Quantcast
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    230
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    How to know if an email is still active?

    Like This Thread!
    Seemingly random question, I know, but -

    Is there any way for me to know if an email address is still in use, short of emailing that person and waiting for a reply? (I emailed them about a week ago, but they've yet to respond, and I have no other way of contacting them.)

    BTW, it's a family member (cousin, actually) who I've never met, so I have no reason to think they're snubbing me. Would there be any way of finding their new address if they have one?

    It's not likely, I know, but I just thought I'd ask ...

  2. #2
    solarflere is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    3,506
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Batgirl Beyond
    Seemingly random question, I know, but -

    Is there any way for me to know if an email address is still in use, short of emailing that person and waiting for a reply? (I emailed them about a week ago, but they've yet to respond, and I have no other way of contacting them.)

    BTW, it's a family member (cousin, actually) who I've never met, so I have no reason to think they're snubbing me. Would there be any way of finding their new address if they have one?

    It's not likely, I know, but I just thought I'd ask ...
    It could exist, as in it was not taken by someone else, but that said person might not use that address any longer. A lot of email providers, if you don't visit your email account in 30 days, they temporarely close it and bounce back all emails. But once you go there again, they reactivate it. But the said person could have simply switched to a different provider or uses a different name now. But to answer your queston, no there is no way to find out with the email is still being used.

  3. #3
    mikestorm's Avatar
    mikestorm is offline I'm nodding on the inside.
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Birdhouse in your soul
    Posts
    718
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Batgirl Beyond
    Seemingly random question, I know, but -

    Is there any way for me to know if an email address is still in use, short of emailing that person and waiting for a reply? (I emailed them about a week ago, but they've yet to respond, and I have no other way of contacting them.)

    BTW, it's a family member (cousin, actually) who I've never met, so I have no reason to think they're snubbing me. Would there be any way of finding their new address if they have one?

    It's not likely, I know, but I just thought I'd ask ...
    Is there a way? Yes. Is there a way for you? Not without a lot of effort.

    Spammers validate email addresses by embedding a beacon in the body of the email. If the email ever opens, the beacon is rendered by the email recipient and activates, sending a signal back to the email originator, essentiall validating the email address.

    If you really were in no-holds-barred-firing-on-all-cylinders stalker mode, you could create a dummy email address and craft an email about a topic that he would be receptive to based on what you know about him (i.e. if he's in to video games, offer a free vg download) to coax him into clicking through to a web site that you have created. In reality, the page is blank save for a counter that tracks unique IPs. If the counter ever goes up by one, that means he opened the email and clicked through, validating his email address.
    Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?

  4. #4
    solarflere is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    3,506
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mikestorm
    Is there a way? Yes. Is there a way for you? Not without a lot of effort.

    Spammers validate email addresses by embedding a beacon in the body of the email. If the email ever opens, the beacon is rendered by the email recipient and activates, sending a signal back to the email originator, essentiall validating the email address.

    If you really were in no-holds-barred-firing-on-all-cylinders stalker mode, you could create a dummy email address and craft an email about a topic that he would be receptive to based on what you know about him (i.e. if he's in to video games, offer a free vg download) to coax him into clicking through to a web site that you have created. In reality, the page is blank save for a counter that tracks unique IPs. If the counter ever goes up by one, that means he opened the email and clicked through, validating his email address.
    That is ilegal anf not tolarated at Toon Zone. There are countless ways I can see if the address is used or not but none of them are legal. Sending an embedded trojan in an email takes way too much effort that its worth most of the time, not to mention is completely ilegal to begin with.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    230
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mikestorm
    Is there a way? Yes. Is there a way for you? Not without a lot of effort.

    Spammers validate email addresses by embedding a beacon in the body of the email. If the email ever opens, the beacon is rendered by the email recipient and activates, sending a signal back to the email originator, essentiall validating the email address.

    If you really were in no-holds-barred-firing-on-all-cylinders stalker mode, you could create a dummy email address and craft an email about a topic that he would be receptive to based on what you know about him (i.e. if he's in to video games, offer a free vg download) to coax him into clicking through to a web site that you have created. In reality, the page is blank save for a counter that tracks unique IPs. If the counter ever goes up by one, that means he opened the email and clicked through, validating his email address.
    LOL! All I wanted was a simple answer ... this sounds far too complex, and according to solarflere it's illegal. Thanks anyway.

    So there seems to be no way to find out (which was basically what I expected, but I'm no computer guru and I guess I needed absolute confirmation of that).

    BTW, my cousin's a she.

