Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How it all started... with Robert Alan Soloway

A little more than 9 months ago I registered 10 new domains for my company site and for a online service that my company is going to provide in the future. I started using a single mail account on one of the domains and with wildcard forwarding setup for all domains to this single mail account. I was not advertising my domains anywhere and I only used my mail account on sites that I really trusted in order not to end up with a lot of spam like some of my other mail accounts.

But to my big surprise I shortly after started to receive spam mails on mail accounts not even in use, and I quickly saw that the receiving addresses was generated by taking common email prefixes like info, accounting, sales etc. and then adding them to my different domain names. Those email accounts did not exist but because of my wildcard forwarding all the mails ended up in the single mail account I had setup.

I started out positively as always by thinking that this was probably just some mistake and I could probably just ask the company behind to correct the mistake and remove me from their mailinglists. I quickly found out that the email headers was forged and the emails received from many different computers so obviously there was no reason to try to reply and ask for removal. I then went to the site being advertised in the spam mails, which was for some "Broadcasting email service company" which at first seemed like a trustworthy corporation, but that first impression quickly turned out to be wrong.

The site had a removal tool (web page) which promised to remove my email from their emailing lists imediately. I quickly became suspicious when the response time for this page was a lot faster than the rest of the site and when I looked at the html I saw that the html page was just posting to itself so it was clearly that the request for removal was not submitted at all it was just suppose to look like that. I then tried to find other contact information on the site but quickly discovered that the address as well as almost every other piece of information regarding the company, its business, its involvement in charity work etc. was one big lie. I then tried to lookup the registrator behind the domain used for the site which lead me to a chineese person, Liu Feng with an email no longer in use and a phone + fax number not existing, but at that time it did not surprise me, it was obvious for me that I was dealing with some spammer trying to hide his real identity.

I then started searching and discovered that the person behind these spams was mr. Robert Alan (Allen) Soloway , a well-known spammer from the United States, and I found some highly detailed sources of information posted by other "fans" of Soloway

I have been following these sites on daily basis ever since...... my curiosity or maybe more preciesly my growing irritation towards Soloway and his steady stream of spam mails in my inbox had got me started....

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