Very big spam list

I innadvertantly became the owner of a copy of a HUGE list of email addresses used by spammers. The list includes about 23 1/2 million addresses.

This is quite and interesting Conundrum. Ethically Do I alert the spammers of their mistake, which allowed one of our customers to download these files (open directory browsing). Do I do nothing? Should I write an email that states “I represent the following people attatched to this email, and they demand they are removed from your list at once”

I find the latter part quite amusing. Although I don’t truly represent them, and it would be a lie. I doubt a single soul on that list would really argue. but 1 out of 23 million is actually quite possible ;)

Interestingly a little more than half of those people on the list are refered to as ‘adult’ customers.
What would you do? Or rather should I do with this list? I cringe at the thought of what a friend had told me. “Start a torrent and post it to mininova” – I’m glad he didn’t end up with the list!

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  • http://www.sunbeltblog.blogspot.com Alex Eckelberry

    Yeah, we find these too. Don’t really know what to do with them either. For now, they stay safely stored away on a secure system.

  • James

    Send the owner 23.5 million emails in return! Sounds fair to me… lol!

  • http://www.internettimes.org Dave Alexander

    You should pretend to be a lawyer and write a cease-and-desist letter to them.

    That being said, could you search the list for “dagfari” ? I want to see if my email is on it.

  • LonerVamp

    Honestly, if you can get to it, so could other people. I’d say you could tell the spammer about that particular hole so he can close it. At least, if my address were on there, that’s what I’d first want done. Heck, even as an email admin, I’d rather not have even more copies of that falling into budding spammer hands and creating more traffic.

    Other than that, what else can you do really?

  • http://prozacville.com Prozacgod

    Yeah, I thought about the whole if my name was on it, I should tell him to prevent further releases of the addresses. After looking into the whole thing, I decided to do a little bit of statistical analysis and wipe the list. I’ll notify the sites admin too.

    Any statistics you’d like to get from the list? how many people have ‘sexy’ in their name for example.

  • http://prozacville.com Prozacgod

    I did a search on the list for ‘prozacgod’ – I found my old hotmail account. I had hotmail since long before it was owned by microsoft. It was much better then. ;)

    Ironically I stopped using that account for anything more than chatting after I got so much spam. Now any minor thing I need to signup for gets delegated to that account.

    Also, did my first ‘stat’ – 5.7mil aol accounts, isn’t that close to almost all of thier customers these days?

  • len

    I would publish it online as a database so people could check if they are in it and publish also where you can get removed or start a law case.

  • http://weblogs.asp.net/cumpsd CumpsD

    I like the database idea actually.

    It allows you to not give out what you found, but give people the ability to check if they are on it.

    A real simple form with an email textbox that checks if your address is in it.

  • http://www.BeyondSecurity.com Aviram

    The database idea is actually quite interesting, but don’t forget to couple it with a quantity limitation – e.g. allow only 3 email verification requests from any IP. This will prevent guessing valid emails by brute force.

  • http://www.techroot.org F-117

    Emails can be create.
    If they are OK dunno.
    But a big list mail its a great idea for spammers.

  • foQ

    I remember back when that AOL browsing habits list came out, somebody threw it on Splunk.com and grabbed a ton of info out of it. Maybe you could do something similar.

  • http://www.marawapokerclub.com Marawa

    Very nice it wil never happen to us haha
    Do you want to sell the list ??
    We are willing to pay up to 0,05 cents per email adress