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Spam IT

Real-time Spam Map 230

iggychaos writes "Mailinator, the free, temporary email service gets a lot of spam (over a million emails a day). And with another cool application of Google maps, the site now shows a Spam Map indicating what sites are spamming mailinator in (nearly) real time. It's oddly addictive to poke around and see where the spam is actually coming from."
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Real-time Spam Map

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  • by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:24AM (#13565712) Journal
    We're too busy spamming e-mail addresses.
    • I notice there are none in Antarctica either.

      Antarctica: A spam-free zone.

  • by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:27AM (#13565725) Journal
    although that isn't because we're more moral then the rest of the world. It's because we've yet to discover electricity.
  • by strider44 ( 650833 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:27AM (#13565728)
    I see one spam message from "The Middle of the Atlantic". Damn those spam sending cruise ships! On the other hand, it's perhaps the first spam message that I'm disappointed that I can't read the body of the message.
  • by moehoward ( 668736 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:27AM (#13565732)

    Looks like they count iTunes New Music Tuesday newsletter as spam.

    Does this mean we sign up Steve for a bunch of catalogs and junk mail to be sent to his home address?

    And why do almost all of the points on the map say 100 Emails received? Seems odd.

    I think this is not exactly what it's cracked up to be.
  • That the majority places shown also have the highest STD rates on the country?
  • Turkey (Score:3, Funny)

    by Democritus2 ( 553661 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:29AM (#13565743) Journal
    You see the spam coming out of turkey? "Enough with the Thanksgiving Jokes already" or something like that-- pretty funny
  • by Underholdning ( 758194 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:31AM (#13565758) Homepage Journal
    More likely, this is a map of open relays and zombies.
  • by Tribbin ( 565963 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:31AM (#13565765) Homepage
    This is your chance to put your village on the map.
  • by PurpleBob ( 63566 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:33AM (#13565773)
    I think someone's having a bit of fun with the map. I got a spot smack in the middle of Greenland, with this message:

    Subject: Um, the brochure said it was GREEN here
    IP address:
    DNS Name:
    Location: Greenland
    Emails: lots
  • Purpose (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mudbogger ( 668451 ) <dlandis AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:33AM (#13565780)
    "You know if you give it, you're gambling with your privacy. On the other hand, you do want at least one message from that person. The answer is to give them a mailinator address." --from the website

    Isn't that gambling with your privacy as well though, to store the email you want to receive in an inbox that anybody can access? Other than that it's a pretty cool site/idea; however, I think a lot of people have email accounts already that they dedicate to web usage.
    • Re:Purpose (Score:3, Informative)

      by xtracto ( 837672 )
      Dunno but I have found it very useful, you may want to try

      It even has an RSS feed of the mailbox. This kind of recyclable mailboxes are useful for signing up on Torrent, Ed2k and other distribution sites.
    • Isn't that gambling with your privacy as well though, to store the email you want to receive in an inbox that anybody can access?

      Only if you choose an account name that is easier to guess than a username/password combination. E.g. "drunkduckboot123" is just as safe as username "drunkduck" with password "boot123". (Not taking mechanisms into account that block the account if too many unsuccessful access attempts have been made.) Also, the mail will automatically be deleted after a few hours.

      So just choose ac
      • I basically do this already. I have my own mail host and simply ailias an e-mail address to may main inbox. for example. Once I have what I want I redirect the e-mail address to a bullpen account that collects everything. If I find a lot of spam showing up then I redir the address again, this time to :blackhole: or :bounce: depending on the type of spam. Corp spam gets bounced, because they are likely to remove the e-mail address from their lists. Common zombie spam goes to :
    • You might want to check out [] instead.

      It's kind of the same idea, but instead of holding the email for you in a disposable mailbox, it forwards it to your real address. After a certain number of uses though, the address "shuts down" and all messages sent there are eaten. You can log into the site and control the number of messages left on a particular address, set a dedicated sender, etc.

