The Backscatter

Yesterday was mostly wasted. At 7:37 A.M., shortly before I intended to sit down to start working, I started receiving spam backscatter emails. What happened was some asshole, somewhere in the world, sent probably hundreds of thousands of spam emails with my email address forged in the From: line. Tens of thousands of the email addresses they spammed were invalid. When one sends email to an invalid address the mail server usually sends an automated reply informing you the address was invalid. Since my address was the From: address of these spams, I received automated responses to these spam emails yesterday. It continued all day. I received dozens per minute. All day.

I was completely overwhelmed and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Over the past few years I have received a few random backscatters. A couple months ago I received 8-10 in a single instance. A few weeks ago I received about 400 at once. Yesterday I received 15,673. The first several hundred went straight to my inbox. Eventually my junk mail filter started recognizing them and filtered thousands automatically, but there were still several hundred in my inbox. I literally spent all day dealing with this shit. There was at least one legitimate, work-related email that I completely missed because of this. I only learned about it by searching my junk mailbox after someone asked me about the missing email. Who knows how many other legitimate emails are mixed in with them? I am still receiving them, but thankfully they are becoming less frequent (maybe one per hour now).

What an asshole.

4 thoughts on “The Backscatter”

  1. 1) how do I not have this lable
    “Labels: jerk, “
    2) We all know this is just the back lash from your spam generation software you have been writing for wolfram.

  2. John, I don’t know how you don’t have that label.

    I know spelling is not your forte, but how do you misspell a word that you quote spelled correctly?

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