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davorg (18)

Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Wednesday June 19, 2002
09:03 AM

Inherited Spam

[ #5773 ]

What's worse than getting spam? Getting spam that's meant for someone else.

When I started this job, I was asked what username I wanted on the system. I was told that 'dave' was free, but it had been used before. I decided to go for it anyway.

The first time I connected to the company POP server to download mail, there were 55 messages waiting for me. I'm used to getting a couple of "welcome" messages the first time I log on to a mail server, but this was all external stuff. None of it was actually spam as it seems the the previous owner of this email address was a big fan of "industry insider" mailing lists and was subscribed to all the ones he could find.

So now, each day I get a torrent of information that I have no interest in. The first task of the day is to unsubscribe from any new lists that have turned up during the night.

This isn't an onerous task. As they all seem to be legit mailing lists, they are happy to accept unsubscribe requests. What I am surprised by, however, is the number of them that allow you to unsubscribe simply by typing your email address into a web form. In most cases there is no confirmation email or password verification needed.

So, maybe the previous 'dave' didn't really love being on mailing lists. Perhaps he was subscribed to them by people who didn't like him :)

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  • maybe he set you up, thinking: 'If there's ever another 'dave' that follows me, I'll show him!'

    Maybe it's just the paranoia in me, tho ... ;)