Mailing List “Data Compromise” Or “They Got Hacked And Your Email Might (Possibly) Was Stolen” As I’d Put It

I’ve been using Aweber to host my newsletter. I got email from one of you subscribers telling me that his email address has been spammed – and that my newsletter is the only place where he has used that email.

I was puzzled, and contacted Aweber.

They told that they had data compromise during December.

To me this sounds bad. Basically, all of you who have subscribed to my newsletter, might have got your email stolen by some hacker. Basically, my address might have been stolen as well.

And this was due “data compromise”.

I can’t but say that I’m very sorry that this has happened. Aweber is probably one of the world’s largest newsletter provider and I have never had any trouble with them… but this thing is just sad.

Sorry guys from my part. I promised that “Your email address is kept 100% confidential and never given to anyone”. Well, now (possibly) it got stolen. If you have received more spam than usual, then it might be possible (I really don’t know).

Really shitty thing.

I’m now looking at YMLP to switch my newsletter hosting there.

It’s also sad that I wouldn’t have found out about this unless one of you subscribers hadn’t emailed me about this. Now I wanted to say what has happened. And when I asked about this, they mention that there was “data compromise”. Why not say “we got hacked and your email got stolen” – which is true.

Note to self: never use any important emails in newsletter systems.

Sorry from my part. Didn’t saw this coming.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Wow. I really thought it was you? But I didn’t have too much time to look at the vids. I felt bad. But now, I don’t. Because it wasn’t you.

  2. I’m disgusted!

    Kidding ;-) I use a generic email for newletter signups so if I get spam too it’s no big deal.

  3. I haven’t noticed an increase either. Let’s be honest, though… I think we all realize that ANY time you put your email on the web, there is some risk of it getting into the wrong hands.

    Years ago I started keeping a separate email from my personal email for “lists”, and now I run all emails on my domain through Google Apps anyway (essentially checking them with the same interface you use with Gmail). Google/Gmail has amazing spam control.

  4. Oh… several more comments were in moderation panel, answering more:

    Thanks everybody for your attitude & patience.

    “No worries, mate. I’m always spammed to death anyway… a few hundred more isn’t going to make any difference.”

    @anonymous: yeh, I’ll check it. I haven’t heard similar from YMLP, but naturally good to check before making a switch. At least if I find something interesting, I’ll make a blog post.

  5. @Janette: yeh, the good news are that spam systems like spamassassin that can handle email spam control.

    @DtD: I don’t recall saying anything like that. :)

    @Iain: well, that was pretty much the thing I knew, so I might as well others know. Besides, who knows if there’s other Aweber users who haven’t heard about this.

  6. Not a big deal. It’s bound to happen, thankfully I use gmail which keeps spam to minimum. If they are a good provider why switch? The damage has been done and chances are the plugged the hole already. So I would think that staying with them would be more secure moving forward.

  7. One of our subscribers complained about the same thing (i.e. getting spam in address which was only used in our subscription list). We have been quite careful with the subscriber data, so I think the only leak from our part would have been the mailing list service, which is YMLP in our case.

    I don’t believe that they would have sold the email address data, but it hasn’t occurred to me to ask from them if they have had a similar incident. Also I haven’t got spam to my test addresses in the same list, so I’m not confident that all of the addresses would have been compromised either, so this might be just an isolated incident from some other surprising chain of events.

    Before you switch, if you do extra research to check which companies have had these kind of problems etc., would be nice if you post your findings.

  8. Not your fault Juuso

    It’s annoying when you get let down by supposedly reputable companies but it shows great customer service from you for openly letting us all know!


  9. No worries, mate. I’m always spammed to death anyway… a few hundred more isn’t going to make any difference. Luckily google’s spam filter is pretty good.

  10. I wouldn’t worry about it. I certainly have seen no increase in spam and I get very little, but I think my service provider filters some of it automatically. The safer your system is the more of a challenge it is for someone to hack it. And if they want in – they won’t give up until they get in. If you leave a company that has given you a good service then you’re only transferring the security headache from them to you.

  11. This is not your fault, thank you for the graceful apology.

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