Larry from OWC responded to this post and we have exchanged emails. While I understand that Benjamin and Larry believe that some spammer happened to pluck that address (or guessed after not having ever guessed my other instant aliases), I think to immediately dismiss the possibility that someone culled some addresses from their database is unfair. Because email is broken does not mean their security isn't. How many reports has Benjamin ignored because he believes there is no chance their database has been compromised?
Two people brought up the fact that I was putting my macsales.com email address in the wild by posting it to my site. If you do a view-source you'll see that I encoded it using HiveWare's Enkoder Form. No bot is reading my address off that page.
I'm not saying there isn't a chance the email address wasn't found in a log file somewhere along the line. I'm not even saying someone didn't hack into my Mac and find that address. I wrote OWC/MacSales.com because I had a problem, and all I got in return was spelling mistakes and assurances I was completely and absolutely wrong.
About a year ago I purchased a keyboard cover from MacSales.com for my laptop to protect the screen while in transit. Like any purchase on the web, I gave MacSales.com my email address. On friday that email address was sent spam telling me I had won $50,000.
The reason I know this is an email address I gave MacSales.com is because I make up a new address every time I sign up for something. So for example, had I signed up at foo.com for some new foos, the address I would have given them is . MacSales.com was given .
Fast-forward a year and I receive this in my inbox:
Subject: You have won $50,000
Date: July 23, 2004
Welcome to Nipps Brown,
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the eBay Online Winners programs held on the 28th of January 2004. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number 843-543075 drew lucky SEQUENCE NO.: 81210719 which consequently won in the 2nd category. You might have been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$ 50,000.00 (Fifty Thousand United States Dollars).
So I emailed MacSales.com to tell them my address had been picked off their user table. What was the reply? Spammers are getting smart. Benjamin Priest responded:
We do not sell email address, Spamers are getting very good at taking a email address and running hundreds of thousands of variations of this in a mass spam. Or using software to grab email address out of cyberspace.
We do all we can to prevent spam and help the mac comunity stop spaming, I can asure you this was not from OWC.
I couldn't care less if you do all you can to "help the mac comunity". If someone has proof that your user accounts are being skimmed you should do something about it rather than pass it off to smart spammers being smart. He 'asures' me it wasn't from OWC, but if 'spamers' are grabbing email addresses out of cyberspace, doesn't that mean OWC is sending my address in cleartext somewhere?
Reality Stars Remembered. Michael Tata of Discovery Channel's "American Casino" was found dead on Tuesday of an apparent heart attack. The show is currently shooting and will incorporate the story into the show.
Weird on so many levels.
Fast Busy does two very cool things. First it aggregates all the apartments posted to Craig's List, then it plots a graph showing volume versus price. May in Haight Ashbury seems like a good time to have looked for a place.
This programmer I used to work with had a fascination with |<rispy |<reme donuts. Tonight he sent me a dozen of his favorites converted to icons saying, "my goal is get my whole dock to be nothing but donuts".
I installed it, not expecting much, and found myself glancing at it more often than the built-in clock. There is something about words versus numbers that keeps my eye looking no further than "quarter to twelve".
Another robot found today: the RoboMower®. I don't think my neighbors need to see how lazy or geeky I am.