A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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October 6, 2004

Targeting EDU

I had a feeling this would happen sooner or later. A spammer is offering to sell a list of 1.7 million .EDU email addresses for $370. "Are you targeting the student sector? Do you want students to buy your product or visit your website?" says the ad that hit my inbox today. (Someone else posted a copy here.)

The company behind this little effort at target marketing appears to be PgUp Host, which seems to be located in California. The site is on a server in Russia, however.

How did PgUp acquire its list? "Carefully" says the site. More likely, they used something like the vulnerability in Majordomo, which is present at lots of universities, to hoover up addresses.

To add insult to injury, PgUp Host forged the "From" address line in its spams. The message I received listed a return address belonging to a Delaware company called Atlas Copy. Right now, emails to atlascopy.com bounce with a "quota exceeded" error, probably due to all the complaints and bounces generated by PgUp's spam.

Posted by brian at October 6, 2004 8:59 PM


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