Tag Archives: email

emails I received, the collection

I have since at least 2009 posted occasional emails I received on this blog. Often they are emails from people who found my email address somewhere, thinking I am involved in the product or service where they found me. In cars, games, traces after breaches, apps and more.

They range from plain weird to fun to scary and threatening.

Somehow they help me remember that the world we live in is super complicated.

The ones I have shown here on the blog are only a small subset of those that I have received. And of all the ones I have received, I have not kept all, or at least not stored them in ways that makes it easy for me to find them now.

Also: for products such as Cisco Anyconnect and Mobdro I have received dozens of emails so I just selected a few examples to include

Out of the ones that I could find, I have dug up seventy-four different messages, converted them to markdown and added them to a brand new GitHub repository: bagder/emails.

I plan to add future email correspondence that meet the criteria as well.

Enjoy!

The top image for this blog post is a joke back from when I received the subject: urgent warning email which talked about the “hacking ring”.

“you have hacked into my devices”

I’ve shown you email examples many times before. Today I received this. I don’t know this person. Clearly a troubled individual. I suspect she found my name and address somewhere and then managed to put me somewhere in the middle of the conspiracy against her.

The entire mail is written in a single paragraph and the typos are saved as they were written. It is a little hard to penetrate, but here it is:

From: Lindsay

Thank you for making it so easy for me to see that you have hacked into 3 of my very own devices throughout the year. I’m going to be holding onto all of my finds that have your name all over it and not by me because I have absolutely no reason to hack my own belongings. I will be adding this to stuff I have already for my attorney. You won’t find anything on my brand new tablet that you all have so kindly broken into and have violated my rights but have put much stress on myself as well. Maybe if you would have came and talked to me instead of hacking everything I own and fallow me to the point of a panic attack because I suffer from PTSD I might have helped you. I cannot help what my boyfriend does and doesn’t do but one ting I was told by the bank is that they would not let me talk for him so I can’t get involved. He has had his car up for pickup for months but I’m guessing that the reason they won’t pick the car up in the street right where it has sat for months waiting is because I’ve probably see every single driver that has or had fallowed me. My stress is so terrible that when I tell him to call the bank over and over again he does and doesn’t get anywhere and because of my stress over this he gets mad and beats me or choaks me. I have no where to go at the moment and I’m not going to sleep on the streets either. So if you can kindly tell the repo truck to pick up the black suv at his dad’s house in the street the bank can give them the number it would be great so I no longer have to deal with people thinking that they know the whole story. But really I am suffering horrificly. I’m not a mean person but imagine not knowing anything about what’s going on with your spouse and then finding out they didn’t pay the car payment and so being embarrassed about it try to pay for it yourself and they say no I have it only to find out that he did it for a second time and his dad actually was supposed to pay the entire thing off but instead he went down hill really fast and seeing the same exact people every day everywhere you go and you tell your spouse and they don’t believe you and start calling you wicked names like mine has and then from there every time my ptsd got worse from it happening over and over again and he says you’re a liar and he’s indenial about it and because I don’t agree with him so I get punched I get choked and now an broken with absolutely no one but God on my side.how would you feel if it was being done to you and people following you and your so angry that alls you do is yell at people anymore and come off as a mean person when I am not? I don’t own his car that he surrendered I don’t pay his bills he told me to drive it and that’s it.i trusted a liar and an abuser. I need someone to help other than my mom my attorney and eventually the news if everyone wants to be cruel to me I’m going to the news for people taking my pictures stalking me naibors across the street watching and on each side of the house and the school behind. It isn’t at all what you all think it is I want someone to help get the suv picked up not stalked. How would you feel if 5 cities were watching every single move? I am the victim all the way around and not one nabor has ever really taken the time to get to know me. I’m not at all a mean person but this is not my weight to carry. I have everyone on camera and I will have street footage pulled and from each store or gestation I go to. I don’t go anywhere anymore from this and I’m the one asking for help. Their was one guy who was trying to help me get in touch with the tow truck guy and I haven’t seen him since and his name is Antonio. He was going to help me. I have been trying to to the right thing from the start and yet you all took pleasure in doing rotten mean things to me and laughing about it. I want one person to come help me since I can’t talk with the bank to get his suv picked up and I won’t press charges on the person that helps nor onthe tow truck guy either.

