Monday, 16 May 2011

From Where Spammers/Hackers Get You E-mail Ids

I know many of you always receive a special kind e-mail with advertisements known as spam & for social engineering hacking emails. You might be asking yourself from where a spammer/hacker might have got your e-mail ID. So here's the answer, following are some of the methods via which spammers gets your email ids.

·        Social Networking Sites:-

If you are a social network animal then you might know that sometimes we just add anyone as our friend without even knowing who the person is. Reason, most of us just want to show off that we have a big friend list. But there are some people who are actually preparing this friend list to get your e-mail ids. People hardly care about privacy settings and leave their telephone numbers and e-mail ids open for spammers/hackers to have a look on. Now how they extract your email ids, all major e-mail clients like gmail and yahoo provide their users with API(Application Programming Interface) to pull e-mail ids of friend list available on social networking sites. Once all emails are pulled spammer download this email list as excel sheet and your e-mail ids are now ready to get spammed.

·        Online Applications:-

If you have ever used facebook then you might be knowing whenever you access any facebook application it asks for access to all your private data, once you allow application access you give your e-mail to them, now they can use it for any purpose.

·        Online Games And Contests:-

Many people have habit of playing games online and contests that appears free with prize. The fact is that many people might be playing those games and only one gets prize via lucky draw. How much legitimate that appears. These contests are nothing but sure shot funds of companies to grab personal details of people visiting their sites. How this pays them, this list helps them prepare job lists for eligible and needy persons thus they don't pay a penny for job recruitment and also gets an employee ready to work on minimum payments. Next they can use this list to spam you with advertisement of their own products or they may even plan to sell their e-mail list to spammers for hefty amount.

·        Job/Technology/Career/Game Fairs:-

You might have seen many people standing with some kind of forms in these kinds of fairs to invite people with job opportunity, free stuff delivery or contest, which actually never is the case. Such fairs are good targets since by spending just few bucks a contact list with several thousand e-mail IDS and phone numbers is built that too without anyone suspecting.

·        Online Forums:-

Hey don't worry I don't mean they sell e-mail ids or their database are hackable. While on forums many people unknowingly don't set privacy settings, also they post their e-mail ids as it is as comment or reply. These e-mail ids can be extracted using software used for extracting e-mail ids.

·        Web Mail Extractors: -

Web Mail Extractors are software that search websites for patterns like this “, etc”. Once found they extract complete email ids and save them in their database. One such tool is “Web e-mail Miner”. For today I would advise you to download it and try to find out how it works. Don't worry about how to use it, you just have to enter name of site and press enter and it'll pull email for you. Try a name of famous online forum, guaranteed to get a list with more than thousand e-mails.

·        Improperly Configured or Unprotected Servers:-

Usually company uses two kinds of domains/servers one valid of all and one valid only for their employees and customers. Sometimes these two are interconnected with each other for employees to make changes to website that is public. The internal server for employees usually contains lot of information about their employees and job recruitment in excel sheets or PDF files which can be opened using browser. If they are not configured properly “Web Mail Extractors” can easily crawl in revealing thousands of quality e-mail ids.

Knowingly or unknowingly we might have made many of above mistakes which have lead our e-mail ids open to spammers or hackers. If you want to save yourself to begin hacked than please keep above points in your mind. Feel free to comment about what you think about above information.

Note: This is illegal and is for educational purpose only. Any loss/damage happening will not be in any way our responsibility.

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