design: impulsant
Monday, February 21, 2005

Fake anti-Spam replies.

Since last week I've been using Junker, and yes, I'm happy about it. I'm using it for two corporate accounts that get spammed a lot. But today, I got a phone call from a business relation about the e-mail I've sent him. I had no idea what he was talking about, but it turned out it was about the automated (Junker) reply to his newsletter he had send to my adress. He phoned because he had some bad experiences in the past with anti-spam software... He had got some fake anti-spam software replies in the past to his outgoing emails, he was asked to fill out some info, in order for him to be whitelisted. (his email etc)... so these spammers masked as anti-spam software and then spammed you and all your whitelisted relations from then on. Great!


  • Junker is a new technology so people have to get used to it. I think the person who talked to Bas doesn't quite understand how Challenge/Response works. If he sends mail to companies and they ask him to enter more information about himself before they can help him than that is just standard company policy to find out more about their clients to help them better, or spam them in the future. The fact that this person received an automated reply asking him to do something doesn't mean that it was a C/R system.

    And if a spammer would email you masking as a Challenge/Response service the only thing they could win is your emailaddress (which they needed anyway to email you in the first place). They couldn't suddenly access your Whitelist as Bas writes.

    I think this is a typical and natural reaction to all new technology (or anything) that most people have; "it's new so my first instinct is NOT to trust it"

    Reinier Evers from once told me 'If you don't understand it, it must be interesting'. That was his motto for finding new stuff. Here at IdeaBrokers we should try to look at innovations like that too...

    By Blogger Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, at 3:20 pm  

  • I agree, he obviously didn't understand it, so he compared it to something else.

    But there have been rumours about these services spamming whitelists. I can't imagine how anyone knows where the spam comes from or where an e-mail is harvested. But trust is a big issue, trust and knowing how to use it.

    It's the same with double opt-in. Three years ago you lost 40% of all the subscribers because they didn't understand the extra reply they had to give.

    By Blogger Bas van de Haterd, at 9:52 am  

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