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A Joe job is an e-mail spoofing exploit in which someone sends out huge volumes of spam that appear to be from someone other than the actual source. A Joe job is sometimes conducted as an act of revenge on someone who reports a spammer to their Internet service provider (ISP) or publicly advocates anti-spam legislation. The perpetrator is said to be Joeing the legitimate owner of the e-mail address they use. The Joe job is one of the oldest spamming operations in existence, and one of the simplest ones to carry out: the spammer may not have to do anything more than change the "Reply To" address in their e-mail program.
The term originated from an attack on Joe Doll, proprietor of Joe's CyberPost (joes.com). Doll's Web site, online since 1994, offers free Web pages to anyone who agrees to his stipulated rules, which include "good netiquette when publicizing your page." In 1996, one of his free page users sent bulk, unsolicited messages to a number of newsgroups. When questioned, the user claimed to have been unaware that this behavior contravened Doll's rules. Soon afterwards, the same person started promoting their Web page through an e-mail spam campaign and Doll terminated the user's account. One of the recipients-turned-spammer retaliated with threats, mail bombs, and forged messages to spam lists that made the messages appear to come from Doll. The recipients of the forged e-mail messages, believing Doll had sent the spam, retaliated by attacking joes.com and disabling Joe's CyberPost for over 10 days.