back to article Homer Simpson's email address hacked

Turkish hackers have taken advantage of an email address that appeared in The Simpsons to recruit marks onto the Kimya botnet. was used as Homer Simpson's email address in the seminal animated series' episode The Dad Who Knew Too Little. The AOL screenname was registered by a Simpsons' writer and used to …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Steve Evans

    Sounds like...

    TV and film need an email equivalent to the 555 phone number!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    When in doubt RTFM would have worked fine :-P

  3. Steven Raith






    Steven R

  4. Carolyn Clarke

    an email address is for life...

    ...not just for a brief bit of fun in the wake of an episode. Register one with care, my children, lest it come back as the sock-puppet of an evil regime!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Badger badger badger

    One Simpsons episode had Lisa looking at - which used to work. I've just looked now though and it's giving me an error message. More internet nastiness or just a lapsed domain?

  6. Chris


    people not to add fictitious characters to their buddy lists!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Sounds like...

    Easy - just register any domain you want to use (peanuts) and never set it up for email. Anyone sad enough to send email to it will just get a "does not exist" page, and you can re-direct the site to the promotional site for whatever your film is, assuming it's not a viral marketing campaign in the first place.

  8. Jel Mist


    555 phone number? What you talkin' about? There ain't no such thing.

  9. Ian Sane
    Thumb Up

    @ steve has always worked for me! ;)

  10. Mark Malley

    RE: Sounds like...

    I think it's clownpenis.fart

  11. Paul Tomblin

    Cue Nelson

    Ha Ha!

  12. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    RE: Sounds like...


  13. NoOnions

    @Jel Mist

    I think you'll find that all America TV shows and films have a telephone number with 555 in them precisely because those numbers do not exist. Otherwise you'd get some poor granny getting loads of phone calls because some nut saw a telephone number on CSI and decided to try calling it.

  14. Scott

    Who wouldn't

    Sorry but even i would open and E-mail from Homer Simpson.

  15. Gary

    @ NoOnions

    Actually, not ALL shows use the 555 number method.

    24 producers actually put a real phone number in their show on several occasions. If you dialed the number you got to speak to someone who worked on the show (writers/directors etc).

    I believe other shows/films have done similar things too.

    The fact that one of the guys who worked on the Simpsons episode actually registered the email address and responded to it shows that they had a similar idea in mind.

  16. Kanhef

    re 555

    'Bruce Almighty' had a call from God on a non-555 number. The guy who actually has that phone number has not been entirely amused.

    @ AC -

    Sending email to a non-existent address/domain does not bring up a web page. You (eventually, probably) get a response from a mail server daemon informing you that it couldn't be delivered.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. 555

    It's a bit more complex than 555 being a fictional area code.

    Only 555-0100 to 555-0199 are reserved for film and television use. The remainder of the 555-xxxx can be used; IIRC 555-1212 is local directory enquiries throughout the US.

    There were plans a while back for 555-xxxx to be used for getting hold of local franchises - so 555-APPL might get you the nearest Apple store to your present location, but AFAIK this has not become common.

    Now another question - why have British companies never followed the Americans and used handy mnemonics for their telephone numbers?

  18. Peyton


    "Now another question - why have British companies never followed the Americans and used handy mnemonics for their telephone numbers?"

    Do British phones not have the alphabet above the individual digits? Or is it no one takes advantage of that feature across the pond, leaving everyone puzzling why there are a bunch of @!#%!* useless letters on their phone...

  19. English Bob

    No actual hacking required

    Spoofing the "from" field of an e-mail hardly counts as hacking, Shirley?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Need I say more.

  21. Dan
    Thumb Up


    British phones do indeed have the alphabet next to the digits, but I don't think anyone had a use for it until text messaging came along - to answer your 2nd question, I distinctly remember, aged about 11, [to quote] "puzzling why there are a bunch of @!#%!* useless letters on their phone"!

  22. Chris

    letters on phones

    In Arabic-speaking countries, the phones all have Arabic letters above the numbers. This caused me no end of trouble when I lived in one and wanted to call a US number that was given only in (Latin alphabet) letters.

    When touch tone phones first came out, the phone company discovered it had to reassign people whose numbers corresponded to well-known simple tunes, like "Mary had a Little Lamb". So if you wanted to put a number in a film or TV show that wouldn't bother "granny," but wasn't 555-xxxx either, you could use one of those.


  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mike Richards

    Not quite an answer, but phone numbers used to given as something like TIDeway XXXX, ie 843 XXXX

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We've never thought "Why the useless letters?" as, if I recall correctly we (in the UK) have pretty much always had them on phones (fixed or mobile)... they've always just been a 'part' of a phone.

