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Has anyone else received an email from

By AV . ·
I received the email below today about Microsoft. The email originated from a spammer that Microsoft sued, Robert Soloway. This is supposed to be the first of several emails being sent out about Microsoft and spam. Soloway says he wants to saturate the Internet with his emails, but his domain has been suspended.

-----Original Message-----
From: SPAMIS: Strategic Partnership Against Microsoft Illegal Spam []
Sent: 06/08/2005 7:40 AM
Subject: MICROSOFT CORPORATION Sends Illegal Unsolicited Spam

.You are receiving this email notification because...


OUR MISSION: Worldwide Boycott of MICROSOFT Software / Hardware / Service SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: "Don't Support Illegal Spam, Don't Buy Microsoft Products"

OUR GOAL: 100 Billion Views / 99.9% Internet Saturation / 178 Parts (2005-2007)

[SPAMIS Foundation: Strategic Partnership Against Microsoft Illegal Spam]

[Part 39 of 17
----- ---- --- -- - - -


Junk mail from MS (Microsoft): Whose spam is it anyway?
by Graham Lea / The Register Technology News

Special report "Spammers are thieves... They're hijacking your
system to deliver their unrequested, unwanted advertising,"
says a new Microsoft web site paper by R'ykandar Korra'ti.

But Microsoft is on shaky ground when it comes to spam - in
recent newsgroup posting the company's own abuse manager Mike
Lyman has effectively been conceding that Microsoft sends out
unwelcome, unsolicited mail, and that company staff are
unwilling and unable to do much about it.

Microsoft's anti-spam stance is being undermined by a
combination of faulty software systems, bureaucracy and

Lyman means well, but getting Microsoft to deliver a service
that comes close to Korra'ti's objectives seems to be like
trying to push water uphill. This isn't helped by the greed
factor operating on top of the other problems.

According to Korra'ti, "The allegedly legitimate' spammers...
don't hide where their mail is coming from, and at least they
pretend to offer a way off their lists." As far as quite a
few users are concerned, that makes Microsoft a "legitimate

Several mailing lists and newsgroups are currently discussing
complaints about Microsoft and spam, and there have been
several clear instances where the company has been at fault,
and where this has been conceded by Lyman. One of the problems,
he admits, is a "tainted" database that isn't being fixed, and
is still being used.

He also concedes that at least one mailing wasn't justified,
that some Microsoft staff aren't acting according to official
company policy when it comes to unsolicited mail, and that the
company is currently far more concerned with privacy, and is
therefore putting too few resources into cleaning up its own
act on spam.

The database problems often make it difficult for people to get
off the mailing list, which they could well have been put onto
without their agreement. This is by no means unusual in the
industry, but Microsoft continues to add people to its list, to
use databases that haven't been properly cleaned up, and to
transfer mailing lists to third parties without the knowledge
or permission of the people listed.

The emailing that caused most ire was one about Microsoft's
plans for Y2K (two copies of this one just this morning - Ed),
but other smaller volume efforts continue. Some people also
claim that visitors to Microsoft sites may find themselves
getting unrequested newsletters.

And last week Microsoft is said to have mailed MCSE training
course attendees who had specifically checked the 'no publicity'

When Microsoft sold Sidewalk to Citysearch, it seems to have
sold its database without deleting those who had asked to be
removed but at the time were possibly only flagged for removal.
To their annoyance, they were then started hearing from Sidewalk:
"Since you previously registered with Sidewalk, we thought you
would like to know..."

Unsolicited email from Microsoft may say that the email is being
sent to "preferred members," but recipients frequently deny that
they have ever knowingly become a "member" of any Microsoft list.

It can however be very difficult not to wind up on one or more
Microsoft lists, via registration of OS or applications, or
through the (largely compulsory) registration procedure for the
Windows Update or Office Update services.

Microsoft inevitably gets its hands on details of a very large
proportion of PC users, and it therefore has a duty to be
serious, consistent and responsible in the way it handles this

But on the contrary, from what Lyman concedes it would seem
Microsoft is inconsistent, irresponsible, and cavalier. Lyman
admits that all is not well with Microsoft databases. He said in
a newsgroup posting that "the data base was tainted and the
mailing wasn't justified".

