Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Well, apparently someone used my email address to send out a spam link about 30 minutes ago. Do not open any email from Whitefish Press that says "Hi." (Trust me I'm not that friendly).
However, I'd like to take a moment to let you all know that whenever this happens, your email has likely NOT been hacked. Here is how the spammers work.
They look for a group email, or a listing of emails, clumped together. It only takes one person to send out an email blast that includes your email for you to be picked out.
What the Spammers do is utilize a third-party email program -- which is ridiculously easy to get ahold of (just type "BULK ANONYMOUS EMAIL PROGRAM" into a web search).
Such nefarious programs allow the user to send out a spam email which looks like it originates from literally any email address -- seriously. They could use firstname.lastname@example.org if they wanted to (I hope they do and have the FBI track them down). Anyway, they put in any email address and then hit send to a thousand or more collected addresses, but in particular to the list from which they collected your email. It sucks.
So, no, when this happens, your email is likely not hacked. You just won the lottery for spamming. Lucky you, and lucky me.
-- Dr. Todd