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Etihad sold my email address and other data

Etihad sold my email address and other data

Old Mar 7, 15, 2:43 am
  #1  
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Etihad sold my email address and other data?

To cope with spam and their sources, I distribute a unique email ID with any company I communicate with. Since a few weeks, I noticed that I receive spam on the email address used for communication with Etihad. With spam I don't mean the usual newsletters, I mean the real annoying stuff like casinos and pills.
Since I have not saved the email address locally, the only explanation for this is that Etihad allegedly sold my address including other data like my name.

I filed a privacy data request through my business connect account, but haven't heard from them yet.

Last edited by fqtv_kraven; Mar 8, 15 at 10:38 am
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Old Mar 7, 15, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by fqtv_kraven View Post
To cope with spam and their sources, I distribute a unique email ID with any company I communicate with. Since a few weeks, I noticed that I receive spam on the email address used for communication with Etihad. With spam I don't mean the usual newsletters, I mean the real annoying stuff like casinos and pills.
Since I have not saved the email address locally, the only explanation for this is that Etihad allegedly sold my address including other data like my name.

I filed a privacy data request through my business connect account, but haven't heard from them yet.
Your complaint is like somebody sending their credit card details to a hotel by e-mail and then complaining that it must be the hotel that made them public.

The problem with e-mails is that after they leave your computer they go through a variety of third party servers before they get to their destination. All of these servers have access to your details.

You really should check out the facts before making unsubstantiated allegations. And as for stating that your details have been sold, what evidence do you have of that?
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Old Mar 7, 15, 5:50 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Agent69 View Post
And as for stating that your details have been sold, what evidence do you have of that?
The spam email sent to my account mentioned my full name.
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Old Mar 7, 15, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by fqtv_kraven View Post
To cope with spam and their sources, I distribute a unique email ID with any company I communicate with. Since a few weeks, I noticed that I receive spam on the email address used for communication with Etihad. With spam I don't mean the usual newsletters, I mean the real annoying stuff like casinos and pills.
Since I have not saved the email address locally, the only explanation for this is that Etihad allegedly sold my address including other data like my name.

I filed a privacy data request through my business connect account, but haven't heard from them yet.
Originally Posted by Agent69 View Post
Your complaint is like somebody sending their credit card details to a hotel by e-mail and then complaining that it must be the hotel that made them public.

The problem with e-mails is that after they leave your computer they go through a variety of third party servers before they get to their destination. All of these servers have access to your details.

You really should check out the facts before making unsubstantiated allegations. And as for stating that your details have been sold, what evidence do you have of that?
Hmmm, what do you do when you are both partly wrong, and both partly right.....?

Is your E-Mail address completely private if you are using internet E-Mail?

Nope, it is obviously visible to every router in the path from your mail server to the destination mail server.

Are there any documented cases of E-Mail addresses being harvested by transit routers?

none that I'm aware of....

So, I'll avoid chastising the OP and instead try and dig deeper into the problem...

The real answer is, it depends... I do the same trick. in that I've got a different mail alias (virtuser, if you are a sendmail type) for every list I subscribe to, and (and this is a big and) I control my local mail server, so I have control over how my E-Mail is routed, and I know that it doesn't go through an ISP or AV transit server. In my case, if "kenf,[email protected]" started getting a huge wodge of SPAM, I'd be having hard words with IB over the issue, as the balance of probabilities is that IB/FT would have had a data breach of some description (to be clear, I don't get spam on my FT alias, and, to my knowledge, FT are whiter than white).

So, in order to decide the relative likelihood of it being Etihad or "the Internet" at fault, we'd need to know:

Who is your E-Mail provider? If you run your own mail server, what MTA and OS do you use, and are you sure you deliver "direct to MX", or does your mail go via an ISP transit server?

Does Etihad's mail server offer secure SMTP? If so, does it have a signed certificate? Will your Mail server use SSL if offered? (If so, transit routers can't see the envelope, and the case for it being the responsibility of the recipient just got a big boost)

What format do you use for your "one time" E-Mail addresses? Are they short (5 chars or less)? Do they use an easily guessable format? do they all use the same domain?