But he seems to have little power to influence change at
Microsoft, where the current concern at the group where he
reports is privacy rather than spamming. He is unable personally
to get at the faulty database, and in effect blames Microsoft's
impenetrable bureaucracy. When challenged about unplugging the
offending servers, he wrote: "Physical ability does not equal

There are many examples of users taking all possible steps to get
removed, and finding it impossible. People were "working to fix
their messes," Lyman said, but even a threat to divert a $50,000
budget to non-Microsoft products was only likely "to impact the
local [Microsoft] weenie more than the guys at corp HQ who did
the spamming."

He was also brutally frank about what happens when email is sent
to addresses like "you're probably hitting
some little peon in the organisation who has zero say in how
things are run. ... By the time the stuff gets to those who are
the decision makers it's probably been boiled down to numbers and
stats with maybe a few samples of the complaints. 600,000 messages
went out, 100 complaints came back, hmm, must be doing a pretty
good job.'"

Lyman notes that most Microsoft marketing people don't have
Internet experience, and so fail to grasp the implications of what
they're doing. As far as they're concerned what the recipients
regard as unsolicited spam are "informative announcements".

Lyman says: "The one thing that's kept my frustration over the
pace of things at Microsoft from completely boiling over is I
deal with the same people for privacy issues as I do with spamming
issues. They've been very focussed on piracy and frankly I'd
rather have them focussed on privacy."

One of the greatest fears for spammers (at least the "legitimate"
spammers who can be tracked and pilloried) is being black-listed
by the Mail Abuse Protection System (MAPS) founded by Paul Vixie
in 1997. MAPS has developed a Real-Time Black Hole List (RBL) used
by some 300 licensed subscribing ISPs (numbers have doubled each
year, so far) to block spam.

Nick Nicholas, the front man for MAPS, said there were 12 complete
nominations to list Microsoft, and many incomplete ones, when the
issue of black-listing Microsoft was raised. Lyman thinks that MAPS
is trying to become an "anti-spamming version of TRUSTe" but is
doing it from outside the corporate world.

This is true, and for the moment at least, MAPS does not enjoy too
much major league support. MAPS admits it has made mistakes in its
blacklists in the past. There were rumblings that Microsoft might
sue MAPS if Microsoft was placed on the RBL list (Lyman ominously
mentioned that "deep pockets usually win"), but Microsoft recently
concluded a deal with MAPS to use the product in Hotmail to cut
down on spam, making any legal action much less likely.

Ironically, Hotmail itself has taken legal action against what it regards as the abuse of Hotmail. Lyman claims that Microsoft has
scheduled improving the database, but has no timing as to when this
will happen.

He noted that he took a firm line with Microsoft and has overcome
a view that persisted at Microsoft that people who complained had
forgotten they had registered to receive spam.

In one message Lyman said of old requests to be removed "the
database purge should clear them out", but it would be impossible
to find any culprits for previous abuses on the Microsoft staff.
But "if the harvested stuff is recent ["last year or so"], there's
a major problem with policy violation and heads need to roll." So
anybody getting junk mail from Microsoft to an email address first
used in the last year should take up Lyman's offer to sort the
matter out and contact him at

He noted: "I hope other companies avoid the mistakes our folks
made and go straight for the confirmed subscriptions up front.
It'll save them lots of pain."

Lyman appears to be a Microsoft person who is actually trying to
sort out the spamming situation, but with little or no help. And
there are those who say that the anti-spamming cure by the net cops
is worse than the disease.

In Congress recently Rep Heather Wilson told a hearing that
"banning all spam "may be unconstitutional because it would ban
unsolicited mail that people do not mind receiving - or even want
to receive..."

There is a way to block Microsoft spam for MS Exchange users who
use Exchange to provide SMTP services, and it's described at There are also spam filter
packages such as SLMail, MailShield, N-Plex, the Isode Message
Switch, VOPmail, and WorldSecureMail.

In view of what Lyman says, a column "written" by Bill Gates on
the subject of spam last year has a certain piquancy: "My company
is among many that offer regular emailings to customers and
potential customers. But we only send email to people who have
requested it, and we have easy ways for people to remove themselves
from the mailing list."