  6. #6
    mikestorm's Avatar
    mikestorm is offline I'm nodding on the inside.
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Birdhouse in your soul
    Posts
    718
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by solarflere
    That is ilegal anf not tolarated at Toon Zone. There are countless ways I can see if the address is used or not but none of them are legal. Sending an embedded trojan in an email takes way too much effort that its worth most of the time, not to mention is completely ilegal to begin with.
    While a bit unscrupulous, spam beacons are not illegal. They're not trojans either. The beacon simply returns a signal back to the originator that the email address that received the email is valid. Many beacons are simply a 1x1 pixel in the body of the email. If the pixel is rendered (by opening the email) the originator knows it, and can assume the address is a good one.

    Trojans, on the other hand, are viruses and typically execute malicious code. I think you might have the two confused.

    Article on spam beacons

    Wiki definition on Trojan Horse viruses

    Batgirl, to your point, as I said, while email validation is within the realm of possibility, the amount of effort is not really worth it.
    Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?

  7. #7
    solarflere is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    3,506
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mikestorm
    While a bit unscrupulous, spam beacons are not illegal. They're not trojans either. The beacon simply returns a signal back to the originator that the email address that received the email is valid. Many beacons are simply a 1x1 pixel in the body of the email. If the pixel is rendered (by opening the email) the originator knows it, and can assume the address is a good one.

    Trojans, on the other hand, are viruses and typically execute malicious code. I think you might have the two confused.

    Article on spam beacons

    Wiki definition on Trojan Horse viruses

    Batgirl, to your point, as I said, while email validation is within the realm of possibility, the amount of effort is not really worth it.
    A Trojan Horse is a malicious code that gives the sender access to your PC for indefinite amount of time. Or tracks the user in any kind of way.
    Anything embedded in the code that cannot be seen is ecentialy ilegal since you don't know about its pressence and its there without your knowledge or consent. I have dealt with them in the past so I know quite a bit of how they work. All of those (no matter what names they go by) are Trojan Horse viruses. Here is what closely resembles the truth about trojans from the Wiki article:
    In practice, Trojan Horses in the wild often contain spying functions (such as a packet sniffer) or backdoor functions that allow a computer, unbeknownst to the owner, to be remotely controlled from the network, creating a "zombie computer". Because Trojan horses often have these harmful functions, there often arises the misunderstanding that such functions define a Trojan Horse.
    The rest does not apply to them anymore this day and age. Its a spying tool with something extra.


    Trojans, on the other hand, are viruses and typically execute malicious code. I think you might have the two confused.
    You have no idea what you are talking about. At this point in internet life, trojan horse viruses aren't realy viruses at all, they don't deliver any malicious code, they create a backdoor to the desired PC for the hacker. They may hold malisious info if the user can't get access to the desired pc, and exectutet at a sertain timeframe set by the hacker, but their primary purpose is to gain access to the users PC, like the Greeks gained access to the Trojans. I don't do as much work with and against viruses as much as I used to, but I still know a lot, I also know the objective of the people who send them. Most people (in the past 3 years or so) who get a Trojan Horse on their PC, are victims of a DoS (Denial of Service) attack on big corporations.

  8. #8
    mikestorm's Avatar
    mikestorm is offline I'm nodding on the inside.
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Birdhouse in your soul
    Posts
    718
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by solarflere
    Anything embedded in the code that cannot be seen is ecentialy ilegal since you don't know about its pressence and its there without your knowledge or consent.
    Solarflere, that is incorrect. By your definition, that would make web page cookies and read receipts illegal. Even well established organizations like ebay and buy.com send emails that include jpgs that link back to their site vs. physically included in the email itself. They do this as a form of email validation. In fact, Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, and even hotmail have a feature to "disable all web-enabled content". Web enabled content are not trojans.

    Quote Originally Posted by solarflere
    You have no idea what you are talking about.
    Excuse me? Look, I took the high road with my previous post, but now I'll say what's on my mind. Do not throw toonzone's policy back in my face and imply that I suggested the original poster embed a virus in an email, as, if you reread my original post that was clearly not what I said. She asked if it were possible, and I answered her.

    Quote Originally Posted by solarflere
    At this point in internet life, trojan horse viruses aren't realy viruses at all, they don't deliver any malicious code, they create a backdoor to the desired PC for the hacker. They may hold malisious info if the user can't get access to the desired pc, and exectutet at a sertain timeframe set by the hacker, but their primary purpose is to gain access to the users PC, like the Greeks gained access to the Trojans. Most people (in the past 3 years or so) who get a Trojan Horse on their PC, are victims of a DoS (Denial of Service) attack on big corporations.
    Thank you for that enlightening definition on trojans. While I don't dispute any of that, I maintain that web beacons are not trojans. Expanding on what a trojan horse virus is will not change that. Despite my link to the article on spam beacons, you apparently are still unclear on the concept. A web beacon does not execute malicious code, it does not leave a PC open to a DoS attack, or create any sort of backdoor for a hacker. It validates an email address. Period. That's it. End of story. It is simply a variation of a read receipt.

