December 24, 2007

Most Gmail Spam Ever!

So, I log in to one of my “Gmail for Domains” accounts today, one which I rarely ever log into.  What do I see? 233 new messages in my Inbox.  This basically just exists as a drop for administrative emails (in other words, spam).  Of these 233 messages, about 10 were legitimate.  I was still pretty shocked to see that of the 223 or so spam messages that made it through, that it was only but a fraction of the number of mails received — I received nearly 93,000 spam emails in the last 30 days (remember, they delete spam automatically after 30 days).  That works out to about one email every 30 seconds.

Screenshot of most Gmail spam ever

(click to enlarge)

All the emails were addressed to some random address at my domain (.com).  In this case, there probably isn’t much I could have done to stop these mails.  Another domain that I leave dormant that I checked today after seeing this monstrosity had about 3444 spam messages, of which about 20 were not caught by Gmail’s spam filter.  But the one thing that made these mails different than the ones I received in the other account were that messages to this domain were all returned mails.  In other words, spammers were sending forged messages, using a non-existent address at my domain (.com).  This can be cut down, although apparently not completely eliminated, by using DNS SPF records.  The only drawback is that not every remote mail server supports SPF.  As such, some of these emails will still get through to those servers. Google provides some guidance on setting DNS SPF records (if you can) that can help cut down this number, although it still will not eliminate spam entirely.

Ever received more spam than this in your Gmail or Gmail for domain account?  Post a link to a screen shot or post your story below!

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