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How to Block Read-Notify Company?? - Privacy Issue

 
 
Les Stewart
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      09-07-2005
Someone I know just started using a company called readnotify.com. They
somehow can tell if you read and when you read and if you open an email
attachment.

Any way to block it in Outlook Express? Turning off Replies does not help.
Turning off Preview Pane does not help. Blocking external pictures does not
help. Deleting and not reading the message does not help, tried all
those..... HELP!

Although when I turned off Preview Pane and deleted the message without
reading it, ReadNotify told the sender I had read it.

Here is something on the subject:
http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/258
--
Les Stewart
Beaumont, TX


 
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Evan Platt
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      09-07-2005
On Wed, 7 Sep 2005 17:18:31 -0500, "Les Stewart"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Someone I know just started using a company called readnotify.com. They
>somehow can tell if you read and when you read and if you open an email
>attachment.
>
>Any way to block it in Outlook Express? Turning off Replies does not help.
>Turning off Preview Pane does not help. Blocking external pictures does not
>help. Deleting and not reading the message does not help, tried all
>those..... HELP!


I don't use Outhouse, but it sounds like with their program it
includes a HTML link that OE automatically 'gets'. There should be a
setting in OE to the effect of automatically download attachments, or
disable HTML.

But then again, there may not be.

Hence you won't see OE on my computer.
 
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Blinky the Shark
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-07-2005
Les Stewart wrote:

> Someone I know just started using a company called readnotify.com. They
> somehow can tell if you read and when you read and if you open an email
> attachment.
>
> Any way to block it in Outlook Express? Turning off Replies does not help.


As noted in the article you link, Kmail.

> Here is something on the subject:
> http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/258



--
Blinky Linux Registered User 297263

Killing All Posts from GG: http://blinkynet.net/comp/uip5.html
End Of The Good GG Archive GUI: http://blinkynet.net/comp/gggui.html
 
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Mara
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      09-07-2005
On Wed, 7 Sep 2005 17:18:31 -0500, "Les Stewart" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Someone I know just started using a company called readnotify.com. They
>somehow can tell if you read and when you read and if you open an email
>attachment.
>
>Any way to block it in Outlook Express? Turning off Replies does not help.
>Turning off Preview Pane does not help. Blocking external pictures does not
>help. Deleting and not reading the message does not help, tried all
>those..... HELP!
>
>Although when I turned off Preview Pane and deleted the message without
>reading it, ReadNotify told the sender I had read it.
>
>Here is something on the subject:
>http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/258


This thread might help:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?M2C2231CB

--
"No lusers were harmed in the creation of this usenet article.
AND I WANT TO KNOW WHY NOT!"
--glmar04 at twirl.mcc.ac.uk in a.s.r
 
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Mitch
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-07-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Les Stewart
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Someone I know just started using a company called readnotify.com. They
> somehow can tell if you read and when you read and if you open an email
> attachment.
>
> Any way to block it in Outlook Express? Turning off Replies does not help.
> Turning off Preview Pane does not help. Blocking external pictures does not
> help. Deleting and not reading the message does not help, tried all
> those..... HELP!


Right -- but the most useful is to turn off HMTL content loading.
Did you try that?
You already are supposed to know not to show the 'preview' pane, not to
open attachments, and not to reply to spam.
 
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Blinky the Shark
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-07-2005
Mitch wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Les Stewart
><(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> Someone I know just started using a company called readnotify.com. They
>> somehow can tell if you read and when you read and if you open an email
>> attachment.
>>
>> Any way to block it in Outlook Express? Turning off Replies does not help.
>> Turning off Preview Pane does not help. Blocking external pictures does not
>> help. Deleting and not reading the message does not help, tried all
>> those..... HELP!

>
> Right -- but the most useful is to turn off HMTL content loading.
> Did you try that?
> You already are supposed to know not to show the 'preview' pane, not to
> open attachments, and not to reply to spam.


You missed the "get somthing better than OE" part, Mitch.


--
Blinky Linux Registered User 297263

Killing All Posts from GG: http://blinkynet.net/comp/uip5.html
End Of The Good GG Archive GUI: http://blinkynet.net/comp/gggui.html
 
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Vanguard
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-08-2005
"Les Stewart" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Someone I know just started using a company called readnotify.com.
> They somehow can tell if you read and when you read and if you open an
> email attachment.
>
> Any way to block it in Outlook Express? Turning off Replies does not
> help. Turning off Preview Pane does not help. Blocking external
> pictures does not help. Deleting and not reading the message does not
> help, tried all those..... HELP!
>
> Although when I turned off Preview Pane and deleted the message
> without reading it, ReadNotify told the sender I had read it.
>
> Here is something on the subject:
> http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/258



And yet there are still those boobs that use OE but somehow figure they
should change the default of using the Restricted Sites security zone
(at its High setting) to the looser Internet security zone. Duh! DUH!
The Restricted Sites security zone on High will have the option
"Launching programs and files in an IFRAME" set to Disabled. Time to
visit the security options. Amazing how many users deliberately choose
to be complete boobs because they never ever bother to scan through the
options for their applications. The OE newsgroups are rife with idiots
asking how to get OE to not block attachments all because they are too
lazy to just go look at the options.

Apparently, Les never bothered to even read the comments; else, he
would've seen Scott's comment (as I did but after writing the above)
that using the Restricted Sites security zone (at High) in Outlook
[Express] eliminates the problem.