Have you recently had SPAM on any of your other aliases? If they are in a simple format, you may have fallen prey to a random SPAM attack (our server logs are full of attempts to send to "[email protected]", followed by "aaaab"..... and so on, so, if your alias recipe is too simple you may find your E-Mail aliases are being discovered by exhaustion (BTW, don't try this on our mail server, as the front-end firewall application will have you blacklisted before you get to "aaaad").

Have you checked the Etihad Mail server's MX record? Where does it route? does it go straight to an MTA on Etihad's network? An ISP server? Something like "mailscanner-a1.mcafee.com" (an outsourced AV front-end)? (To be clear, if Etihad has bought a "cheap and nasty" cloud E-Mail or AV service, and this is compromising security, then as far as I'm concerned, it is still their fault, but you still need to know who to point the finger at!).

However, of course, the biggest test is "has anyone else on FT recently started to get lots of SPAM on the address they gave to Etihad?" - which is the real power of the forums!

Ken.

Willard the Bear - I get lots of SPAM on my E-Mail address, maybe I should stop giving out my card to everyone I meet?
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Old Mar 7, 15, 6:24 am
  #5  
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KenF clearly speaks with authority. I highly doubt EY is profiting from selling emails from spam. I have several family members whose accounts I manage including their attached email accounts and receive no such spam.

I hope you realise that any wifi other than your own or your employer's should be considered insecure.
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Old Mar 7, 15, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by KenF View Post
Who is your E-Mail provider? If you run your own mail server, what MTA and OS do you use, and are you sure you deliver "direct to MX", or does your mail go via an ISP transit server?
Own domain on a multi-hosted server.

What format do you use for your "one time" E-Mail addresses? Are they short (5 chars or less)? Do they use an easily guessable format? do they all use the same domain?
Have you recently had SPAM on any of your other aliases? If they are in a simple format, you may have fallen prey to a random SPAM attack (our server logs are full of attempts to send to "[email protected]", followed by "aaaab"..... and so on, so, if your alias recipe is too simple you may find your E-Mail aliases are being discovered by exhaustion (BTW, don't try this on our mail server, as the front-end firewall application will have you blacklisted before you get to "aaaad").
Same Domain with catchall, but no spam received on any other email address used for companies.

Since I never wrote Etihad about anything (and only recieved emails), I doubt there is a leak on my side.
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Old Mar 7, 15, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by fqtv_kraven View Post
The spam email sent to my account mentioned my full name.
But what evidence is there that money changed hands?

Hope you're not flying Etihad any time soon. A mouthy American was imprisoned for slagging off his employer. Dread to think what will happen if you slag off the national airline.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31692914
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Old Mar 7, 15, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by KenF View Post
So, in order to decide the relative likelihood of it being Etihad or "the Internet" at fault, we'd need to know:
My point is that this should have been established before you start gobbing off about Etihad did this or that or whatever
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Old Mar 7, 15, 10:57 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by fqtv_kraven View Post
To cope with spam and their sources, I distribute a unique email ID with any company I communicate with. Since a few weeks, I noticed that I receive spam on the email address used for communication with Etihad. With spam I don't mean the usual newsletters, I mean the real annoying stuff like casinos and pills.
Since I have not saved the email address locally, the only explanation for this is that Etihad allegedly sold my address including other data like my name.

I filed a privacy data request through my business connect account, but haven't heard from them yet.
Hi fqtv_kraven, We are sorry to hear that. Kindly send the details to [email protected] to look into this for you. *ES
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Old Mar 9, 15, 6:56 pm
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A public service request

For those of you who obviously know more about mailservers and how to avoid spam than most of us, may I please request that you post a brief guide for those who own their own domain and subscribe to shared hosting on (a) how to generate unique e-mail addresses for different parties that can be routed to the same inbox and (b) best practices for configuring mail servers and avoiding spam and detecting where the address leaks take place?

Thanks
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Old Mar 11, 15, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by fqtv_kraven View Post
Own domain on a multi-hosted server.



Same Domain with catchall, but no spam received on any other email address used for companies.

Since I never wrote Etihad about anything (and only recieved emails), I doubt there is a leak on my side.
OK, those are both fair points, and I'd agree that the use of your full name (unless it is obvious from the alias!) plus the fact that you've never sent anything to Etihad does seem to point to the other end....

