Spammers harvest e-mail addresses from P2P

By Derek Sooman on April 20, 2005, 1:07 PM
And while we are on the subject of spammers harvesting e-mail addresses, it looks like P2P networks are the new place to do so! Read on to find out how.

When users share files on P2P networks, using software such as eDonkey or Gnutella, they often just wind up sharing the entire C: drive. This makes it possible for the wouldbe spammer to get hold of the user's Outlook.pst file, where their Outlook messages are stored. All they have to do is search for "Outlook.pst" on the P2P network, and once some files are obtained e-mail addresses can be extracted.

Experts from Blue Security, who discovered harvesting, have carried out an experiment to evaluate the efficiency of method.

The experiment consisted in creating a list with 500 e-mail accounts, real but not used, that was saved in such file, Outlook.pst, and shared in a P2P network.

In the first day, these addresses received 100 spam messages, next day the number had reached 300. Even after two weeks, the addresses continued to receive 100 spam messages a day.

User Comments: 4

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phantasm66 said:
What kind of a total dumb-ass shares their entire c: drive !??!?!
phantasm66 said:
You know, out there right now, some dude has written some PERL script or something that reads through a directory of hundreds of P2P downloaded outlook files, and strips the e-mail addresses out of them and into a text file. This is not hard to write at all, believe me. Man, its so simple its a wonder no one thought of it before.
Per Hansson said:
If someone shares their whole C drive I don't mind them getting a billion SPAM messages, I mean; how stupid can you get?There are password files that for example your browser store also, great to share those...
phantasm66 said:
I don't understand why anyone would share their entire C: drive. It makes no sense at all. Anyone with even a hint of a brain makes a dedicated folder to do transactions from. There's surely no end to what I can do to you if you share your OS partition on P2P. Jeez.... Try not to be easy targets, will you?
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