How some spammers get your e-mail

Wednesday, 3 September 2003, 1:41 PM EST

While not as efficient as "spiders" which automatically crawl the Web in search of addresses, computer experts warn that some spammers are using chain letters to collect e-mail usernames.

"Chain letters are the ideal place to collect addresses. I've seen several hundred on one e-mail. The list went on for pages," said Bill Orvis, who maintains the U.S. Department of Energy's hoax advisory Web site.

Organizations that help users and companies fight spam have begun to take notice. Orvis, for example, recently posted Web warnings for government employees and the public, pointing out the dangers of forwarding chain letters.

So far, no spammers have been caught harvesting e-mail addresses from chain letters, but Orvis thinks it's just a matter of time.

[ Read more ]

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