    On UK mobiles (as in Europe too) the letters haven't been useless for many, many years now as text messaging took off in a big way far earlier than in the States.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Re: 555

    "Now another question - why have British companies never followed the Americans and used handy mnemonics for their telephone numbers?"

    You mean like Samsung warranty service?

    0845 SAMSUNG (7267864)


  27. Scott

    Letters in phone numbers

    pretty common in NZ..... especially for 0800 (toll free) numbers.

  28. Ste Pennington

    Re: 555

    "Now another question - why have British companies never followed the Americans and used handy mnemonics for their telephone numbers?"

    They have tried with "0800-REVERSE" but even if you look on their homepage then you will find that they have to translate it into numbers again so that people can understand it. so it now just becomes "0800-7383773"

  29. Mark Simon

    555 Numbers

    The US 555 number was never official, though parts of it are left unused. AKA Klondike numbers, which the Simpsons episodes routinely use.

    The Internet has and, both of which are reserved for this sort of thing. A few more interesting ones would be nice.

    Australia, BTW, has reserved 7010 and 5550 in all states for fake phone numbers.

  30. Andy Worth


    "We've never thought "Why the useless letters?" as, if I recall correctly we (in the UK) have pretty much always had them on phones (fixed or mobile)... they've always just been a 'part' of a phone."

    Well speak for yourself, because in the years before mobiles and text messaging I remember looking at the buttons and wondering why there were letters on them as well as numbers. I even tried dialling "names" when I was much younger, usually to either get an unobtainable tone or a slightly miffed person on the other end. And I'm talking about dialing on one of the big old phones with the circular dials.

    Of course, if you're in your late teens/early twenties, you will probably barely remember the days before texts.

  31. A J Stiles

    @ Mike Richards

    Numbers in London used to be given names like "KENsington 5050" or "WHItehall 1212".

    In Birmingham, there still are numbers in ERDington beginning with 373, on the EASt side of town beginning with 327 and (since we mentioned "The Simpsons") around SPRingfield beginning with 777.

    In the UK, when a fake number is needed for a film or TV, they tend to use the STD code "01623". (0623 was the old code for Newcastle-upon-Tyne before it was changed to 091 and a 7-digit number.) Other "fake" STD codes (which might be required when placing a long-distance call) include 01532, 01742, 01602, 01533, 01272 and 01743 -- all from areas where new codes and 7-digit numbers were introduced rather than just inserting a "1". Most real exchanges also have blocks of unallocated numbers.

    Mine's the anorak with a linesman's handset in the pocket .....

  32. Neil Bauers

    The letter codes on old UK phones were used.

    Here is a nice picture of some bits from an old Phone.

    Modern STD dialling codes often match the letter codes on these old phones.

    You have to ignore the 01 in the dialling code because this was added fairly recently. Also smaller towns use the dialling code of the nearest larger town.

    Here is a big list of dialling codes if you are sad enough to see if this is really true.

    So in the olden days, if you wanted to phone someone in Great Yarmouth, you would dial GY xxx. The GY translates into 49. Add the modern 01 prefix to get 0149. There is now a 3 on the end. I assume this last digit is to identify other places with GY/49 codes.

    This does not work for all modern codes but most small and medium sized towns have kept their historical dialling codes.

    This all goes to prove that there is nothing new under the sun.

    Even mobile phone style abbreviations were used by Morse code operators over 100 years ago.

    TTFN - Neil.

  33. Ben Avison

    Reserved phone numbers

    Can't believe nobody's taken the opportunity to mention the fact that thousands of people tried to ring the Doctor's mobile phone number (07700 900461) the other week after it was featured prominently on Doctor Who. Sadly, this only turned out to be a number from another of those reserved ranges of numbers, rather than a cunning publicity stunt...

  34. Jel Mist

    "555" numbers


    I'm British.

    El Reg reaches an international audience.

    555 numbers are part of the north American (i.e. Canada and the US) numbering plan.

    Steve Evans talks about them as if the world and his wife know what they are, and people are surprised when I reply, "they don't exist". Er, hello? Guess what? Over here in Britain they DON'T exist! Don't sound so surprised. If you're going to use culture- or country-specific references, at least tell the wider audience what the heck you're going on about.

    As for 0870 numbers, that's another kettle of fish altogether.

    (Cue chorus from across the Atlantic: "WTF is 0870?" Precisely.)

  35. michael

    @why not using letters is phone numbers



    (we need somting more caps then caps)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like