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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Spammers using my domain name

    I have a domain name which is used for a small web site but mainly for email accounts. I started receiving spam to one account which was not valid (it has an extra character to my main valid account) which is annoying but not the end of the world as it is nothing compared to what some people here receive. I have a catch all account which is where it comes through.

    The thing that is really bothering me is that I am now receiving bounced messages for mail sent from that email address which are obviously spam and can only assume that spam is being sent out using this address. I am particularly worried that the whole domain will get on a black list as a spammer which would kill not only my email address but others who use the domain.

    Am I being unduly worried? Is there anything that I can do to stop this? How did this address start to get used as it is so near to the valid email address, and in some ways makes more sense as the valid address, that it seems difficult to imagine it is a robot 'guessing' it.

    I get no spam to the main address, which is on my web site and so more vulnerable, and have no reports of problems with spam from anyone else using the domain.

    Greville

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    In short, spammers are using "your" address reply as their from and/or reply address to try to evade filters and to save themselves from dealing with bouncebacks. There is nothing you can do to prevent others from spoofing your address.

    Added: As long as your mail server is not an open relay, you will not get on the most widely used block lists. However, some users may block your domain in Outlook or their filtering software. You won't know about these users because copies sent to them won't bounce back to you!

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    Thank you for your response.

    I can deal with irritations, and if necessary block that particular email address, but what I am really concerned about is whether by spoofing an address using my domain I can end up with legitimate mail being blocked due to the domain being blacklisted.

    Greville

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    Sorry your 'added' came in as I was replying above. I have a hosted account with a third party and all email addresses have to log in with a password. I am the admin for the account and have checked that there is not a valid account with the name used. Am I safe to assume that the hosting company would not have an open relay?

    Greville

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    > Am I safe to assume that the hosting company would not have an open relay?

    If they are experienced, yes, certainly they would know not to run an open relay!

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    This probably has nothing to do with the spoofing problem, but one thing you might also want to do is check with the web site of the domain registrar you used when you setup the domain. If you didn't get a "private" listing, your name, addresss, email, etc. appear in any Whois lookup and that was once a source of a little spam to my domain. I finally bit-the-bullet and paid the extra few bucks for a private listing rather than try to find another registrar who makes privacy free (as it really should be).

  7. #7
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    I get such mail most daze.

    They are trying to get you to click on a link, which would reveal that the email address is valid, or, worse yet, to open an attachment that may install some malware if not detected by your AV software.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    Thank you Big Al, I didn't realise that I could have the details as private. I will need to check with the hosting company as they are not the original hosts that registered the domain for me.

    Thank you Howard but the thing I am most worried about is that someone has started using my domain name for sending spam. I know this is common practise with virus writers taking a valid email address from the address book of those infected and realised that a lot of 'from' addresses for spam were spoofed but didn't realise that they stole other people's addresses. As I said the address makes sense in a way that makes it improbable it is a random computer generated address. The main address is for St Mary's Church but technically the church's name is St Mary so the email address is stmary at the area it is in, whereas the spam and the bounced emails are stmarys at the area it is in.

    If it is going to be just a nuisance I can live with that but if it is going to stop me being able to send legitimate email that becomes a real problem. I am also curious as to how it came about.

    Greville

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    Have you contacted the "stmarys in the other area" to see if they may be sending out any email solicitations for donation or other "spam-like" email tha may be getting bounced by filters ???
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    Sorry, I haven't explained myself clearly, I am rather hesitant about putting the real address on an open forum.

    I have registered the area I am in as a domain so that the church can have stmary@area as their email address. I also allow other local churches in the area to have their email addresses as name@area but there isn't a stmarys@area and there has never been an email address with that name. This is why I am curious as to how the address got on someones list for spam and now spoofing. I am hoping that other community groups can use the domain to give them simple and easy to remember email addresses without having to spend money registering their own domain. Eventually I would like to see a community portal on the domain rather than just the church web site. This is why I am so worried that the domain might get blacklisted although this doesn't seem to be a real concern.

    Greville

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    It is possible that someone from the church has generated email using your assigned email of stmary@domain, and that some "spoofer" somewhere along the line has gotten possession or visibility to an email and screwed up the name in their attempted use of it. A local example of misinterpretation that I can give you that has nothing to do with email: we have a Catholic hospital in town called Saint Joseph Hospital and just about everyone refers to them in the possessive, i.e. Saint Joseph's or St. Joseph's. It seems like the popular thing to do - adding the apostrophe "s" to names.

  12. #12
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    i have a worse problem.
    Tho I own standards.com, there is a standards.com registere din another country.
    To get to them, one has to ad the country code.

    I get tons, makethat oodles, of mail addressed to folkes there because th sender omitted the country code.
    In some cases, those folkes are on emal lists and I get those too.

    Lots of spam is directed to those folkes and I get it if the country code is omitted.

    At my ISP, I use a version of Sieve to filter out a lot of that stuff. I expect that I am killing hundreds of messages per day.
    If any are valid, them's the breaks.

    I could change my domain to reject all but specified addresses, but then I lose a lot of flexibility.

  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    I think that you might have a point Al although I think it might be someone getting my address wrong and giving it into the wrong hands. I do wonder whether it came someone sending an e-card from a disreputable web site using the wrong email address. I guess I will just have to live with it and hope that it doesn't cause too many problems. I can just set all email to stmarys@domain to be junked but as you say people add the 's' without thinking and I might miss legitimate mail.

    I do have a similar problem to Howard except in reverse. In order to keep the email address as simple as possible I registered a .org address although I am in the UK. I do occasionally get people sending email to .org.uk which someone else has. Even my wife made that mistake and couldn't understand why I wasn't getting emails she sent.

    Thanks to everyone for your comments.

    Greville

  14. #14
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    Greville,

    For what it is worth, I had a similar situation where my domain name was hijacked for E-Mail spam purposes (E-Mail would go out with anything_here@my-domain-name.com). I would receive return e-mails from bad or bounced E-Mail addresses. HOWEVER, this was NOT the worst ...

    I started getting" Post Office" E-Mails requesting I cease and desist from spamming their E-Mail clients. To top it off, complaints apparently went to my ISP who threatened to start fineing me unless I STOP SPAMMING.

    Telephone calls to ISP resulted in little help (understanding tones and comments, BUT ...). E-Mails to my Registrar and the "Post Office" sending threatening E-mails do little good. I finally had to "Suspend" my domain name, Setup a disclaimer page online, and got rid of my ISP.

    After several months, I reactivated the domain name and found out my registrar uses SPF Mail Protection. SPF:Sender Policy Framework is an Anti-Forgery solution for making E-Mail safer.

    Note: Many online E-Mail services now require some form of proof to create an alias (anything@my-domain-name.com). But if a Spammer uses his own mail server, the E-Mails using anything@my-domain-name.com have to go through YOUR registrar name servers to forward the e-mail. SPF will catcha nd stop this kind of activity.

    For more infromation, click on the link OpenSPF.Org HTH
    Scott

  15. #15
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spammers using my domain name

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you for your comments and advice. I am in the process of changing the hosting company for email, once it is done I see if I can implement SPF. When I looked at it, it started to get a bit more technical than my competence level but I am sure it won't be too hard to get my head round.

    I was beginning to be resigned to the fact there was nothing that could be done. Getting spam is bad enough but having them steal my name and possibly stop me from conducting my business seems a step too far.

    Thanks again.

    Greville

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