      You go to the site and make an account, which requires a username, password, and real email add
  • by tetranz ( 446973 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:35AM (#13565793)
    According to that map, my country has disappeared off the face of the earth.
  • by yotto ( 590067 )
    Subject: Um, the brochure said it was GREEN here
    IP address:
    DNS Name:
    Location: Greenland
    Emails: lots

    Something tells me they need to rethink their algorithm.
  • Wow... no FL? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alizarin Erythrosin ( 457981 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:39AM (#13565812)
    I'm surprised. Most spammer businesses seem to be based out of Boca Raton, FL (a fact that makes me pissed off, being a Floridian). No little pips in FL... yet. I guess I should wait a few days.

    Either that or they still use open relays (or even zombie computers at this point), so they won't show up.
    • Re:Wow... no FL? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ergo98 ( 9391 )
      Most spammer businesses seem to be based out of Boca Raton, FL

      The businesses themselves might be, but the hordes of trojaned or rented computers circle the globe. This service is merely tracing the source IP and mapping that.

      Personally I think it's pretty craptacular. I was expecting something like colour coding of each country per the current volume of spam emanating from them, perhaps zoomable to political subdivisions (state, etc). Some lamely coded pushpins doesn't really provide a lot of info.
    • Re:Wow... no FL? (Score:2, Informative)

      by filenabber ( 628550 )
      I have been playing with it for about a week and Florida shows up now and then. By far most spam for Mailinator comes form the NE USA.
  • by gsasha ( 550394 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:39AM (#13565815) Homepage
    I don't see anything coming from Africa...
    • There was one there briefly.

      Subject: We admit it, it was all a scam.

      I think some people are having a lot of fun with this system. Want to put your own pin on the map? Just send 100 emails to a mailinator address...

    • Seen in Nigeria...

      Subject: Ok, we admit it. It was all a scam. Sorry.
      IP address:
      DNS Name:
      Location: Nigeria
      Emails: lots

    • except there isn't - at the moment.
  • The one point I'd like to make from looking at the map (Nice work with Google Maps by the way.) is that most of the spam seems to originate from the northeast and the west coast.

    This doesn't surprise me. Penetration of broadband is higher in those areas. But they aren't the true sources of spam. That comes from elsewhere. It's pretty easy to have a bunch of zombies spew your messages out there.

    But here's the interesting part - the broadband providers are letting that volume of spew through because the
  • Interesting -- one of the locations is Apple Computer,, the subject is New Music Tuesdays which is what Apple sends to iTunes Music Store customers. AFAIK this is legitimate mail sent to known customers. I wonder what the algorithm is they use to determine what is and is not spam?

    • Re:Apple? (Score:4, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:53AM (#13565929) Journal
      There is no algorithm. People sign up and get a one-shot email address. The first email sent to this address is forwarded to another address, and all subsequent ones are considered spam.

      I suspect the reason for the large number of Apple emails is idiots who download iTunes and supply a one-shot email address instead of simply unchecking the `send me iTunes newsletters' box on the download page.

      • The first email sent to this address is forwarded to another address...

        When did they start doing this? As far as I can remember, the only way to receive it is to go to the website and login with that address (no password). And you're right about the second part. Given that most people supply the email address for the very purpose of receiving email, how can its spamminess be determined accurately?
      • People sign up and get a one-shot email address.
        Mostly correct. It's technically not "one-shot" unless you use it that way.

        The first email sent to this address is forwarded to another address, and all subsequent ones are considered spam.
        Mostly incorrect.

        All inbound email is simply saved for 24 hours, and is never forwarded anywhere. If you need to see it, you can go to the mailinator web site and read it. Typically, I use it to sign up for a download from a site that wants an email address before

      • It could also be because Apple is not running a proper opt-in mailing list.
  • It is interesting that their domain has so few spam-mails every three minutes. My reading of the map (at 9:38 US-EST) is that they have about 20 spam (or 2000 if it is really multiplied by 100). My domain, used for about five addresses, gets one about every minute.

