Why are someone doing this?
August 23, 2017 4:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm running a small blog, and recently I have been getting subscribers to my email list, about 50 a week, from accounts like mundonvkatialfk@outlook.com. They are all outlook accounts, but don't respond to emails and emails to them are not bouncing. I have no idea why anyone would do this. Has anyone else seen this? I'm using Feedburner.
posted by Ferrari328 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd guess those are automatically generated spam accounts (I see similar semi-random strings in spam comments on blogs a bunch). I would also guess that they are set up to automatically sign up to a bunch of newsletters to generate incoming email, perhaps to put automatic spam-emailer-detecting mechanisms off the scent.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:26 AM on August 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

Some mailling lists will only allow one to see the recipients if one's a member, so there's automated systems setup to join lists and harvest the members. It's probably not worth the extra 5-10 minutes it would have taken the original scripter to unsubscribe once they've attempted/acheived a members list.

A lot of malware/spamware gets sold, but it's hard to say if the software is crappy enough that it doesn't track if it's already attempted to get members from X list, or if Y people have bought this software and attempted to grab members after spidering your blog.

Change your mailing list so that people don't get auto subscribed but instead you are required to confirm them. Definitely check configs so that members can't get member lists.
posted by nobeagle at 7:39 AM on August 23, 2017

New user registration SPAM. It's a pretty common thing. Responding to them it folly. I just set up a new site a week or so ago, got a bunch of these and then I noticed that both I and the client received phishing emails shortly after.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:03 AM on August 23, 2017

HappyDave and nobeagle already answered, but I'd like to chime in that if you don't have your mailing list set up to do double-opt-in confirmation (i.e. the user needs to confirm they own the email address by clicking a link sent to their email to subscribe), then you're very likely to have delivery problems with your mailing list in the future.
posted by Aleyn at 1:52 PM on August 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

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