This is clearly untrue. Gates then described spam: "Sometimes spam
includes a purported way for you to remove yourself from the
mailing list, but it often doesn't work.

In fact, making the request may do nothing more than prove to the
spammer that your e-mail address is valid - prompting more

Ahem. Gastronomic note: Spam stands for spiced ham, and is a
trademark of Hormel Foods' tinned luncheon meat, first introduced
in 1937. For this reason, spam is often referred to as unsolicited
commercial email (UCE). There is also a spam fan club.


----- ---- --- -- - - -

Contact: SPAMIS, Box 1259, Seattle, WA 98111 / Fax: (206)260-2409

QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE PUBLIC STATEMENTS FROM MICROSOFT: Microsoft Head Spam Spokesmen: Aaron Kornblum or Ryan Hamlin

SPAMIS Exists Due to the Improper Actions & False Allegations Set Forth by Microsoft Lawyers: Robert J. Dzielak / David A. Bateman / Theodore J. Angelis

[Part 39 of 17
(c)2005 SPAMIS: Strategic Partnership Against Microsoft Illegal Spam

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more spam about spam

by rr In reply to Has anyone else received ...

Yeah I have been getting spam from spamis about microsoft spam.
But I also have been getting way more spam from microsoft. I am bouncing all of microsoft's spam
back to them however they don't have a clue or they would remove me already.

The way I track spam is like this:
Each email addy I give out is unique and only used one time. And they are all set up to go to the same inbox. so I use and
and (this way when I see who the email is sent to I know who should be the singular originator of that spam) and not only has microsoft continued to send me a zillion copies of the same thing due to thier ignorance about bounce messages. They also send it to each unique user name I have given them over the years. Sure they think it is all different users but they really need to get a clue or set up some scripts so that thier spam machine automatically deletes email addy's that are obviously bouncing. AT least they have not shared or sold my email addy's to 3rd parties.

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Interesting . . .

by AV . In reply to more spam about spam

What do the headers look like in the emails? Do they say they came from Microsoft or are they forged?

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Why the griping? To be fair, you must...

by techrepublic In reply to more spam about spam

I use the same practice of creating individual email addresses for all of my contacts to track the selling of my address.

TO BE FAIR, contact has been made and senders are permitted to send you an email. There MUST be an OPT-out method, and from what I gather from your post, you are NOT opting out from them.

MS has always stopped sending emails to the addresses I requested an opt-out for.

Also, using my practice of creating addresses for each contact to use, sometimes opt-out requires sending them an email request. Most of the time, this email MUST be from the address you gave them (the alias) - not your default address. For example, in Exchange, you would temporarily change your default SMTP address while sending the unsubscription.

I've never had a problem with MS "spam".

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Something to think about . . .

by CasperCV In reply to Has anyone else received ...

I'm an South African that have been using Microsoft products since DOS 1. All my servers are running Win 2003 which I always update. No problems.
I've always admired the Americans for having such a great company like MS in their country.
But now it look to me like the whole of America became one big mob against MS because they do so well. It really look like mob-fever . . . and of course MS rivals love this.
Ok, so there is some stuff that people are unhappy about, but there is ways to solve this.
Please, do not hang Bill and his crowed. If you don't want them we in South Africa will be happy to have them here.

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Its true, we all bash Microsoft

by AV . In reply to Something to think about ...

Even though its products are great, they aren't perfect. I remember the days though, when there was no software integration, no Microsoft. It was hard to accomplish what you can do today with Microsoft software.

Microsoft is a huge Goliath of a company with alot of power and money. Its very important that the public keep them honest by challenging and questioning what they do. Microsoft is both a blessing and a curse. Their power has stifled alot of innovation in our field. If a small company has a good idea, they buy the company, eliminating competition.

Spam is everyone's enemy except for the spammer. Its hard to identify where spam originates sometimes. I would hate to think Microsoft would do that, but you never know so it has to be looked into. American companies these days don't have integrity anymore.

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What about

by CasperCV In reply to Its true, we all bash Mic ...

