From a new email address to first spam in 8 hours
Fascinating empirical study of spam.
“A while ago, as an experiment, we buried a link in these web pages that would generate a unique email address on a blank page when visited. The reason the link was hidden was to reduce the hit count of the page to manageable proportions, so we could be sure that future email to this unique address could be uniquely matched to the IP address doing the scooping.
On 6.26am the morning of May 13th, 2001, the link is hit from IP 18.104.22.168 – a residential cable modem in Arizona, then on the @home network, now Cox. The browser is identified to the web server as a generic windows 95 version of Netscape. Of course it isn’t, its an email harvesting robot that goes from web page to web page.
Within just 8 hours, the first bit of spam arrives: given the short delay the spam was clearly generated by the same person who ran the program to scoop the email address in the first place. With a pro-active ISP abuse department this evidence would be enough to prosecute.. Our email to @home abuse goes un-answered. ”