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Author Topic: Is there spyware on the forum ?  (Read 2252 times)

UK-RV

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Is there spyware on the forum ?
« on: November 07, 2006, 10:20:36 AM »
Hi

I just had an email with the following text ....

You recently used InternetSupervision.com's popular "Free Internet Web Server Monitoring Tool" to assess the performance of website http://www.rvforum.net

To help you monitor the availability of your website 24/7, we would like to offer you a complimentary account!


I havent used this service, havent got any viruses and havent got an spyware etc on the laptop.

So, where did they get my email address and the fact it is associated with rvforum ?

Could they have got it from a wifi connection at a CG perhaps?

Paul
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 10:26:59 AM by UK-RV »

Tom

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Re: Is there spyware on the forum ?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2006, 11:43:44 AM »
There's no spyware on our server Paul. IIRC I've seen your email posted in forum messages, although I don't recall which or when. Might be that you clicked on a link somewhere. FWIW that URL is the address of our web site, rather than the forum per se, allthough they're on the same server and actually at the same domain.
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UK-RV

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Re: Is there spyware on the forum ?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006, 06:19:20 PM »

Tom

I haven't put my email address on any forums, anywhere.

Since getting my latest email address I have been especially careful with it - I have a totally different email that I use in any places likely to generate any type of spam etc.

My question was wondering how they matched the forum and my email together.

I also asked the question whether it could have been picked-up via a wifi cnnection somewhere.

It must have come via the forum or wifi connection.

As the forum server is scanned for viruses etc, it can only have come from the wifi connection.

What can anyone suggest to solve the problem please ?

Thanks
Paul

Tom

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Re: Is there spyware on the forum ?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2006, 06:42:05 PM »
Paul,

Could you send me the full email with headers. Click on the envelope icon below my avatar.

Thanks.
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UK-RV

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Re: Is there spyware on the forum ?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 08:03:57 PM »

Hi Tom

Ive just sent it to you.

However, after opening the Header, I found it had been sent to my "other" email address and forwarded to the one I use on this forum.

This makes it even more of a puzzle as I have NEVER used that email with rvforum. In fact, Ive just taken a look at the email account and I have a total of 70 emails there this year and none refer to the forum.

I am confused now. LOL

Paul
 

Tom

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Re: Is there spyware on the forum ?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 08:28:06 PM »
Got it Paul, thanks. As you say, it's not your current (hidden) email address that's in your forum profile. I'm trying to figure out if, for example, you might have clicked on one of the rolling 4 Google ads that are on our web site (http://www,rvforum.net). But, it would not transmit your email address (the web site has no clue what your email address is), but it sounds like you don't freely give out your email address anyway.

As for the possibility of being picked up via WiFi, maybe Ned can help, but you wouldn't normally be transmitting your email address as part of your login to the forum.

I need to go scratch my head a while longer.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 08:42:34 PM by Tom »
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John From Detroit

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Re: Is there spyware on the forum ?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2006, 07:25:48 AM »
I would guess the prime suspect is Spyware on Paul's computer. something scanned his cookie jar and found the forum's cookie there, I suspect it noticed he spends a lot of time nibbling on that cookie so it custom taylored it's spam to his cookie.

I would not ask the spammer for a free account

I'd ask him for a amount of cash with a lot of zeros following the primary number for invasion of my computer
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Is there spyware on the forum ?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2006, 07:59:08 AM »
Quote
Could they have got it from a wifi connection at a CG perhaps?

That's probably the most likely source, since both pieces of information pass though internet gateway unencrypted when you surf, check email, etc.  It would not be difficult for the service itself - or an eavesdropper - to capture that info from headers. You may have  used the emaila ddress to register for a service somewhere. You may even have agreed to its use somewhere in the fine print if you took advantage of "free' wifi at some campground, restaurant or fueling station. Few of us carefully read all the wording in those agreements and its easy to slip in a brief phrase that enables the provider to use the address to contact you and share it with others.

Being observed like that is annoying but generally not illegal.  Your email addresses are essentially in the public domain, since you hand it out to others to use to contact you - just like your postal address at home. Very difficult to make the case that a mail address is "personal & private" information. As for the web addresses you visit, that is a somewhat grayer area of privacy because your personal information, i.e. the content of the messages themselves, may not have been violated.  Since you traversed a public network (the internet backbone) to reach a public destination (the web site), observing your visit is analogous to watching you walk into a store from a public street. It may be unethical to "spy" like that and it's certainly annoying to be "spied" upon, but difficult to do a whole lot about it.
 
You say there is no spyware or virus on your computer, so presumably you have already taken precautions against spy/adware and and have an up-to-date antivirus package and firewall installed. If so, you have pretty much done what can be done. Obviously you should be cautious with public or third party networks and should make sure things like financial data are only transmitted through secure (https) interfaces, so that encryption protects the data itself even though the destination may be known.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

UK-RV

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Re: Is there spyware on the forum ?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2006, 08:14:21 AM »

Thanks Gary

Due to the fact that the mail address they used has never been associated with this forum, it became clear that they must have got it from a wifi connection, or an actual isp provider as you mention, by way of their sign-on terms.

Thanks
Paul

 

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