[Dshield] spam-maker program

Bob Savage bsavage at rnr-inc.com
Fri Feb 27 12:40:51 GMT 2004


No need to apologize, Rick.  I put it out there to get feedback.

The product I chose was "Group Mail Free" from Infacta.  It, and its not-free siblings, are promoted as products for email newsletters.  The web site says they've gotten favorable reviews from ZDNet, Tucows, and others.  I'd be very interested if anyone here has heard of it or used it.  The last thing I want is to cause security problems for others, and the last thing I need is to cause them for myself!

Bob


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Klinge [mailto:rick at jaray.net]
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 11:25 PM
To: 'General DShield Discussion List'
Subject: RE: [Dshield] spam-maker program


> Let me start by saying that spam makes me as angry as it does 
> everyone else.
> 
> However, here's the situation I struggled with a while back:
> 
> We are a small company selling a line of products wholesale 
> to about 75 medium to large sized customers.  Late last year 
> our sales VP wanted to send a promotional email to all of 
> them; he wanted the "from" to show his name; he wanted a 
> product picture in the body of the email; and he wanted a 
> spreadsheet attached.  We spent several days talking about 
> how to get this accomplished and experimenting with the tools 
> we had on hand.  I finally searched the web and found a 
> little program that I'm sure is commonly used by spammers.  
> Our contract artist put the email and the picture together in 
> an HTML format and I sent it with the free software I found 
> on the web.  It did the trick for us, and we used it again a 
> few weeks later.  I'm sure he'll want to do it again several 
> times this year.
> 
> Our VP's request seemed reasonable to me, but I've never been 
> entirely comfortable with the solution.  What would you have 
> done in my place?
> 

Bob, 

Sorry to step in here on your thread but I felt compelled to at least throw
my thoughts in here.  I personally would have done something very similar to
what you have done except for the 'free' emailer software.  I would purchase
one from a company whose been around for at least a year or perhaps just
send them via your own email system.  I have recently download one of those
'free' software programs and tested it here on a controlled platform.  My
reasoning was to discover the open relays and/or proxies that this type of
software uses.  I host several email domains and use the data to twart spam.
What I had found, via packet sniffing, was the software did as it described
but it also logged my keystrokes and tried to install it's own smtp server.
HA it even tried to send the information back to the host every 10 email it
spewed.  I was however able to collect a few dozen of ip's that I have
submitted to a few blacklist for there action.

If a company sends 'advertising' email to it's customers I personally don't
see anything wrong with that, just the opposite.  Many companies can and do
react favorably to this type of direct advertising.  It's when some
companies cross the line and pull up RIC codes for a business function, or
whatever, and start sending out advertisements/promotions to companies they
have never acquainted themselves with. ~ this is the tickler.. The spammer.
And will get you or your email provider blacklisted and possibly, if in the
us, subject to prosecution under state and federal laws.

Thumbs up on this end!,


~Rick

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