Data breach ? Yes
Criminals able to track down and exploit individuals with email addresses like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org ?
Not so much.
The Student Loans Company (SLC) has apologised after inadvertently leaking the email addresses of about 8,400 students this week. Anyone who had got half-way through filling in an application form on the SLC site was sent a motherlode of personal data on Monday: emailed reminders to complete the electronic paperwork included …
Assuming an homogenous gender distribution that's 4200 email adresses for young ladies who have trouble making ends meet. Now I'm sure I can recoup a significant number of these with a Facebook search to weed out the married or ugly ones and presto! Shuggah daddy comin'. I might even interest some of them in a short length of sidewalk in Shepherds Bush, who knows.
(of course the most likely consequence will be massive amounts of spam for all involved instead, but that's boring; I prefer my scenario)
At Birmingham we had Strawberry Milkshakes. These consist of a top-shelf job in a pint glass (fortunately this is only usually whisky, gin, rum and vodka in the average student bar), creme de cassis to make it pink, avocaat to turn it opaque and then topped up to the brim with lemonade.
If you drink three of them, you get severe kidney pains.
Lowenbrau and Diamond White super-snakebites were also incredibly popular.
These days I doubt I could afford the latter, let alone the former.
Its the sort of thing thats trivial to write. I did it for a club website a few years ago.
What i wrote was a small PHP script to monitor an email box, when it recieves an email, from certain email addresses in certain IP ranges, with a certain signature, it will relay it to everyone signed up to the club website that opted in to it.
Idiot proof, and you can keep your email lists away from people who dont understand the internet.
(This is not nesseserilly an insult you understand, the people involved were fantastic at what they do, just what they do isnt really technology)
Run all outgoing email through software "at the edge" (is that the correct term?) to ensure anything leaving has the To field entries removed or place in the BCC fields.
That they think they can get away with sending out a second email asking for the first to be deleted. No doubt the Information Commisioner will do nothing. Some one should be sacked and not necessarily the person that sent the email.
I've had a housing association do that three times. As I'm sure most El Reg readers are aware, but it is worth emphasising anyway, what happens when you do that is that Outlook sends out another email cc'ed to everyone on the list saying that the previous message has been recalled.
Their (anonymous looking) offices are a block up the road from mine. A few months ago walking to work I noticed a truck unloading about 100 Hermann Miller Aeron chairs on the pavement outside their office which were then wheeled into the building. Since I know those are about £1,000 each I wanted to know who on earth was spaffing that on office furniture (and not just for the CEO). I mean obviously it was some sort of quango, a private company would never do that, just that I had to check which strangely anonymous public sector gravy train it was.
Maybe they were so comfortable that they were falling asleep when they sent the email...
Is one virus on any of the machines reading that email and instantly all of those addresses will be spammed and harvested.
I speak from experience of course when I was wished happy Christmas by some muppet I barely knew one year who addressed a seasons greetings email to some 100+ people on his address book years ago.
"You have new mail"
Followed by the email client squealing and complaining about the gutbustingly-huge content. Not sure how many lines were in it, but I know my main account's elreg-specific email address was in it.
Ho hum. Be interesting to see how many spammers/scammers actually use it. Haven't spotted any yet that have made it past my friend Mr Bayes.
I've gone back to a hardcopy planner/address book and calendar. Too many filthy rotten scoundrels slurping up data from mobiles and the what nots of computing convenience. It's enough 'they' track us and pirate our personal data, but now they sell, trade, barter, and leak our information wholesale.
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