A sad day for SGI: it's now a spammer

February 28, 2006

I once quite liked SGI and have been following its slow decline with a certain regret. But I did not expect to see this day come; SGI has become a spammer.

Not directly, of course. Large corporations (which SGI still is, sort of) don't spam people directly. Instead they hire specialized places to do this for them, like the well known (one could say 'infamous') Responsys Interact.

SGI might argue that we have previously been an SGI customer so they could spam us with marketing. Well, no, I'm afraid that this excuse no longer flies, especially since we haven't been an SGI customer since before the turn of the century.

And this is a lovely, glowing illustration of why email is now such a hassle. Because I clearly cannot trust a vendor with any long term email address; regardless of why I am getting in touch with them, I need to always, always use a special, just for them email address. And then cancel the address promptly.

Sidebar: the fine details

The marketing spam message had an envelope origin address of Newsletter@sgi.rsc01.com and came from the machine om-sgi.rgc3.net, at IP address, a /24 inside Savvis allocated to Responsys. I did not bother to read very much of it; my scanning tools tell me that it includes, among other things, the address unsubscribe@sgi.com.

(We don't do 'opt out' things like unsubscribing around here. We just block spam sources. It's both simpler and more reliable.)

In a surprise, it contained URLs pointing to the website images.gyrogroup.com (as well as Responsys's domains rsvp0.net, rsc01.net, and responsys.com, and SGI's own website). This belongs to 'Gyro International', which appears to be some kind of marketing firm. In a lovely irony, their website proudly proclaims (in all caps text that's in a graphic; how accessible):

Gyro integrated brand communications build long lasting profitable relationships between people and brands.

Well. Not exactly in this case. Although if you leave out the 'profitable' it's certainly true; I find spam quite memorable, and it certainly builds one sort of relationship.

Comments on this page:

From at 2006-03-29 13:33:47:

I've been getting LOTs off responsys they are beginning to piss me off

From at 2006-04-06 22:28:56:

Are you sure it wasn't a phishing attempt? Got an email designed to look like someone else's eticket from continental, all links go to continental except: continental-safe subdomain for rsc01.net. Searching for rsc01 led me to your blog.

By cks at 2006-04-07 16:28:58:

I'm very sure mine wasn't a phishing attempt; among other things, there was not a request for an ID in sight (unless you count their unsubscribe links). If you've gotten something directly from Responsys, it's highly unlikely to be a phish.

From at 2006-04-23 10:06:29:

There's no question that responsys is a legitimate company, at least in the legal sense. But I continue to get spam from companies through responsys and there doesn't seem to be any way to get off their lists other than by doing it each time you get spam from one of their customers.

As far as I can see, since responsys is actually sending the spam, THEY are the spammer, yet there's no way to remove them directly.

Sounds like a job for the state attorney general.

David Jameson

From at 2006-04-23 10:09:31:

To add insult to injury, I sent an email to responsys using the "abuse" email address that they provide. The message was bounced back!

David Jameson

Written on 28 February 2006.
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Last modified: Tue Feb 28 17:42:46 2006
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