Spamza – The Ultimate Spamming Weapon – Or is It?

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Spamza.com is a website that recently went live, where you can enter someone’s – anyone’s – email address, and they will start getting instantly spammed by dozens of newsletters for which they did not sign up. If you’ve had a sudden increase in spam or suddenly found yourself signed up for a lot of newsletters and mailing lists that you didn’t request, Spamza may be why. You see, the Spamza site runs a script that takes their email address and then Spamza signs them up for those newsletters, without their permission.

Spamza then also encourages their victims to do the same thing to someone else, by sending that target email address several emails that are the spam equivalent of “nyeah, nyeah”, taunting the victim and saying:

You got spammed!
Get your revenge and spam your enemies at


http://www.SpamZa.com
http://www.SpamZa.com
http://www.SpamZa.com
http://www.SpamZa.com
http://www.SpamZa.com

SpamZa.com will sign up any email to hundreds of newsletters anonymously

Now, clearly this is pure evil.

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But, is it really what it seems?

Let’s think this through.

The Spamza script that runs when you enter someone’s email address signs that email address up for a bunch of newsletter mailing lists.

 

However, this only works because those mailing lists don’t use confirmed (double) opt-in, which is considered the industry standard for best email practices. This means that they add that email address to their mailing list without first confirming that the owner of the address really wants to be on the mailing list.

Confirmed or double opt-in means that they first send an email to that address asking the owner of that email address to confirm that they really want to be on the mailing list, by clicking a link, or replying to the confirmation email.

(And actually, some of those mailing lists are confirmed opt-in, and did send confirmations when we did our own testing of Spamza – good for them!)

The point here is that the only reason Spamza is able to create the havoc that it does is because people run single opt-in mailing lists, where they grab any email address that comes their way, say “Oh goody! Another subscriber!”, and add it to their list, without first checking that it was a legitimate subscription.

Now, we have been saying for years that running single opt-in mailing lists, even if you are pure of heart, is a wide open security hole, because anybody can sign up someone else. And the response has always been “Oh c’mon, you’re making that up – nobody would actually do that. Who would do that??”

Well, here’s your answer.

Spamza would do that.

Which brings us to our title question: is Spamza really the ultimate spamming weapon? Or, is it the ultimate anti-spammer weapon?

Was Spamza created by some whacko who just wanted to see how much spam they could proliferate on the Internet?

Or was Spamza created by some ardent anti-spammer, who knew that, among other things, all those single opt-in mailing lists would get in trouble for having been duped into unwittingly proving what the email receiving and anti-spam industries have been saying all along: single opt-in is ripe for abuse?

You be the judge – here is what Spamza says about itself:

“SpamZa.com is a website designed to promote newsletters and interesting content. WE DO NOT SEND SPAM. SpamZa will subscribe the e-mail you submit to hundreds of popular and free newsletters. You can leave these newsletter at any time. Simply speaking, you put any e-mail, you click “Spam this email!” and we do the rest. The said e-mail will be registred to hundreds of daily newsletter and receive thousands of e-mails, most of them who avoid the junk filter. The point of this website? To spend as much newsletters as possible to as much people as possible. There are very few things the owner of the e-mail can do: change his e-mail address (but you can re-submit his e-mail), manually unsubscribe hundreds of newsletters (but you can resusbcribe him… if you are really evil) or ignore all the message (it becomes impossible to execute the most basic tasks). In short, SpamZa! is a very mean way to create a lot of problems ;)

SpamZa was created with the idea that spam and newsletters were our friends, not our enemies. Think about it for a second: some people worked really really hard to write interesting newsletters and emails. The least we can do is read it! SpamZa will subscribe any email sent to hundreds and hundreds of newsletters. Furthermore, its algorithm always being under development, you can expect the e-mail owner to make a lot of friends from Nigeria who have a lot of money to give and he can expect to have your Bank of America/Citigroup/eBay/Paypal account suddenly locked with a poorly written email from LOLUGETSCAMMED@PHISINGROFLMAO.com. You know all the newsletters that say “we do not redistribute or resell your email” (but do anyway)? We do the opposite. We get your email known, and pretty well known to as many newsletters are possible. Expect any email entered in our form to receive 100-150 emails per day at the bare minimum, most being able to bypass most junk filters. To use our service, enter any email and click “Spam this email!” and get ready to get spammed. You may enter any email you want but please understand this is very, very mean to use. For maximal efficiency, enter the email every day and re-spam it, so even if the person unsubscribe, he’ll get in again the next day.

SPAMZA DOES NOT SENDS SPAM. SPAMZA TAKES NO RESPONSABILITY FOR THE E-MAIL YOU CHOOSE TO SUBMIT TO OUR ALGORITHM. SPAMZA WAS CREATED TO PROMOTE POPULAR NEWSLETTERS AND NOT FOR SPAM. SpamZa is perfectly legal and respect all anti-spam policies around.

SpamZa is not responsible for any consequences of using its services. SpamZa provides its services in a purely informative manner. The user is solely responsible the email he submits to our engine and algorithm. We are not responsible for any unwanted email from anyone. We do not send unwanted email and do not maintain a newsletter for ourselves. SpamZa is neither affiliated nor associated with any newsletter or website sent from using this service. SpamZa does not approve nor disapprove any email, communication letter or information sent using its service. If you received spam because someone used SpamZa on you, we do not care. If you want to bitch because your email is unusable, we do not care, but please send us your hate mail anyway so we can laugh at it. If you are frustrated about our website, good for you.

PRIVACY
We never reveal the IP of the person who visits our website and submit e-mails, no matter what. We never reveal who subscribed him to SpamZa! and all those newsletters. The victim will most likely never know who subscribed him to this service, making it almost impossible to track the person who subscribed him to so much spam.

To all the little shits that try to take us down by submitting complaints — it won’t work. Stop wasting your time and ours and e-mail us if you got a problem”

[Ed. Note: Ironically, it appears that it did work, as as of noon EST today, the Spamza.com site is down.]

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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3 thoughts on “Spamza – The Ultimate Spamming Weapon – Or is It?

  1. Hi Anne…
    That the web site verbiage used the term “email” to refer to email addresses leads me to believe this was written by someone with experience in the email marketing biz. An online newsletter publisher frustrated by restrictive ISP filters (gefilterish, if I may)? A former e-marketing employee who lost his gruntle? It’s anybody’s guess.

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