Help: my e-mail address is being spoofed by a spammer! (Summary)

Subject: Help: my e-mail address is being spoofed by a spammer! (Summary)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 09:40:36 -0500

Yesterday, I reported that someone swiped my e-mail address and used it to spoof the "from:" line of their e-mail headers for a large volume of spam, leading to hundreds of e-mail error messages being sent to my account. More than 1600 last night alone! (Eek!)

Thanks for all the expressions of sympathy. Consensus is that there's not a lot I can do about this unless one of the bounced messages contains enough information to track down the spammer and shut 'em down. Nothing obvious, but I forwarded some of the more promising (complete) ones to my ISP for action.

I also took a closer look at the error messages and found the problem, and as it turns out, I was "lucky"*: the spammer used my Web site as the source of the spoofed address, and all the error mail was being forwarded to my main address (this one) after being handled by the site host's e-mail software.

* If it had been either of my primary addresses, I would have been blacklisted from here to darkest elbonia, and would have had to change e-mail addresses and notify all my friends, colleagues, and contacts.

Solutions? Once I finally got a clue and figured out the problem, I immediately notified my site host about the problem, and he disabled the e-mail forwarding within minutes. (Thanks, Eric!) That stopped the flood of mail in its tracks, at least for the moment. I also notified my ISP to ensure that if any complaints arrived, they'd have a report on file that I was the victim, not the victimizer. Phew!

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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