How Can I Be Spamming Myself?
The first time it happened, you were probably confused and even a bit curious, especially if you were not aware of this phenomenon of self-sent spam.
The first time it happened, you were probably confused and even a bit curious, especially if you were not aware of this phenomenon of self-sent spam. A message appears in your e-mail inbox with your own e-mail address as the sender of the message, but you are pretty sure that you did not send yourself an offer for a rock-bottom mortgage rate or secrets to making millions on eBay. So then, what’s happening?
It’s not because a spammer has hijacked your e-mail account and is spamming the world using your identity but because the spammer is disguising the true sender of the e-mail with a different address, a process called e-mail spoofing, to target you specifically. In e-mail spoofing, the sender manually constructs the e-mail header and chooses which information (your e-mail address as the sender, for example) to include.
Why do the spammers do this? To get you to read the e-mail and/or click on the hyperlinks contained in the e-mail, of course. Sometimes the spammers want you to buy the products they are peddling; sometimes they want you to click on the link contained in the e-mail, which signals them that their e-mail message received a live account with a curious human at the other end, and they can then sell your e-mail address to other spammers as a potential audience for more spam from a different source. Sometimes it is for both these reasons and also to bypass filters set up through the e-mail client. Most people don’t even think about having to filter out e-mails sent to themselves from themselves.
Self-sending spam relies on human nature. A 2002 study by Hamilton, Ontario’s McMaster University revealed that e-mail’s containing shared names of the recipient had an emotional appeal that caused the recipient to read the e-mail in greater numbers than e-mail that came from sources that did not share a name with the recipient. Also, human curiosity compels the recipient to want to know how he has sent himself a spam e-mail, resulting in the recipient of self-sent spam to read the e-mail to investigate.
For those who want to go after the spammers, this link explains how to read the header information for the more popular e-mail clients.
This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends
Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »15 Important Big Data Facts for IT Professionals
Keeping track of big data trends, research and statistics gives IT professionals a solid foundation to plan big data projects. Here are 15... Read More »
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »
Often times technologies start as hype but with time become adopted. As a developer or technologist, it is worth reading the hype and knowing the... Read More »Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization Q&A
The top 5 Hyper-V questions with answers provided by Nirmal Sharma, a MCSEx3, MCITP and Microsoft MVP in Directory Services. Read More »Storage Trends: Solid State and Software Defined
Solid state drives and software defined storage are two leading trends in the rapidly growing storage market. Read More »