Many businesses will inform you not to reply to a message and may use a bogus return address such as: [email protected]There is just one small problem with this. A fella by the name of Chet Faliszek who actually owns donotreply.com. So each week Chet gets thousands of emails, many containing private information sent to his email box. According to the article at the washingtonpost.com it states:

The majority of the e-mails naturally are from spammers, who also are quite fond of using Faliszek’s domain name in the “From” field of their junk e-mails. Some of the non-spam bounce-backs are fairly harmless, like the ones he gets every so often from desperate, hungry people who bought a CharBroil brand grill but can’t get the thing to work properly.

“Instead of letting people just hit reply to these support mails, they make the customer click on a link,” Faliszek said. “It’s sad, too, because I’ll get these e-mails from people and they’re like ‘Oh, man, I really wanted to grill, but it’s not working.’ Sometimes they’ll even send pictures of their grill, too.”

But many of the misdirected e-mails amount to serious security and privacy violations. In February, Faliszek began receiving e-mails sent by Yardville National Bank in New Jersey (now part of PNC). Included in the message were PDF documents detailing every computer the bank owned that was not currently patched against the latest security vulnerabilities. Faliszek has so far amassed more than 200 reports about the bank detailing computers, full branch reports and graphs showing the top 10 most vulnerable systems.

The bottom line is that all of us should be more cautious when we reply to emails when they specifically state ‘do not reply.’

Comments welcome.

Full article is here.

[tags]do not reply, messages, emails, addresses, [/tags]