159 Russians

No joke. 

When I sent my last post out 10 days ago, I used my mail service, MailChimp. I designed my email, and hit the send button. And Voila, you got an email from me. The next day I went back into MailChimp to check on how many people opened the email. 

Be aware…I can see who opens their email. 

Much to my surprise my mailing list had grown from 108 subscribers to 267. The email addresses looked legitimate. Funny thing though, 155 didn’t have normal first or last names.

Oh, hi there, 5cbccba1dea9f  5sbssba1deade. Nice to meet you. Where are you from? How did you come upon my website to sign up?

I’ve learned about REDACTING lately. Email addresses of real people are redacted above.

On MailChimp you can check the profiles of your subscribers. In all these years I’ve never clicked on anyone’s name, because I already knew all my subscribers. But I don’t know who Mr. 5sbssba1deade is. So I clicked. Language: Russian. So I checked more names, all 155 were Russian. Then I clicked on their locations—Austria, Moldova, Netherlands (I didn’t check everyone). Then I started deleting people. 

I was bumping off the Russians! 

I am an Assassinator.

But the Russian Invasion kept me up all that night. Why me? What did they want with my blog?

Theory 1. They’re trying to learn casual English, so that when they invade our social media to try to steal the next election, they’ll sound like us.

Theory 2. They’re simply malicious hackers.

Theory 3. They’re Bots. Robots. One of the Bots included her photo—she’s very scary. I wonder if her image was stolen by the Russians?

After deleting 155 Russians on Easter Sunday, I woke up yesterday and there was a new one. And as of this moment there are four more. 

Yesterday I wanted to contact MailChimp tech support, but since I wasn’t a paid subscriber to the service, I wasn’t allowed. My mailing list is under 500, so I’ve had a free account for the past ten years. 

So I signed up…for $10 a month I can get tech services. After an hour or two yesterday, and a small amount of hair pulling and desk pounding, I figured out how to contact them.

Just this minute, as I’m writing this, I got an email response! 

Chimp says what I have is “Spambots.” I don’t think it’s contagious. Measles are going around because some stupid shits don’t vaccinate their kids.

Solution (but not to the measles problem): Chimp said I did good by deleting the Russians. Now I need to add something to my signup form to block them.

So… to my writing friends, if you have a mail service, check your audience.

And if you find Russians lurking in your space…wipe them out.

8 Replies to “159 Russians”

  1. YAY for you, Lynn– kill ’em dead, good buddy !! The Politicians should stop fighting & blaming each other over yes-Russians or no-Russians, and find a way to make our emails etc. safe from these bots or from any other hacker-types. We seem rather poor at protecting ourselves from our big inventions (such as nuclear power plants in earthquake areas).

  2. Yiiiikesssssssssssssssssssss!!! Hope they don’t invade all your subscribers and email friends…..The Russians are Coming….The Russians Are Coming…..(funny movie from long ago)….

    1. Don’t worry, Lee. They won’t hack you from my blog.

      Here’s what MailChimp wrote to me: “It does look like there were some fake signups (“spambots”) via your embedded form. This isn’t a hacking of an account per se, but an automated computer script that is built to find signup form code on your website or blog and submit email addresses to your audience.

      They won’t have any connection to you being signed up to receive my blog.

    1. What fun—–last Friday Alec from the GEEK ‘S came to cure my email from computer illness—–only cost $100—–and today
      I got your Russian blog—–Brava !!!!
      That’s MORE FUN !

  3. Hi Lynn, I’m so excited. This is my virgin blog.
    No really, I’ve never blogged anyone.
    This is great, especially since it’s someone I really like and admire.
    And bonus, someone with international
    connections. 😁
    Looking forward to being your bloggie
    (just made up that word, is that ok?) friend. ox

  4. I laughed. I cried. You are so funny, Lynn. But it’s also scary. Does MailChimp or do you have any conclusion why people, especially Russians, do spambots?

    You have such a recognizable voice and humor in your writing. Great pictures, too.

    Bravo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *