No more, Direct Magazine

As of today, the tagged (unique) address I used to sign up for Ken Magill's newsletter now a spamtrap address. I just can't take it any more. I signed up specifically and only to receive newsletter updates - and Direct and its "partners" have been sending me a multitude of undesired offers and partner mailings every week. Over 15 mailings in January alone, and January isn't even over yet. Eight of these in the past week.

AT&T's 'American Idol' Text Message Stunt Backfires

Consumerist has the story. Some random (but large) number of AT&T subscribers got SMS-spammed by their cell provider. Lame.

The NY Times quotes Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T Wireless, saying that the message went to subscribers who had voted for “Idol” singers in the past, and other “heavy texters.” He said the message could not be classified as spam because it was free and because it allowed people to decline future missives.

Neat Hack: Re-Assassinate

Over on his blog, Justin Mason shows us how you can re-run already received messages through SpamAssassin. This is a neat idea. He explains this in the context of coming back from vacation, and having a big pile o' messages to wade through. A lot of that is going to be spam that got by the spam filter, because various sending IPs and link URIs weren't yet blacklisted. On the theory that they may now be blacklisted, why not run it all through SpamAssassin one more time, and see if it finds more of the spam? It's a solid theory, and based on my various blacklist tests, I do know that a delay can help improve the hit rate of any DNSBL or URIBL.

Abuse Mailbox on Google Apps?

So, if you're like me, and you host email for your domain using Google Apps, you might be wondering how to read mail sent to abuse or postmaster. Every good domain administrator cares about this. It's also necessary to receive mail at abuse@ and/or postmaster@ if you're trying to validate ownership of a domain, for feedback loop and other types of registration.

But, Google Apps doesn't seem to allow this. It says "abuse" and "postmaster" are reserved addresses, or mailing lists that already exist. What do you do, if you need to work around this?

Steve Atkins of Word to the Wise has the solution. And it's a good one. Thanks, Steve!

Email Append and New Domain Spam

Spam to a new domain isn't uncommon. Lots of spammers comb whois, search the web, scrape forums, looking for any domain they can find, and then they try mailing to variations of made up addresses at that domain to see if they get through to a real live mailbox. So, setting up a new domain, and catching all email to the domain, this invariably means that very soon after creation, I'm likely to get 200 pieces of the same spam, addressed to different made-up address variations.

But this time around, it's happening a little bit differently.