I'm no expert on this subject but, I think that the answer to spam and other problems might be solved with new protocols.
E-mail service providers should register at a central body or something like that.
The only way to stop spam is to shut down the offending servers.
Or am I'm dreaming?

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Keep on dreaming

by znewt In reply to What about

Yes, you are dreaming, but solutions come from dreams. Shutting down servers shuts down the net and I think that is the power that some spammers truly enjoy. To coin a phrase, call them netromaniacs. The _people_ abusing the servers are the problem. To me, the nastiest spammers are skilled technicians that, as a personal challenge, circumvent each new solution soon after it is applied and continue their abuse. Those people shift their abuse from server to server and spoof unsuspecting domains in attempts to avoid detection. Protocols, committees, and authorities are short-lived challenges and laughing stock to the technical offender. For those reasons, knowledge, experience, and diligence on the part of net admins is the best, if not the only defense to be had. It is unlikely that anything will ever exist to fully stop the problem.
Email abuse is not a free speech issue as many in the U.S. would like to believe. It is borderline, if not wholly, technological terrorism and should be treated as such. Harsh (and I do mean truly, physically and financially harsh) penaltiies are needed for rank offenders who actively and continually do their best to disrupt the Internet community and economy.

Collapse - is the real spammer

by tws In reply to Has anyone else received ...

I have not received any spam from Microsoft. I do receive emails from MS but only ones that I have subscribed to or ones that request subscription because I have given my address to them at one time. This is not spamming. There probably is an issue with purging and cross referencing their databases. Spamming is getting email from some person or entity that you did not request to receive from directly or indirectly by checking the 3rd party box.
The person from, in my opinion, ranks at the top with porn spammers as a spam scumbag.

One must be aware that the current email protocol, SMTP, was never designed for the current internet usage. As its acronym implies, simple mail transport protocol.

Does anyone know if a group of concern net-citizens exist to lobby and work with ICANN to shut down domains that tread on the rights of others? If not, the novas and professional IT people should consider such.

From The word was coined as the winning entry in a 1937 competition
to choose a name for Hormel Foods Corporation's "spiced meat"
(now officially known as "SPAM luncheon meat"). Correspondent
Bob White claims the modern use of the term predates Monty
Python by at least ten years. He cites an editor for the
Dallas Times Herald describing Public Relations as "throwing a
can of spam into an electric fan just to see if any of it
would stick to the unwary passersby."

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Spamis is using MY domain email.

by halo2all In reply to Has anyone else received ...

In checking my email today I have received this particular email. What concerns me is it is from MY company email address. I am not a subscriber to Spamis or any other Spam type programs. I take care of website and internet related problems. WE do not send spam or emails to anyone on the internet. Recently receiving this particular email, I question who or what is using MY business email for the use of spreading this email like this. This is not the first time I have gotten an email from my company email address. I have NO employees. These emails prompt people to report MY website as a junk mail facilitator. Fotunatly for me, I AM the only one who takes care of the website and KNOW what emails I have sent to whom. I am very discouraged at what has happened. Now my company email is out there generating more of this garbage that chokes the systems. I am fortunate to have NO address lists whereby these programmers can attack the few people that I do email from time to time which would be my family! How can I help stop this annoyance? I feel violated.

Thanking you in advance,

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Maybe its just a spoofed address

by AV . In reply to Spamis is using MY domain ...

I don't know if you have your own mail server, but it sounds like it is just spoofing your email address. I would check the message headers and the smtp logs to see what IP address it came from and then look it up on whois to see who it is registered to (hopefully not you). If you can identify the ISP that hosts their web site, than you can complain to them. Most ISPs have an email address to report abuse.

If you have a mail server, there is always the possibility too that you are being used as an open relay. I had this happen to me a few years ago and ended up on the ORBS blacklist. I was able to fix it, but you don't ever want to be there.

Spoofing is pretty common, given all the viruses and spam out there today. Its discouraging, yes, but unfortunately there is no good way to stop it right now.

I've seen alot of spam though in my time, but there is something creepy about the ones from I don't like them. Maybe you should complain to Microsoft. They might be interested being that the spam is about them.

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