Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yahoo is Spam Heaven

Back in 2007, The Yahoo blog listed out how they planned to stop spammers, spoofers, and phishers everywhere. Guess those plans fell short!

I've recently run across many many instances (including one involving a high-school classmate) where email messages circulate with text to the effect of "i am stranded in [insert city here] and need money."

I've also experienced firsthand on this very blog an intrusion by a spamster!

GET RID OF YOUR YAHOO EMAIL ACCOUNTS! Harsh words, but you gotta do what you gotta do. The entire yahoo e-mail system is a Venus Fly Trap for innocent netizens. The problem seems to be rampant in e-mail (including yahoo groups mailing lists) and does not appear to be compromising other yahoo services.

There is NO easy solution to this. Once a spammer (or a PC infected with a mass mailer worm) has your email address there’s nothing you can do to stop messages being sent either to or from your address.

Spammers and mass mailer worms harvest email addresses from distribution lists in email headers on chain emails, or use Trojans to harvest them from infected PC’s hard drives. Spam is then sent out to those harvested addresses, and the sender is spoofed, also using one of those email addresses.

HOW TO RECOVER ::: (1) GET OFF YAHOO EMAIL! (2) If you need to stay on or log on to export your contacts, change the password of your email account, then do full virus / malware scans of your computer. DO NOT EXPORT YOUR CONTACTS DIRECTLY TO GMAIL OR HOTMAIL - if you do you have just compromised your other email account!

FUN FACT ::: Google gmail allows you to make an email alias by adding "+alias" to your email address. For example, if you're applying at KeyBank, you could give them the email address of blogger.bill+KeyBank@gmail.com. If anyone besides KeyBank sends you email to this address, you'll know that email addresses at KeyBank may have been compromised. You can then set up filters to automatically direct these messages to Trash.

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