    I would think that a domain that is actually used by people would get a lot of spam. As it is, there are too few points of reference to see where spam generally comes from. Perhaps making the time covered user configurable would help. I really
    • We only show the TOP spammers in the system at the time the map data is output. Our algorithms to determine what is spam are more about self-preservation than catching pottywords.

      Brian (a mailinator developer)

  • Invalid Survey (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:54AM (#13565934)
    This is really an invalid survey because of tunnels and portals that most spammers use. This link [] gives a far better representation of the overall spam locations in the world. They actually trace backed the mail to its origin to map where it was coming from.
    On a side note there are far better services out there similar to mailinator like [] and [] that should be checked out.
  •! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:56AM (#13565947) Homepage
    Did I just see what I thought I saw? There's an SMTP server responsible for relaying at least 400 spams so far. How interesting. Perhaps someone smarter than I could identify this server further to determine what it is running and if it has been hacked or is merely an open relay?

    IP address:
    DNS Name:
    Location: Cupertino, CA, US
    Emails: 400
    • If I explicitly request information from you and supply a mailinator address to receive that information, your email server will show up as a spam source. What a joke.
  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:58AM (#13565971) Journal
    "It's oddly addictive to poke around and see where the spam is actually coming from." "

    Kermit agrees. Miss Piggy unavailable for comment.

  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:59AM (#13565980) Homepage

    Ummm so when Bill said that they wanted to give people the tools to organise the information....

    How is Google not providing the tools? Seems to me that Google is providing better tools, just not requiring people to buy and operating system to use them.
  • by Cat_Byte ( 621676 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @10:00AM (#13565981) Journal
    It needs a mod for a graphic of the source IP being destroyed (nuke?) when it recognizes it as spam and adds to the > null list. That would be awesome ;)
  • Already bookmarked! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tchernobog ( 752560 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @10:04AM (#13566020)
    Boys, they give us IP addresses of spammers! You know what that means?
    Finally we can seek revenge! Where is my nmap? Let's teach them a lesson...

    -- My name's Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die!
  • "Subject: You're in! Welcome to Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.
    IP address:
    DNS Name:
    Location: London, UK
    Emails: 100"

    • When I looked there were a lot of 'mailbox full' and underliverable notices marked as spam too.

      I think the spma detection needs work...
  • It's good that they don't also have a map of where the hits on their webserver come from. If they did, they could locate where the highest concentration of slashdotters are, and launch a pre-emptive nukular strike against them. Or was that in soviet russia that the server hits YOU? Anyway, Netcraft confirms Mailinator is dying. HAND.
  • Try to bring it up in Firefox and you get a blank screen... :(
  • WTF? No mails in the account.

    Come on guys!!!!
  • Awhile back, some spammer list picked up my email address as someplace to fake sending spam FROM. (Not the mail servers, just the "from" line of the email.) Since then, I get more "Your mail has been blocked due to it likely being spam" and bounces from non-existant addresses than actual spam. Of course, I count all those emails as spam themselves.

    Please, if you have an auto-replyer to spam, turn it off. You're just harassing other people with your meta-spam.
  • EasterEgg (Score:2, Informative)

    by flatass ( 866368 )
    Check out Antarctica for an easter egg.
  • I suddenly got an urge to play a game of Global Thermonuclear War. >:-(
  • In the days before Mac OS X, Apple used to ship a Map control panel. If you have Classic installed you still have access to it. In it, look for a blinking dot located in the southern Atlantic. Click it, and you'll find it's labeled "Middle Of Nowhere."
  • The server spewing out spam in Northern California?! Straight out of Cupertino! Isn't this one of those, "Is this really spam?" situations? I think I got one of these after signing up for iTunes too. Clicked the link and haven't heard from them in 2+ years. It's weird to see them lumped in with Myanmar and L0wRateAdv1s0rs.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."