NBC Chicago Interviews Marc Maiffret on Email Security

Sarah Lieber, May 1st, 2012

Recently, Marc Maiffret was interviewed on NBC Chicago about the security risks involved when unsubscribing from emails and how to best avoid being compromised by email spam (it does make up 80% of all email traffic in the United States, after all). Below is that interview and an excerpt from the article. Read the entire article.


Marc Maiffret is a former hacker who was once profiled on reality TV for his years as a teenage hacker. These days he works for the other side as a security consultant, and tells his clients never to click unsubscribe if they do not know the sender.

“It’s the wrong instinct cause of what ends up happening,” Maiffret said. “As soon as you hit unsubscribe, you’re essentially saying x, y, z email address that had received it … is active, there’s actually somebody there.”

Before you answer, in most cases the spammers are just guessing at email addresses. Fill out the ‘unsubscribe” line, and the guesswork is over: they know they have a live one.

Worse, said Maiffret

Continue reading the entire interview on NBCChicago.com.