Pick. Lock. And Load.
July 28, 2003 10:16 AM   Subscribe

"Pick. Lock. And Load. It's like flicking a booger at spam." (from linkfilter)
posted by limitedpie (28 comments total)
 
Q. This sounds pretty insecure. What if I send important emails with sensitive super-secret information in them to mailinator?

A. Then you are a stupid-head. That isn't what this is for.
Clever idea. A good solution for a very limited set of problems, when you want a truly throwaway email address. The post could have been more descriptive, though.
posted by hattifattener at 10:36 AM on July 28, 2003


The email equivalent of a dead-drop. I like it. I just need to figure out what to use it for.
posted by SealWyf at 10:50 AM on July 28, 2003


I wish they didn't do the booger thing. I haven't had breakfast yet.
posted by muckster at 10:52 AM on July 28, 2003


Another alternative, which works somewhat differently, is SpamMotel. Create a spammotel address which basically forwards any mail to that address to your "real" email account. You can go back and deactivate the spammotel address at any time. The advantage of spammotel over mailinator is that the created address really is "yours"--no one else can get to it--and it's active as long as you need it to be. The disadvantage is that you have to trust spammotel enough to give them a "real" email address, while mailinator is truly anonymous (at least until you get to the level of IP tracking).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:54 AM on July 28, 2003


I quite like the booger flicking animation (that's one big booger, though). Then again, I had lunch awhile ago. I don't have any reason to use it at present, but I will definitely keep it in mind... Cool idea.
posted by greengrl at 10:55 AM on July 28, 2003


I haven't had breakfast yet.

Well, lock, pick, and load!

It is a cool idea, but I wouldn't know what to use it for. If you are signing up for something that has to send you a username/password, you may want that to be secure. It's fun to put random names in the box, though.
posted by adampsyche at 10:56 AM on July 28, 2003


DevilsAdvocate - bigfoot.com
The problem is, with these types of services is that once the address is found the spam will come in by the pounds (that's a lotta electrons!).

As for Mailinator, that's spiffy-keen-deluxe.
posted by Nauip at 10:57 AM on July 28, 2003


Ah, such an image... boogers and spam. I think I'll skip lunch today, thanks.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:59 AM on July 28, 2003


Please keep in mind that if you shoot off a test mail real quick to an obvious address @mailinator, anyone else guessing the account name will see your real address with that test message.
posted by VulcanMike at 11:02 AM on July 28, 2003


Another alternative, which works somewhat differently, is SpamMotel.

Only spam motel has the worst interface possible, and is far too much trouble.
posted by Espoo2 at 11:18 AM on July 28, 2003


Only spam motel has the worst interface possible, and is far too much trouble.

Try SpamGourmet then - I use it a lot, but I virtually never even have to visit their site. It's well worth giving it a go.
posted by r1ch at 11:34 AM on July 28, 2003


I thought this is what Hotmail was for.
posted by dopamine at 11:35 AM on July 28, 2003


I'm using SpamGourmet, a SourceForge project. Easy interface and setup and your unique handles self-destruct after 1-20 messages.

I'm trusting them for now...no breaches so far.
posted by a_green_man at 11:41 AM on July 28, 2003


Please keep in mind that if you shoot off a test mail real quick to an obvious address @mailinator, anyone else guessing the account name will see your real address with that test message.

 
ah my friend, that is what anonymous remailers are for...I am about to have lots of fun. mahahaha.
posted by sodalinda at 11:44 AM on July 28, 2003


Sneakemail works well for creating forwarding addresses that can be deleted at any time. It sounds like the idea is the same as SpamMotel, but perhaps the UI is a bit more functional...
posted by Galvatron at 11:51 AM on July 28, 2003


Another vote for SpamGourmet. Been using it for at least a year or so with no problems.
Plus they mention pancakes on their tshirt.
posted by mister e at 11:58 AM on July 28, 2003


Yet another vote for SpamGourmet as my spam fighter of choice. Along with the SpamBayes plugin for Outlook.
posted by mnology at 12:03 PM on July 28, 2003


I'm wondering how long it will be before some of the sites requiring e-mail address registration get wise and respond to any address @mailinator, spammotel, etc. with "Please re-enter your actual e-mail address."
posted by beagle at 12:25 PM on July 28, 2003


As far as the e-mail validation forms getting wise, SpamGourmet has quite a few alternate domains. Organizations are also invited to share their domains for use.
posted by mnology at 12:32 PM on July 28, 2003


I'm a bit curious as to what the non-spam-dodging uses of this might be. It seems to offer some good potential for a temporary autonomous zone-type situation--arrange a bunch of people to meet Friday at midnight, say, and mail whatever they have to say to someaddress@mailinator.com. Maybe that's the future of fileswapping, post-RIAA-suit?
posted by arto at 12:57 PM on July 28, 2003


I typed in my email address "booger"
All I got was spam
posted by pekar wood at 1:11 PM on July 28, 2003


I've also been using Sneakemail for some time. The interface is quite simple and the service is very capable. It takes me just a moment to create a disposable address for a web form. Now, being able to dream up an address on the spot and create it later, ala Mailinator, is extra cool. I believe this is something that Mailshell can also do, and more securely -- though I haven't had a chance to try it out.
posted by Tubes at 1:18 PM on July 28, 2003


What a fantastic way to harvest working email addresses!
posted by eddydamascene at 6:34 PM on July 28, 2003


Haven't read the article. Don't intend to read any of the discussion here. The "booger" thing was distasteful.
posted by RavinDave at 10:47 PM on July 28, 2003


list of disposable email services
posted by walrus at 2:06 AM on July 29, 2003


address@mailinator.com already has a Nigerian spam letter.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:15 AM on July 29, 2003


Yeah, I guess SpamMotel does have a poor interface--maybe it's just that I've been using it so long that I've grown accustomed to it. Looks like sneakemail does the same thing. The difference between SpamMotel/sneakemail and SpamGourmet is that addresses created by the former are active indefinitely--until you manually disable them--and SpamGourmet has a maximum number of emails you can receive via each address, after which it is automatically disabled (you can manually disable it earlier, but you can't extend it).

There are valid uses for both, but I tend to prefer the SpamMotel/sneakemail method in most cases. YMMV.

The problem is, with these types of services is that once the address is found the spam will come in by the pounds

It's possible, yes. But spammers would need a huge amount of bandwidth. SpamMotel addresses are 12 random letters--that's nearly 10^17 possible addresses. (That's also one of the disadvantages of SpamMotel--if you want to create your own, easy-to-remember address, SpamMotel is not for you.) Right now I have about 60 active SpamMotel addresses. Even if ten million people used SpamMotel and had a hundred active addresses each, a spammer attempting random SpamMotel addresses would have only one out of every hundred million addresses actually delivered.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:21 AM on July 29, 2003


(you can manually disable [a SpamGourmet address] earlier, but you can't extend it).

Whoops, it seems I was mistaken about that. From the SpamGourmet FAQ:
Note: as of June 8, 2001, you can add more messages to ('refill'?) an existing disposable address by going to advanced mode, clicking the view/edit link, locating the address (they're sorted by age, newest to oldest), clicking the 'word' of the address, then increasing the number of remaining messages and clicking the update button. Each message still has a max of 20 messages at a given time.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:36 AM on July 29, 2003


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