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About this site

Welcome to the Landmark Web, your guide to the issues surrounding personal computing and effective use of your own PC. We've made many resources available here: from broad-based news and views about the computing industry to specific technical support for you and your computer. So dig in and learn more about your computer and the Internet with Landmark as your guide.


Tell a friend about this page!

Landmark Computer Labs wants everyone to know about the useful information we provide to clients and friends.


We use this address only to tell the recipient who sent the message. We do not save or re-use it in any way.
Click here for this site's
Privacy Policy.

Are you being spammed by "landmarkcomputer.com", "landmark.org", or "landmark at smart.net"?

Let me assure you that we are not spamming you, and apologize anyway for your inconvenience.

Landmark Computer Labs is a victim of spoofing (unauthorized use of its email addresses for spamming purposes). Spammers -- possibly several of them -- are sending out messages with forged addresses that indicate that Landmark Computer Labs is the originator. We are not!

Spammers use random return addresses or fake names

Sometimes the "names" sending the messages are nonsense names:

  • vvibpjoq@landmarkcomputer.com
  • mfgsyids@landmarkcomputer.com
  • odkibbyswh@landmarkcomputer.com

Sometimes the spammers use phony names:

  • Hildred Marmas
  • Lorinda Elias
  • Madelyn Attfield
  • Marcel Caudill

Whatever the names -- and there are hundreds of them -- they indicate malicious hijacking of our email address.

Worms steal real names and addresses

Sometimes the names in the return address are real ones: personal addresses here at Landmark or at other Landmark-owned domain names.

This is a different problem: mail generated by the Bagle or the Netsky worms or their many variants. These are mass-mailing worms with their own email engines. They raid address books on infected computers and, using the addresses found there, send out forged messages with the intent to infect other computers.

Email headers on the worm-generated messages indicate that the bogus messages are coming from many sources -- signs that Bagle and Netsky have been successful indeed. Any computer anywhere could be sending this stuff, if its virus protection is not up to date.

We're not doing it!

The spam continues even when all our computers are turned off, as they were on a recent weekend -- a pretty good sign that our computers are not the culprits!

Our virus protection at Landmark is absolutely current, we have firewalls in place, and we scan our systems frequently. We are mindful of the potential for damage if a virus or worm were to compromise our systems. After all, we make a living clearing these problem programs off other people's computers!

As I write this, I note that someone is selling holdings in gold mines using our company name. Other recent pitches have been for bogus college degrees, smoking cessation schemes, credit card consolidation, Canadian drugs (hydrocortisone, viagra, vicodin, xanex, etc.), and the usual body part enhancement schemes.

We have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about this abuse of our corporate image, but there's not much else we can realistically do about it. Plenty of companies, among them ComputerWorld, a newsweekly for the Information Technology sector, have had similar experiences. A few years back, someone was sending out emails to college students containing pornographic material; they used ComputerWorld's address as the sender. The culprit was never found.

Stokely Consulting in Austin, Texas was hit similarly. Pete Stokely, a software architect and Unix system administrator, wrote some ad-hoc code to analyze the program which generated the bogus names and phony subject lines. His conclusion: "We are not talking rocket science here. The program to do this could be written by a hamster." Stokely's analysis makes for interesting reading. He opines that the unholy marriage of spammers and worm writers, coupled with the many security breaches in Microsoft's common tools, means the address spoofing problem will get worse before it gets better.

Ah, well, life goes on. I say it again: We are not spamming you, and we regret that you've been troubled by email purporting to be from Landmark. It is annoying to you, and it is harmful to us and our business.

Your privacy is important

We care about your privacy! Landmark has a privacy policy in place. It states in part that "we collect email addresses of those who communicate with us via email", but that "the information we collect . . . is never shared with other organizations for commercial purposes."

We take that policy seriously, and promise not to sell, trade, or give away your email address to others!

If you have comments, please let us know via our Contact Form. Use of this form will not add your name to our mailing list.

If you do wish to join our legitimate mailing list, you'll receive our free email newsletter, The View from Landmark. In it you will find

  • more information on spam, viruses, worms, and spyware and how to deal with them effectively,
  • tips and techniques to make time spent with your computer more productive and rewarding,
  • plain-English explanations of new hardware, software, and network designs and their relevance to you, and
  • answers to common questions.

Our promise to you

We obviously CANNOT promise that you won't receive spam addressed from us . . . but we will never spam you.

 

-- Bud Stolker
President, Landmark Computer Labs

 

areyoubeingspammed.shtml     |     Updated Wednesday, November 8, 2006
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