieving this spam, i myself have recieved general spam not related to avast but similar to what others have mentioned here in content so it could just be random i believe and the other point to look at is did any of these new members have there email showing when they first joined the forum  ??? as if so they would have been easly harvested.

Just for the sake of completeness, I signed up with said e-mail account back in 2005, not a (fairly) new member.

This address has never been shown to anyone, and not received anything for the last 9 months before this spam.

Other long term members have got the spam too so don't try to disregard the facts, please.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 04:33:55 PM by curious! »

Offline CraigB

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2012, 04:41:04 PM »
Please answer essexboy's question prior to your last post ?

Offline exocet

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2012, 06:33:42 PM »
Seems very strange that only a limited number of fairly new forum members are recieving this spam... did any of these new members have there email showing when they first joined the forum  ???
I don't think this is affecting only fairly new forum members/addresses.  IIRC, several have reported having older avast only email addresses just hit (myself included).  I've seen numerous posters claim their forum email address was hit and three claims that their forum email address wasn't hit.  Problem is, none of the one's claiming their email address wasn't hit backed that up with the right words you would want to hear before you put weight on it.  So I don't think we can at this point assume that a limited number of forum member email addresses were affected. 

FWIW, I always immediately walk through the settings of a forum account and make adjustments as necessary.  I'm certainly not one that would opt to have their email address shown or allow email from members.  What's interesting though is that I've recently come across some past messages which suggest that at some point in time *the default* was to show or make revealable your email address.  I can't remember that.  I can't even imagine anyone allowing such a default to occur or continue.  I've since, recently, gone back into my settings to double check them.  I can't find a hide or show email address option.  What I do see is the "Allow users to email me" option, unchecked, which the help page describes as: Allow users to email me - A member may choose to allow other members to contact them via email. The forum does not reveal the member's e-mail address, but instead provides a contact form.".  However, I tried clicking on someone's email icon and it did display their email address in the contact form.  So at least in some cases there appears to be an easy way to harvest an address.

I just went back over the thread.  I don't see any email addresses displayed for anyone, and I only see one member (avast IT crowd) with the email icon (and whose address I can reveal by clicking on their email icon).  This makes me inclined to doubt that those reporting a hit were hit due to their email address being harvested in such a simple way.  I'd like to see something more to back up that idea before buying into it.

Of course you cant see users emails, and the ones you can see are those who have allowed others to see them in their profile (I don’t). Checkout the attachments that the users have supplied.

A Spammer moves on, once they hit  a place they move on to another, they may return some months later to try and harvest new signups, but not worth the security alert for 6 or so email addresses. They move on to another entity to attack for fresh email addresses. They have all they needed for this site at this time, but who knows what will happen in a couple of months. Its the distinct lack of response by the AVAST webmaster that concerns me, but they still have 9am Monday 2nd April (GMT) to satisfy me that they are working on it, fixing it or whatever, but NOT ignoring people and only a moderator responding to a 7th reply and not addressing the first comment.


Offline essexboy

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Re: Spam on my email address soley used here.
« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2012, 06:35:27 PM »
Don't you just love deadlines... Mind you this really is an earthshattering event