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What fresh hell is this?

Sent to me today under the subject “Disabled your outbound email services temporarily” (with low priority!).

Hello, [my maiden name]

We are contacting you today because we have disabled your outbound email services temporarily. The reason for this is because you’ve got a forum that spammers were subscribing to to get messages sent out. They used a spam trap email address that actually resulted in our mail server getting blacklisted.

We need you to add protection to it so it isn’t being exploited in the future. You will need to contact us and let us know this has been resolved for us to restore your email services.

For protection, we ask that you require an account to subscribe to topic notifications if you haven’t already. We also ask that you add protection to your sign-up page so that spammers cannot automate it. You can do this by using a captcha or something similar to that.

To activate your account, please visit our BlueHost account reactivation center. Use the link below:
[bluehost link]

Thank you,
BlueHost.com Terms of Service Compliance

Thing is, Bluehost hasn’t hosted anything of mine for years, but they are the registrar for one (or maybe more) of my domain names. It’s been ages since I felt like I understood how the innertubes work. Is some spammer somehow using an inactive domain to send spam, or did they just send this to a range of IP addresses, or what? (Yes, yes…I asked Bluehost Compliance these same questions. No reply so far).

I have Wednesdays off, so I slept in. Like, for upwards of twelve hours. I feel like…someone who slept upwards of twelve hours.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 18, 2018, 11:43 pm

Uh, I got nuthin so here are some more inexplicable Japanese TV program names.

The Transparent Cradle
Gretel’s Magical Oven Second Season
My Papa is more vagabond than Bakabon’s Papa
Chatty Jay’s Sundry Shop on Sundays
Hurray to the Angler!

As to the Bluehost thing, I would not reply via any link in the message you received. It looks too much like a Pishing email. Look them up on the net and contact them via that.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: July 19, 2018, 12:30 am

My microsoft email account, the one that is tied to my office 360 subscription (money) suddenly had an email from the uk telling me that my account was being suspended if I didn’t click the embedded link. That account is one of my oldest and is only used for one thing.

I tried to contact someone at the microsoft office help desk and they sounded clueless.

The internet makes me paranoid and depressed. Well, I am paranoid and depressed, and the internet makes it worse.

So I’ve been digging up rotten tree stumps and doing landscaping because it changes one’s perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: July 19, 2018, 1:31 pm

“Hurray to the Angler!” (in American English it would be “Hurray for the Angler!”) actually sounds like something you’d catch on late-night TV, or maybe very early in the morning — stuff like “Sunrise Semester,” which I used to see listed in the old TV Guide.

“Gretel’s Magical Oven” might be a cooking/baking show aimed at kids who’ve outgrown their Easy-Bake Ovens and want to move on to real things like biscuits. The “magical” part might be that the biscuits are formed and decorated like dragons or griffins. (Don’t ask me. I haven’t been an actual kid in a long time. Back then I preferred Westerns and detective/spy shows anyway.)

And that expression “slept in,” I’ve always thought, is weird. Where else would you sleep if you have a house or any kind of dwelling? I grew up with “slept late.”

As for the email, Stoaty, I suspect phishing, which is a simpler explanation than anything else.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: July 19, 2018, 3:22 pm

I see the free ice cream continues to flow though.

You know the free ice cream must continue to flow, right?
Can we call you MaudeWeasel?

Me, I’m suspicious whenever I get anything from anybody saying I need to go anywhere via a link they provided.
In fact when I get those I sometimes pull up the task manager and nuke my browser task from orbit.

But Colonel Kojo Assani of Liberia assures me that once my checks have cleared and I meet with him in Portugal the things I did will be taken care of and cleaned up.

Comment from BJM
Time: July 19, 2018, 4:59 pm

That’s a straight-up phish for your password. As a rule, web hosts don’t send log-in links in email.

An inactive or parked domain isn’t pointed to a DNS server so it has no IP address and doesn’t have a MX record(email) and can’t send email.

This ‘splains it. This is a lot of jargon to wade through, so maybe Blue Host can walk you through setup of inactive domains as parked.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 19, 2018, 9:13 pm

Ugh. I followed the link. Will I have messed myself up?

I don’t think I have any truly inactive domains, just ones I haven’t updated in a thousand years.

Comment from BJM
Time: July 20, 2018, 6:58 pm

Are you paying for hosting with a credit card? If so then change the card password and keep an eye on it…and change your bluehost password too.

Whatever email reader you are using has a feature to let you read the raw message and/or the message header. You will see where it originated and where the reply went.

I just had one today allegedly from ATT advising that my account has been restricted and would be deactivated in 24 hours, the links were from/to some gobbledygook address in Austria…which is prolly a spoof in of itself.

Comment from BJM
Time: July 20, 2018, 7:08 pm

Oh and run a scan for rootkits, keyloggers and malware ASAP!

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