    I've seen many of your recent posts. You seem to pride yourself on knowing a lot about computer-related and electronic-related information, and frequently help other users with these topics, which is always welcome. However, I think I may have bruised your ego a bit by posting a reply that was contrary to yours, and you seem to have taken this personally, as you have resorted to making disparaging statements like the above. If that is the case, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings in any way.

    Quote Originally Posted by solarflere
    I don't do as much work with and against viruses as much as I used to, but I still know a lot, I also know the objective of the people who send them.
    Good for you. Keep fighting the good fight.
    Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?

  9. #9
    solarflere is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    3,506
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mikestorm
    Solarflere, that is incorrect. By your definition, that would make web page cookies and read receipts illegal. Even well established organizations like ebay and buy.com send emails that include jpgs that link back to their site vs. physically included in the email itself. They do this as a form of email validation. In fact, Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, and even hotmail have a feature to "disable all web-enabled content". Web enabled content are not trojans.
    My wording was a bit loose, let me rephrase, "web-enabled content" also means any picture that is embeded into the email and other scripts. But any script that sends back any info is violating the reader's confidentiality. If you see how those "beacons" are made of, the code is very simular to trojans, without the malisious code. They can sugarcoat it all they want, its still trojan in its own right. Heck, even VNC are trojan like, only they are set up by the user.


    Excuse me? Look, I took the high road with my previous post, but now I'll say what's on my mind. Do not throw toonzone's policy back in my face and imply that I suggested the original poster embed a virus in an email, as, if you reread my original post that was clearly not what I said. She asked if it were possible, and I answered her.
    I said no such thing, but I stand by my statement that those "beacons" embeded into emails are a form of trojans and such are considered iligal. Why would anyone use them is beyond me.

    Thank you for that enlightening definition on trojans. While I don't dispute any of that, I maintain that web beacons are not trojans. Expanding on what a trojan horse virus is will not change that. Despite my link to the article on spam beacons, you apparently are still unclear on the concept. A web beacon does not execute malicious code, it does not leave a PC open to a DoS attack, or create any sort of backdoor for a hacker. It validates an email address. Period. That's it. End of story. It is simply a variation of a read receipt.
    If you take out the bullets from a gun, do you still consider it a gun or did it become a toy? The code resembles to your traditoinal trojans very closely, excluding the malisious intent. But then again, many see information theft as a malisious intent. And "validates an email address" is information theft.

    Here is a quote from the beacon link:
    For example, the beacon may be a URL (uniform resource locator) for an image file that is stored on a server controlled by the spammer. When the e-mail message is opened, the e-mail application requests the image and also sends along an encoded e-mail address of the recipient. The spammer's server responds by sending the image file to be displayed, but it also captures the e-mail address that was sent in a database of "good" addresses, said Richard Smith, an independent computer security consultant.
    Here is how a web trojan works:
    you enter a website, the script has loaded and the website is viewable, by now a trojan script has been uploaded to your PC via a cookie or other cache, takes your IP address (and/or other specified info) and sends it back to the hackers server.
    No harm done as of yet, but that was a virus with a malisious intent.

    I've seen many of your recent posts. You seem to pride yourself on knowing a lot about computer-related and electronic-related information, and frequently help other users with these topics, which is always welcome. However, I think I may have bruised your ego a bit by posting a reply that was contrary to yours, and you seem to have taken this personally, as you have resorted to making disparaging statements like the above. If that is the case, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings in any way.
    And now you are just taking it personal. You took advantage of my loose wording and desided to roll with it.

  10. #10
    Sampo's Avatar
    Sampo is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    2,870
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mikestorm
    Solarflere, that is incorrect. By your definition, that would make web page cookies and read receipts illegal. Even well established organizations like ebay and buy.com send emails that include jpgs that link back to their site vs. physically included in the email itself. They do this as a form of email validation. In fact, Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, and even hotmail have a feature to "disable all web-enabled content". Web enabled content are not trojans.
    ...
    Ah, I always wondered why Outlook Express had that feature. I thought it was annoying at first, then after reading your post it does make sense. That is one way to identify someone's computer.

    Gah, pity I can't set it to allow that kind of content to be enabled for certain email addresses. The email I received from Rightstuf.com, Itunes, and TFAW.com look strange with red x's all over the place.

    Thanks for the info.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

 
toonzone quick jump
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO