Given the three thousand odd bounced e-mails I’ve received this morning purporting to have been originally sent from various names @plasticbag.org, I’m guessing that my domain has been chosen by spammers as a particularly amusing return-path address. If any of the people who visit my site are receiving spam from @plasticbag.org addresses, can I say in public that I’m not responsible for the irritation that you’re suffering and that I’m suffering many orders of magnitude more irritation from it than you probably are. However, I am genuinely sorry for the pain this is causing you, and if anyone knows whether there is anything practical that I can do about it, I’d really appreciate it if you could leave a note in the comments. Thanks again.
21 replies on “Evil spammers using plasticbag.org addresses…”
They’re probably just copying your domain name into the from field in an effort to get past spam filters.
This is fairly common, and known as a joe job or backscatter.
I also got my first comment spam which when I tracked back, discovered that it probably came via your blog (i.e. somebody is comment spamming commenters on your blog). Luckily, I have moderation before showing comments.
Dan’s Wikipedia links [above] say that in some cases you can block the backscatter at the mailserver
Otherwise I guess you could set up a filter on your email client, when backscatter from a particular subject line starts arriving. (But that wouldn’t stop your server getting hammered)
…Obviously I’m not technical 🙂
Best thing I’ve found is to disable your catch all email address, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org, so that you don’t get thousands of bounce messages. If you only use e.g. tom@pla… or t.c.@pla… just have those enabled. There is nothng though afaik which you can do to stop the actual spam in the first place.
yeah, I get quite a few of those too, and they’re just the ones that get past the GMail spam filter. I thought my computer was hosting some kind of trojan the first time it happened, but I soon found out that it’s fairly common.
Sounds like you’ve suddenly been hit bad with it though.
Ive had this happen a few times. Its really frustrating having to tidy my gmail inbox.
Weird, I’ve also been getting bounced spam all day on an old demon address I no longer use. Not that order of magnitude, but enough to be truly annoying.
I sympathise, various scumbags have been using 1stvamp.org for a couple of years now, and the amount of bounces and “e-mail has been blocked as spam” replies to messages I never actually sent has only grown day by day in that time, now the majority of e-mail filtered into my Junk folder by Mail is actually bounce messages from other spam.
I recently had the exact same problem with my gmail account, it was using my email address but putting a full stop in the username part. All I got was a bunch of returned mail 🙁
Are there non-evil spammers?
I can only imagine the made-for-TV dramas about the “spammer with a big heart”
I too am concerned about my domain name being taken in vain – I’m self-employed and it would be a disaster if my clients got the impression that I’m spamming them penis enhancing solutions…but I’m not sure there is anything you can do…at the end of the day, you can set the reply address to your email to anything you like. It doesn’t take much scratching to show that it’s not you that actually sent the mail, but most people probably don’t know that. I’ve tried to educate as many people as possible, and good that you are too.
Half the problem is the mail servers or spam filters that are designed to bounce these emails back. Why bother? Most of the bounced email is going to be spam anyway, it only doubles the amount of crap a spam email generates.
What, you haven’t inherited an important sum of money in Cote d’Ivoire, and that wasn’t you asking me to assist you in its transfer to my country? Curses!
I have the same annoying problem. One partial solution is that the part before the @ in the email address is randomly generated, so will not correspond to your usual email name. So if you filter mail by names you use it will at least sort this mail out.
You can see the origination host in the email address (I guess a computer hijacked with a trojan and a mass mailing bot). I wonder if there would be any use in reporting the infection somewhere?
Welcome to the club. I’ve had my mailbox filling up everyday with those (even after telling my two spamfilters to take out all return reports).
My main consern now, however is that my entire server will be blacklisted – so that my real e-mails won’t get through… =/ Hm.
I think you require spam assassins now, its high time you that because its more likely that you coulde be hacked.
Hmm, I’ve had this happening for months now. I just assumed everyone had this problem. Now i feel like an early adopter 🙂
Stuart Grimshaw: a mail system *should* deliver bounces on failure – how pissed would you be if your really, really important mail didn’t get through and you didn’t find out?
Is it time of the month or sommit? I got 4,000 spammails the same day as you. First time I’ve been spammed good and proper. Spent the entire morning deleting them from the server. The dropping of the catch all email address would seem to be the best advice, but I’ll wait to see if I get hit again hard soon before I do that.
I’m upto my head with this thing. Thanks God I don’t own a gun! But I really wish we can go-back to wild-wild-west era.
This is so frustrating that you really can’t concentrate on anything. You don’t want to miss one good email but than you have to go through thousands. And bad reputation to business. There’re many folks who still don’t understand or believe that my business/domain is in fact biggest victim amongst all.
Isn’t there anything all the “good programmers” on this planet can do about this problem?