I have not replied.

My weekly report on email

Starting this week, you can subscribe to my weekly report and receive it as an email. This is the brief weekly summary of my past week that I have been writing and making available for over a year already. It sums up what I have been doing recently and what I plan to do next.

Topics in the reports typically involve a lot of curl, libcurl, HTTP, protocols, standards, networking and related open source stuff.

By subscribing to this by email, you will receive a ping and get it in your inbox as soon as it it exists. This saves you from reloading the weekly report web page or risk missing my updates on social media.

Follow what happens in the projects I run and participate in. Keep up with the latest developments in all the open source and network related stuff that occupy my every day life.

Why email?

I was already sending this report over email to some receivers, so I figured I could just invite everyone who wants to receive it the same way. Depending on how people take this, I might decide to rather only do this over email going forward.

Your feedback will help me decide on how this plays out.

The weekly report emails are archived, so you can go back and check them after the fact as well.

LogJ4 Security Inquiry – Response Required

On Friday January 21, 2022 I received this email. I tweeted about it and it took off like crazy.

The email comes from a fortune-500 multi-billion dollar company that apparently might be using a product that contains my code, or maybe they have customers who do. Who knows?

My guess is that they do this for some compliance reasons and they “forgot” that their open source components are not automatically provided by “partners” they can just demand this information from.

I answered the email very briefly and said I will be happy to answer with details as soon as we have a support contract signed.

I think maybe this serves as a good example of the open source pyramid and users in the upper layers not at all thinking of how the lower layers are maintained. Building a house without a care about the ground the house stands on.

In my tweet and here in my blog post I redact the name of the company. I most probably have the right to tell you who they are, but I still prefer to not. (Especially if I manage to land a profitable business contract with them.) I suspect we can find this level of entitlement in many companies.

The level of ignorance and incompetence shown in this single email is mind-boggling.

While they don’t even specifically say which product they are using, no code I’ve ever been involved with or have my copyright use log4j and any rookie or better engineer could easily verify that.

In the picture version of the email I padded the name fields to better anonymize the sender, and in the text below I replaced them with NNNN.

(And yes, it is very curious that they send queries about log4j now, seemingly very late.)

Continue down for the reply.

The email

Dear Haxx Team Partner,

You are receiving this message because NNNN uses a product you developed. We request you review and respond within 24 hours of receiving this email. If you are not the right person, please forward this message to the appropriate contact.

As you may already be aware, a newly discovered zero-day vulnerability is currently impacting Java logging library Apache Log4j globally, potentially allowing attackers to gain full control of affected servers.

The security and protection of our customers' confidential information is our top priority. As a key partner in serving our customers, we need to understand your risk and mitigation plans for this vulnerability.

Please respond to the following questions using the template provided below.

1. If you utilize a Java logging library for any of your application, what Log4j versions are running?

2. Have there been any confirmed security incidents to your company?

3. If yes, what applications, products, services, and associated versions are impacted?

4. Were any NNNN product and services impacted?

5. Has NNNN non-public or personal information been affected?

6. If yes, please provide details of affected            information NNNN immediately.

7. What is the timeline (MM/DD/YY) for completing remediation? List the NNNN steps, including dates for each.

8. What action is required from NNNN to complete this remediation?

In an effort to maintain the integrity of this inquiry, we request that you do not share information relating to NNNN outside of your company and to keep this request to pertinent personnel only.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this inquiry and your partnership!

Sincerely,

NNNN Information Security

The information contained in this message may be CONFIDENTIAL and is for the intended addressee only.  Any unauthorized use, dissemination of the  information, or copying of this message is prohibited.  If you are not the intended addressee, please notify the sender immediately and delete this message.

Their reply

On January 24th I received this response, from the same address and it quotes my reply so I know they got it fine.

Hi David,

Thank you for your reply. Are you saying that we are not a customer of your organization?

/ [a first name]

My second reply

I replied again (22:29 CET on Jan 24) to this mail that identified me as “David”. Now there’s this great story about a David and some giant so I couldn’t help myself…

Hi Goliath,

No, you have no established contract with me or anyone else at Haxx whom you addressed this email to, asking for a lot of information. You are not our customer, we are not your customer. Also, you didn't detail what product it was regarding.

