Determine how spammers got your address

Tags: spam, e-mail.
By lucb1e on 2011-11-10 23:59:43 +0100

I saw someone use a very smart way of managing e-mail. The only requirement is having a domain exclusively to yourself.

Say I want to sign up at example.com and I need a valid e-mail address. What I do is sign up with example_com@lucb1e.com. If I some day receive spam, I can see the recipient is example_com@lucb1e.com and I know that example.com has either shared my e-mail address with 3rd parties or made it public some way.

Even better, I can block any e-mail addressed to example_com@lucb1e.com! If there is one breach, which is likely concidering the many websites you need to sign up for, you can simply patch it.

How do you do this?
I configured an own mailserver, it might or might not be possible on other hosts. What it does is deliver every mail directed at [anything]@lucb1e.com to my main e-mail address, but exceptions are still possible (so I can block for example example_com@lucb1e.com).

The only problem is that you will often have one e-mail address which you need to post in public, like first.lastname@yourdomain.com, and you will need a good spamfilter on that one. You can use images to hide it from easy gathering by spambots, or put something like first.lastnameREMOVECAPS@yourdomain.com. Neither is perfect though. I will remain searching...

Update: Actually I wonder how much spam I'll receive at example_com@lucb1e.com after my website goes public lol. Or maybe not a lot because it contains the word 'example'. Like my address send.me.much.spam@gmail.com, it might get filtered out. Maybe if I created send.me.much.@gmail.com I'd get more spam than on the previously mentioned address, simply because some users do something like "their.name.SPAM@domain dot com (remove .SPAM)". Spammers might have automated that.
lucb1e.com
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