"It became clear to me: it’s my job to stop spam. That 'Spam' button on Gmail just didn’t get me going anymore. There’s no reward. I was seeking revenge. and some comedic relief."Driven by the desire for a little fun, Weinreich created [email protected] Here's how it works:
- Whenever Weinreich received any spam or scam message, he forwarded it to [email protected]
- The [email protected] bot removed all personal information and started up a new conversation with the spammer.
- Once the spammer responded back, the bot used a variety of open-ended questions to keep the conversation going, such as "Very interesting… are you offering this for free? What is the pricing?" and "Wow! This sounds like an awesome opportunity. Can you tell me a little more about it?"
- [email protected] continued to respond until the spammer gave up and realized they'd been scammed, like what happened in this conversation.
"Alright! This looks really cool. Do you possibly have a LinkedIn or Facebook? Before doing any kind of business going forward, it'd be great to see I'm talking to a real person. Sorry! Just being cautious! Pitchfork kogi yuccie thundercats five dollar toast messenger bag godard hoodie 3 wolf moon."Best of all, it eventually got to the point where the security researcher didn't even need to send messages to [email protected] anymore. People began spamming it on their own, meaning the fun could have continued on forever. It didn't. Weinreich gave up on the project due to a lack of time. But fortunately, he kept the code and made it available on GitHub, so that others could build their own spam-spammer bots. Interested in having a little fun? If so, you can access the [email protected] code here. In the meantime, you can read all the exchanges Weinreich's [email protected] participated in here. What's the best spam message or scam you've ever received? Please let us know in the comments!