AOL Spam
May 15, 2004 10:53 AM   Subscribe

In the last three days I've had 150 emails - 140 of which have been message failures from AOL. They think I've been sending spam emails from random addresses on my domain to random addresses on their domain.

Strangely, I've had no complaints from people about how I am spamming them, but the domain is non-obvious and not advertised on the web. What the hell is happening?
posted by twine42 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I'm not sure what you mean "not advertised on the web." But spammers spoof return addresses (to make the message look valid, and for variety's sake). Especially if you have a catchall on your site, or common-word accounts (webmaster, postmaster, abuse, et cetera) then it is not unlikely that they spidered your domain (if it is linked to from just about anywhere) and chose to use it as the one to spoof more or less randomly.

When it happened to me, I got about 500 mail failures in four days or so, and then it trickled down to one or two a day for a couple of weeks. I got about four about a month after the fact, from slow, slow mail servers.

Filter all your mailer-daemon errors into a trash bin for two or three days. This too shall pass.
posted by rafter at 11:07 AM on May 15, 2004

Scroll down. this was asked a few days ago. Or, see this.
posted by dobbs at 11:32 AM on May 15, 2004

Response by poster: Sorry if i missed it before. That'll teach me...

"not advertised on the web" = not used as a http server and only used for friend email and places like and amazon.

I'm just wondering how the hell they discovered my domain...
posted by twine42 at 11:41 AM on May 15, 2004

If any email address in the domain is mentioned on any web page, there's a chance that a spambot has scraped it.
posted by Zonker at 11:51 AM on May 15, 2004

twine42, unless you paid to have your domain hidden at the registrar, the spammers send robots to pull all domains from the registrar. In addition, if your friends are anything like mine, they include your address in the TO field of letters being sent to countless people you don't know. I have multiple email addresses. My net savvy friends (those who know how to use bcc and such) get my not-yet-been-spammed address. People I don't trust but who I must be in contact with get my regular joe address.
posted by dobbs at 11:52 AM on May 15, 2004

It's alos possible that the spammers got it because someone with a virus/trojan on their system had your address in their addressbook. (Oops, hit post too soon.)
posted by Zonker at 11:53 AM on May 15, 2004

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