Today I saw a spammer parasite itself on another spammer (probably)

July 27, 2018

We have an account request management system that sends out email to people as part of its activities, using an administrative email address as the sender address. We don't directly expose the address anywhere on our web pages, but it winds up in people's email address books when they get email from it and so years ago it leaked into the hands of spammers and we started to get occasional spam to it. Today it got two such pieces of email, both from and through Mailchimp and both theoretically sent by ''.

The first one went like this:

From: Support Naturaful <>
Subject: INV04732 from Naturaful Support
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 14:49:59 +0000

View invoice ([an-URL])
$ 1750.00 due 30 July


The URL went off to a random and likely hijacked URL on a random website, or at least it tried to; it was probably broken (one part of it was a literal '[UNIQID]' as a query parameter). This was clearly basically a phish spam, and it appears to have tried to redirect from the initial URL to an invoice page on '', where it would presumably have tried to extract some sort of payment from visitors.

It was followed less than two hours later by a second email message, a rather flustered one:

From: Support Naturaful <>
Subject: We're Sorry - Please Ignore Email About Invoice
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 16:35:10 +0000

Please ignore the last email about a large invoice amount. .
Please do not click on the button or pay any money.
Any links that do not have [list of domains] is not our website. Any sales of Naturaful products are paid on our website and you don't owe anything after.
Please ignore the last email, we're currently cleaning up our database and ensuring this does not happen again.
Security is our primary concern.

What appears to have happened here is that our administrative address was bought by and added to a mailing list that they were going to use to send out spam (through Mailchimp). Before they could use their shiny new mailing list to send out their own spam, another spammer came by and exploited a security vulnerability of some sort to hijack's mailing list and Mailchimp account (and 'good' name) to send out their own spam.

As a bonus prize, claims to be in Canada, which makes what they're doing completely unambiguously illegal under our anti-spam law. The odds are that the government will never get around to doing anything to them, but one can always hope. In the mean time, neither these people nor Mailchimp are going to be successfully sending email to this particular administrative address.

(As far as Mailchimp goes, well, they know what business they're in and they're evidently not interested in doing better even though they certainly could.)

(This elaborates on my tweet.)

Written on 27 July 2018.
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Last modified: Fri Jul 27 02:16:11 2018
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