By the way, in a test where I sent from an e-mail alias through
readnotify.com to another e-mail alias (using Sneakemail.com) and using
a mail monitor that will show the message only in plain-text format,
readnotify.com DOES use web bugs. They generate a hash value for the
e-mail you sent through them and add that as a .gif to the
HTML-formatted e-mail that they send out (if you send them a plain-text
message, they change it to HTML). They also attempt to use a web bug in
the form of a background image. They also use a web bug by attempting
to play a .wav file from their site (another web bug) but using HTTPS
hoping that the user has allowed secured connects to always be in the
Trusted Sites security zone. I'm not sure where the author got the idea
that readnotify.com was using programs running in an IFRAME - which mean
the recipients were NOT configuring their e-mail client to use the
Restricted Sites security zone in its High setting.

In my first test, I was still routing inbound e-mails through the
SpamPal proxy which had the HTML-Modify plug-in enabled. It killed off
all instances of the web bugs. So I disabled the HTML-Modify plug-in to
see that I would recieve what readnotify.com would want me to get and if
using the Restricted Sites security zone would block whatever they tried
to use to track my e-mail and identify the recipient. Below is the
plain-text message that got received after readnotify.com altered it:

<HTML>
<HEAD></HEAD>
<BODY>
<DIV></DIV>

<DIV>Sent from Anonymous account</DIV>
<DIV>through readnotify.com</DIV>
<DIV>received at Anonymous2 account</DIV>

<div alt="gsa7oqj6co0uu1.">
<pre>&nbsp;</pre>
<pre>
<br>

<Img moz-do-not-send="true" border=0 height=1 width=3 alt="" lowsrc=""
Src=http://www.gsa7oqj6co0uu8.ReadNotify.com/nocache/gsa7oqj6co0uu9/footer0.gif>

<Img moz-do-not-send="true" Border=0 Height=1 Width=2 Alt=""
Lowsrc=http://www.readnotify.com/ca/rspr47.gif >

<BgSound volume=-10000 Alt='' Lowsrc=""
Src=https://tssls.gsa7oqj6co0uuv.ReadNotify.com/nocache/gsa7oqj6co0uuv/rspr47.wav>

</pre>
<table height=1 width=3 border=0>
<tr>
<td
background
=http://0320.185.62311/nocache/gsa7oqj6co0uuP/rspr47.gif>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
</div>

<div>
<title> test message of readnotify #2 </title>
<title>&rlm;&rlm;&zwj;&rlm;&rlm;&lrm;&lrm;&zwnj;&r lm;&zwj;&zwj;&zwnj;
....
&lrm;&rlm;&rlm;&lrm;&lrm;&zwj;&zwj;&lrm;&lrm;&zwj; &rlm;&rlm;&lrm;
<title> test message of readnotify #2 </title>
</div alt="gsa7oqj6co0uu1.">

</BODY>
</HTML>

In this second test message, the hash value used for tracking was
"gsa7oqj6co0uu1". It is different each time. This is the identifier
they need to use after the recipient triggers the web bugs to know to
which sender's account to update regarding recipient read status. The
..gif and .wav links are web bugs: they must be retrieved from
readnotify.com's server by using the hash value that would be uniquely
associated with the email that I sent through their service. I don't
know what they are trying to do with the HTML doc's title property by
using a slew of ISO entities (character codes), like right-to-left mark
(&rlm for bidirectional printing control, left-to-right mark (&lrm,
and some that don't look valid, like "&zwj;". Seems they are trying to
hide something in the Title property by giving it a text value,
overwriting with some goofy ISO characters, and then overwriting again
with plain text.

I don't see anywhere in the two sample mails where IFRAME was used. The
author of the article referenced by the OP also never mentioned why he
thought IFRAMEs were used, never showed the code proving they were used,
and peculiarly never mentioned that programs and files cannot be
launched in IFRAMEs when the Restricted Sites security zone is used -
but then he may be just another ingorant e-mail user.

I then received the test mail in OE. Never got status that I read my
test mail received in my Anonymous2 aliased account that was sent from
my Anonymous alias account through readnotify.com's server. Another
crock of crap from an author pandering to the fears of boobs that can't
be bother to check the configuration of their e-mail client. Tell the
idiots to:

- Block Internet content (i.e., linked images, linked audio, linked
backgrounds, etc.).
- Use the Restricted Sites security zone configured to its High level.
- Or just tell them to read all messages in plain-text only format if
they are too dense to figure out how to configure HTML support in their
e-mail client or incapable or unwilling to update to a more recent
e-mail client.

 
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rhiannon1223 rhiannon1223 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1
 
      01-23-2009
I am an office manager who uses ReadNotify. I don't do it to invade people's privacy. I do it to ensure that, when I must delegate something through e-mail of contact a supplier, that the person is actually receiving and picking up the mail and not forwarding sensitive information to individuals who are not supposed to have access to it. I also gives me peace of mind when I contact older relatives and friends --- especially if they are in dangerous places --- and I get a return receipt when they pick up their mail. I nothing wrong with it and don't mind people using it on me.
In fact, in all of my years of experience with the program, I promise you and every other individual trying to "heip" you out on this site, that the only people whom I have ever seen respond the way you have to mail receipts, Mr. Stewart, are workplace saboteurs or malingerers, and players and cheaters in relationships. If you do not have any of these issues, then you have nothing to hide and, thus, nothing to fear from having a receipt attached to your e-mail. As for the tracking device that tells you where your mail is opened, it's so inaccurate they might as well get rid of it altogether. All it does is list information from the nearest available wireless tower or cable station. If the person who opens it is based in a rural area or is using a Blackberry to open mail at that time, you will receive completely incorrect information as to his or her location.
 
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