So, we can either establish such a relationship or you are free to search for answers to your questions yourself.

I can only presume that you got our email address and contact information into your systems because we produce a lot of open source software that are used widely.

Best wishes,
Daniel

The image version of the initial email

The company

Update on February 9: The email came from MetLife.

Discussed

On Hackernews and Reddit

curl supports NASA

Not everyone understands how open source is made. I received the following email from NASA a while ago.

Subject: Curl Country of Origin and NDAA Compliance

Hello, my name is [deleted] and I am a Supply Chain Risk Management Analyst at NASA. As such, I ensure that all NASA acquisitions of Covered Articles comply with Section 208 of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, Public Law 116-94, enacted December 20, 2019. To do so, the Country of Origin (CoO) information must be obtained from the company that develops, produces, manufactures, or assembles the product(s). To do so, please provide an email response or a formal document (a PDF on company letterhead is preferred, but a simple statement is sufficient) specifically identifying the country, or countries, in which Curl is developed and maintained

If the country of origin is outside the United States, please provide any information you may have stating that testing is performed in the United States prior to supplying products to customers. Additionally, if available, please identify all authorized resellers of the product in question.

Lastly, please confirm that Curl is not developed by, contain components developed by, or receive substantial influence from entities prohibited by Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA. These entities include the following companies and any of their subsidiaries or affiliates:

Hytera Communications Corporation
Huawei Technologies Company
ZTE Corporation
Dahua Technology Company
Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company

Finally, we have a time frame of 5 days for a response.
Thank you,

My answer

Okay, I first considered going with strong sarcasm in my reply due to the complete lack of understanding, and the implied threat in that last line. What would happen if I wouldn’t respond in time?

Then it struck me that this could be my chance to once and for all get a confirmation if curl is already actually used in space or not. So I went with informative and a friendly tone.

Hi [name],

I will answer to these questions below to the best of my ability, and maybe you can answer something for me?

curl (https://curl.se) is an open source project that creates two products, curl the command line tool and libcurl the library. I am the founder, lead developer and core maintainer of the project. To this date, I have done about 57% of the 26,000 changes in the source code repository. The remaining 43% have been done by 841 different volunteers and contributors from all over the world. Their names can be extracted from our git repository: https://github.com/curl/curl

You can also see that I own most, but not all, copyrights in the project.

I am a citizen of Sweden and I’ve been a citizen of Sweden during the entire time I’ve done all and any work on curl. The remaining 841 co-authors are from all over the world, but primarily from western European countries and the US. You could probably say that we live primarily “on the Internet” and not in any particular country.

We don’t have resellers. I work for an American company (wolfSSL) where we do curl support for customers world-wide.

Our testing is done universally and is not bound to any specific country or region. We test our code substantially before release.

Me knowingly, we do not have any components or code authored by people at any of the mentioned companies.

So finally my question: can you tell me anything about where or for what you use curl? Is it used in anything in space?

Regards,
Daniel

Used in space?

Of course my attempt was completely in vain and the answer back was very brief and it just said…

“We are using curl to support NASA’s mission and vision.”

Credits

Space ship image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay

“Hacking me”

If you ever wonder how clever it was of me to make an FTP tool that used the default anonymous password curl_by_daniel@... once upon a time and you want to know why I changed that to¬†ftp@example.com instead? Here’s a golden snippet to just absorb and enjoy:

Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 22:56:00
From: iHack3r <hidden>
To: info@[my company]
Subject: Hacking me

To the idiot named Daniel, Please stop brute force attacking my FTP client. I do not appreciate it, i have an anonymous account set up for the general public to access my files that i want them to access, QUIT trying to hack the admin because 1. DISABLED unless i am leaving to go somewhere without my computer 2: THE PASSWORD is random letters and numbers.

-iHack3r

The password was changed at Feb 13 2007 in curl version 7.16.2, but there are a surprisingly large amount of older curls still around out there…

Update: as the person responded again after having read this blog post and still didn’t get it, I felt the urge to speak up in even more clear terms:

I didn’t have anything to do with any “hacker attack” on any site. Not yours, and not anyone else’s. The fact that almost-my-email address appeared in your logs is because I wrote the FTP client. It is a general FTP client that is being used by a very very large amount of people all over the world. If I ever would attack a site, why on earth would I send along my real name or email address?