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Old 07-11-2008, 01:13 AM   #1
Czar

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Thumbs down Spammers falling in love with Gmail

Hi all,

Apparently, some of the most painful leaders in the spam movement managed to crack Gmail's CAPTCHA system last month. This has reportedly led to a dramatic increase in the volume of outbound spam being sent by bots from actual Gmail accounts.

Spammers have used a form of optical recognition technology to interpret the defenses that Google created against robotic signups and they've leveraged this to quickly create 100s or 1000s of accounts, to blast vile spam out from those accounts seconds later and to create additional accounts once the first batch are shut down.

As this affects all of us; particularly those who manage forums and other online communities where the only barrier to entry for bots is often to own a genuine email account, I thought it worthwhile to mention this trend here. Unfortunately for legitimate Gmail users, this could result in an increasing number of forums blocking @gmail.com addresses by default, in order to protect themselves against spam.

For more on this, see the following article:
http://www.internetnews.com/security...le.php/3758001

What do you all think? Can Google react quickly enough to block these users? Should Google implement stringent anti-spam filters to control outbound mail, the way that it protects inbound mail? Will online communities continue a trend towards banning Gmail users from signing up for their services?
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:32 AM   #2
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Hm... I don't think GMail users should or will be banned, but an effective way to avoid spam sign-ups is to require the person to click on a kind of validation link sent to his e-mail address. That's what I did with one of my sites that received quite a few "bulk" sign-ups. Agreed, it may appear frustrating to some users, not being able to click through smoothly, but that's the spammers fault - die spammers, die!

Google has always proven to be a factory of magicians who pull a rabbit out of their hat relatively often, so I am sure they will find a way around it. The outbound filters are a nice idea and may help, but with all the filtering that is going on at the moment, not only in e-mail communications but also in instant messengers, it sometimes happens that my message never reaches the other end.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:52 AM   #3
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The trouble is, because these are real Gmail addresses being used, and not just spoofed names, the spammers are able to trigger activation that are received via email.

I get the feeling at times that even this can be handled by bots these days, given some of the automated spam that filters through another forum I'm involved with from users that have Gmail addresses and do click on emailed validation links, but don't appear to be human.
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:30 PM   #4
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I have noticed a huge leap of spammers coming from @gmail and so on, I thought at first maybe someone that had a ton of extra acounts just decided to turn spammer and go over my boards but now this makes a ton of sense. I hope they can get things evened out again.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:26 AM   #5
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I hate spammers! I am still wondering how they find out my e-mail addresses when I did not posted them nowhere.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:50 PM   #6
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If you use your e-mail username as a username on public websites, you sign up for a site that sells your e-mail, someone who knows your e-mail signed you up for something... gmail has a feature to add a word to your e-mail when signing up for a website, so that you know if that site sold your e-mail, but I have yet to figure out how to use it.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del View Post
gmail has a feature to add a word to your e-mail when signing up for a website
I didn`t know about this! Where is this? In gmail settings, or?
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:27 PM   #8
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I think it has to do with adding a + and then whatever words you want. I would suggest checking the gmail help files because I haven't been able to get it to work myself.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:24 AM   #9
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The problem seems to be getting worse for Google. Spamhaus has listed Google as the world's 10th most prolific spam network, as a result of these problems:
http://www.internetnews.com/webconte...+Milestone.htm
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