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Preserving the Virtual Town Common

I usually throw spam directly into the trash, rarely bothering to open it. When I do open it, and even when I take a close look at the headers, just to see what they tell me, the trash is the usual destination. About once or twice a year, I forward the message to abuse@domain_name. Typically it's to someone I have an account with, when the spam message is even more pernicious than the usual lot.

All I've ever received back is an automated note acknowledging receipt of my message and elaborating on basic computer security matters. Until now.

Pretty much all that comes into the Science-Fiction Five-Yearly email address is spam, and there's not much at that. A couple of bog-common messages a week, nothing more. Until the last couple of days, when SFFY received a couple of notices that its World of Warcraft account was being sold or traded in violation of the user agreement. I ignored and trashed the first one, then took a closer look when the second message showed up Thursday.

I forwarded the message to the abuse team at the domain supposedly originating the message...and also to the abuse team at the web host for the URL the "please verify your identity at the following web page" was actually pointing at (not what it appeared to be pointing at).

A few hours later, I received the following message from a support rep at the web hosting service:


"We have suspended the reported account immediately. Thank you for the assistance.

"Best Regards,

Now, maybe they actually suspended the account, and maybe they didn't. I'd never heard of the place before today and have little sense of how reliable or trustworthy they are. Online reviews seem to point both ways. But I do appreciate having heard back from them and hope very much they took appropriate action on the account in question.

(And I hope they looked at more than just my message -- while I suspect the real url pointer when to a bad guy, it would be all too easy to attack a legitimate account this way. Not as lucrative, mind you, but still...)


Geri 2014
Geri Sullivan

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