Easy To Buy
These lists of email addresses for spamming are available to buy or sell for as little as a few dollars. For instance, Sophos, a security solutions provider, reports that Russia does a brisk business in selling black market e-mail address lists... for as little as $50 per 1 million addresses!
Many of these addresses may not be genuine, but by paying more, the cream of the spam list can be obtained -- the authenticated email addresses of home users on high speed cable or ADSL/Broadband... and already infected with a Trojan for remote access to that computer.
Home Users Susceptible
The reason home users are susceptible to these Trojans is spammers and crackers know that home users are notorious for not keeping their security protection to guard privacy up-to-date. And as ADSL/Broadband is 'always on', there is a greater window of opportunity to access these PCs.
Improve Spam Blocking
By reducing the amount of spam hitting our spam slammers, we also reduce the chances of spam carrying malware through to our inbox. In turn, there is less of a risk of triggering the malware on our computers.
By knowing how our email addresses are acquired to make up these spam lists, we can take greater care to guard privacy when we're in those situations, so reducing the frequency of appearing on those lists.
I'm not saying that all spam will stop or significantly reduce by taking this advice. But combined with the other tips and tools in the supporting articles at the bottom of the page, you will be taking control of spam, rather than the other way around.
Here are the most popular ways our addresses can be 'harvested'...
1. Spam Slammers & Spam Lists...
A dictionary attack is where a software application connects to a mail server and rapidly submits millions of random e-mail addresses based on words and names commonly found in a dictionary.
The software records which addresses are valid and adds these to the spammer's junk e-mail list. The list can also be sold on to other spammers.
Unscrupulous websites offer free software "gifts", entry to a competition, money-making ideas, porn, music etc, in return for an e-mail address.
The e-mail address is validated by successful delivery of the free gift -- confirmed by a download code or a web bug in the email. These addresses are compiled into junk email lists and passed on or sold to spammers.
Spammers can quite easily gather lists of email addresses by...
If you'd like to know some of the habits you can get into to reduce your security risk and your chances of ending up on a spam list, then check out the following articles...