Scared of Domain Theft
Thread poster: Parrot

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:05
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 26, 2011

Hi all,

I've been getting mailer-daemon messages in Cyrillic reporting that someone using an e-mail that doesn't exist under my domain has been spamming a lot of other e-mail addresses I'm not even aware of. Typically, they strike off the first letter of my actual e-mail address or change it. Is there any way of fighting this kind of domain theft? I'm getting worried because it's definitely the wrong kind of publicity for an online presence.

Grateful for any advice.

Cecilia


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hotmail too Oct 26, 2011

Parrot wrote:

Hi all,

I've been getting mailer-daemon messages in Cyrillic reporting that someone using an e-mail that doesn't exist under my domain has been spamming a lot of other e-mail addresses I'm not even aware of. Typically, they strike off the first letter of my actual e-mail address or change it. Is there any way of fighting this kind of domain theft? I'm getting worried because it's definitely the wrong kind of publicity for an online presence.

Grateful for any advice.

Cecilia


I tried to access an old hotmail account the other day and it's apprently blocked for a similar reason. I never use for anything important, but it is unsettling.


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:05
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Ceci Oct 26, 2011

These mailer-daemon messages themselves must be a scam. Could you please send me one with complete headers so I could take a look?

Natalia


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Regular business in spam! Oct 26, 2011

Using fake addresses based on your domain name to spam a ton of people is regular practice among spammers. It happened to my company a long time ago, with no consequence in the end. Unfortunately there is very little you can do as an individual user. Internet Service Providers are already taking effective measures to fight spam.

If at any point in time you have any problems sending out emails, it will mean that spammers have succeeded in making your domain name look like a source of spam. Talk to your ISP immediately so that they can counteract any such situation, which by the way would be tremendously unlikely.

And, may I add that the mailer-daemon messages themselves can be a form of spam? I mean that the "non-delivered" messages you receive are more prone to be opened and read then other messages, so some spammers send their spam with that format. It's best if you don't even open them at all.

Try to get some utility that will let you examine the messages on the email server, before you download them to your computer. I use Firetrust Mailwasher, which is excellent at categorising email as genuine email or spam.

My advice is that you discuss this with your ISP so that they are aware of this situation, and to get professional advice on the matter. They might also tell you more about whether there is any risks associated to this misuse of your domain.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:05
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Natalia Oct 26, 2011

Natalie wrote:

These mailer-daemon messages themselves must be a scam. Could you please send me one with complete headers so I could take a look?

Natalia


Actually, I just erased the last batch, but it's not the first time nor, I fear, will it be the last. Next time I get another spate of them, I'll send one to you.


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:05
Chinese to English
+ ...
Nothing you can do about it Oct 27, 2011

The thing about spam is that they use fraudulent sender addresses. The way email works is basically that you just tell the server “I have a piece of mail from so-and-so”, “I want to send it to so-and-so”, and “here is the piece of mail”. You can claim to be anyone (just like postal mail), and the spammers know they can claim to be anyone in any domain and that’s how they claim to be some random (usually, and hopefully non-existent) person in your domain.

You do get a trace in the headers, at least theoretically, but the offending computer that sent the spam usually is not even the spammer’s. (Spammers use viruses to make other people’s computers send spam for them.) And if it’s a bounced spam the bouncing mailer daemon might not even give you the complete headers for you to do the tracing. I used to trace every spam I got but I have long given up. Just delete the spam and the bounced spams; there is absolutely nothing you can do.

And about Tomás’ comment about mailer-daemon messages: Mailer-daemon messages are not spam (the reason you get bounced spams from mailer daemons is the explanation above). Some spammers do try to forge mailer-daemon messages, but so far they don’t look real. If you know how real bounce messages look you should be able to tell which are real bounces and which are fake.

[Edited at 2011-10-27 07:09 GMT]


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