However

The fact that this thread isn't now full of "me too" comments from other people is rather strange - if someone had got hold of the full mailing list, I'd have expected more people to have seen the same SPAM as you have.

Overall, I'd say this is a perfect use of the famous Scottish Not Proven verdict (AKA, "we all think you are guilty, but unfortunately the facts don't actually prove it").

If you keep getting SPAM on this address, I'd suggest some header analysis to see how it got to you (this can be complex, because most SPAM includes false headers, so it takes a bit of thought to work out what is significant). I'd also suggest looking at the headers of some real Etihad mails to you, and seeing if they come from something on the airlines network, or from a third-party bulk E-Mail sender - bargain-basement MSPs can be a little cavalier with the databases entrusted to them by their "customers" ("victims" may sometimes be a better description), and if low-level staff have access to databases, the temptation to take an extract and sell it off for a few $$$ per thousand contacts can be overwhelming.

I'd be especially interested in how your MX is set up - if you have a secondary MX, who provides it, and how much do you trust them? If all of your SPAM comes via your secondary (tertiary, quaternary...) MX's, rather than direct to your primary MX, then you need to take a long hard look at your mailer config.

Overall though, it's probably time to configure that alias to return "550 - No Such User Here" and move on to another one - if you suddenly start getting the same SPAM on the new alias, I'd hope that the airline rep. would get involved to identify the leak.

And, on the bright side, replying to this thread has finally gotten me to the point that I can now spell Ethi...Eith... Etihad right without three attempts!

Ken.

Willard the Bear - I get a lot of SPAM, but, alas, as a Teddy Bear, Viagra is of little use to me....
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Old Mar 11, 15, 4:13 am
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Originally Posted by golmaale View Post
For those of you who obviously know more about mailservers and how to avoid spam than most of us, may I please request that you post a brief guide for those who own their own domain and subscribe to shared hosting on (a) how to generate unique e-mail addresses for different parties that can be routed to the same inbox and (b) best practices for configuring mail servers and avoiding spam and detecting where the address leaks take place?

Thanks
I'll put something together and perhaps post it in "Travel Technology", or, possibly even as an article on Willard's Website, but, in the meantime, here are a few quick "Top Tips":

Don't use wildcard or catch-all aliases (unless the "catch-all" is to reject the message). Since a popular pastime with spammers is to flood your server with either exhaustion ("[email protected]", "[email protected]") or dictionary ("[email protected]","[email protected]","[email protected]"...) attacks, it is only a matter of time before a "catch-all" really bites you back.

Unless you have a really strange mail config, if you own your own domain, any mail with a "From:" line that references your domain should have originated from one of your servers (or have been sent via an authenticated channel, e.g. "SMTP AUTH"). Configure your mailer to reject any unauthenticated inbound mail that says it's from your domain. (I'm sort of surprised this still works, but I guess some SPAM filters must really be that stupid - as I see messages that have "From: [email protected], To: [email protected]" regularly, so I'm guessing it must sometimes work, but it is 100% SPAM!)

SPAMmers seem to think secondary MX's are "soft targets", so lots of SPAM we see has been sent (or, attempted to be sent) to the low preference MXs even when the primary is online. This behaviour breaks the RFCs, so there is no shame in blocking it. Configure your secondary MX's to reject (with temporary errors, e.g. "451 - Hey, idiot, the primary MX is online, OK?") when the primary is online (there are milters for sendmail that do this).

Consider Greylisting and/or Tarpitting. We introduced a modified form of Greylisting, and reduced our inbound SPAM volume by 95% overnight - lots less for the content filters and DNSBLs to deal with....

Ken.

Willard the Bear - Hey! Don't you be signing me up to write articles! I'm a busy bear! Get Beeker to do it!
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Old Mar 12, 15, 1:27 pm
  #13  
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One possibility not mentioned yet is that a trojan/virus on the system could have harvested the email address. I see that as a possibility since the OP says he has received emails from Etihad. Maybe there was even his name mentioned in those (or even others) and just merged.

I'm pretty sure Etihad does not sell customer data, specially not to pills/casino spammers.
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