Spam Wars – on the trail of a serious spammer

I think I’m going to have to start a new category for these spam wars posts – there are getting to be so many!

Today I would like to report to you all a small success. Remember that domain mail-2204vf49.co.uk that had it’s address details hidden as it was registered to a non-trading individual who had opted out of displaying details in the registry? I spoke to nominet about that and they said if I could send them evidence that the domain was actually registered for a trading reason then they could ‘correct’ the opt out declaration and show the details (only non-trading individuals can opt out of the registry). I sent them a fax explaining the history of spam from this domain and extracts from my server log files and they agreed that the domain is really being used commercially. So here it
is, the owner of the spam sending domain is: [begin fanfare]

Domain name:
mail-2204vf49.co.uk

Registrant:
Tony Slater

Registrant type:
UK Individual

Registrant’s address:
du-pont house
Cranbrook
GH56 9JH
GB

WAIT!!! STOP THE FANFARE!!! … there’s something fishy about that address. Like no street name… and I don’t live far from Cranbrook and I happen to know that Cranbrook is in the TN postcodes, not GH. The Royal Mail website doesn’t even recognise the GH postcode.

What next? Well, I’ve sent Nominet an email asking what to do when an address is false in the registry. I think I’ll give company “T” another phone call as well. The man there admited sending us the spam though this domain, so perhaps he’ll tell me who owns it (perhaps I’m giving the benefit of doubt to often, but hey, perhaps they could have accidentally registered the name with completely incorrect details……)

Continue reading “Spam Wars – on the trail of a serious spammer”

Spam Wars – A busy day!

Wow, so much progress in one day. Company “W” came back with the story that they didn’t actually buy the list. It was given to them by one of the owners friends. I think we can all guess how he’s feeling (the owner and the friend!).

The friend had used some software called “Atomic” or similar to scan web sites and extract the email addresses. A quick google brings us

Atomic Email Hunter, an email extractor, is designed to harvest e-mail addresses and user names from web sites using the HTTP protocol.

.

(I’m not linking to the web site on principle by the way). I’m hoping to speak to “friend” to find out more about how this software works, how many addresses it found, how he chose (or if the software chose) the domain names to scan for email addresses. I also want to know how it describes itself to the hunted web server (I expect it calls itself “internet explorer” or similar).

Onto company “D”, who came back with the correct name and phone number of the company they bought an address of mine from. They also included a request that I don’t make contact with them again and said they would involve solicitors if I say anything slanderous against them. I thought that it couldn’t be slander if it was true (and I have the spam email to prove it) – perhaps I better check….

Quick google search returns: Basic Libel for Idiots
normal caveat applies here – don’t trust everything you read on the internet as it could be wrong!
It says:

Basic Libel for Idiots
By Adam Porter, editor Year Zero, Dec 2002.

Libel is the written word. Slander is spoken.

There are two versions of defamation, libel and slander. Libel is when the defamation is written down (including email, bulletin boards and websites), and slander is when the incident relates to words spoken.

In the UK, if someone thinks that what you wrote about them is either defamatory or damaging, the onus will be entirely on you to prove that your comments are true in court. In other words, if you make the claim, you’ve got to prove it!

OK, I stand corrected, I would be libeling company D if I lied about how they sent me spam, not slandering them! I wont correct the man at company D on this point though, he’d rather not hear from me and if he really has given me the details of the list he bought then I will leave him in peace.

Spam Wars – a little progress.

I’ve had some progress with Eden communications. They still insist they can keep sending the spam (so later I shall discuss this with the information commissioner, watch this space for the results), but they did provide the contact details of the company they bought the list from. The company that sold this list also tried to call me as well. Always wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt, we shall call the sending company “T”. “T” insist they bought the addresses in good faith, so I will be emailing them to ask for the details of the company they bought them from. By the way, the reason for that strange domain name used in sending spam (mail-2204vf49.co.uk) is because they use it to track campaigns. Sounds resonable but I still have many unanswered questions. Still, lets give them the benefit of the doubt and a chance to answer before jumping to conclusions.