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Mail returned with an attachment which I have not sent

Posted on 2004-09-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I have a relatively new domain name which I have not started using yet, Firstserved.co.uk. But today I have a returned email with a .mim attachment from postmaster@firstserved.co.uk saying Returned mail: Data format error.  

I have not opened the attachment.  What does this mean?  I wondered if it means someone is using my email address to spam?  If so, how can I make sure this does not happen?

Please help.

Peril
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Question by:peril
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 12111096
Do not open the attachment.

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Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 12111119
It's possible your mail address got spoofed
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jvuz earned 200 total points
ID: 12111143
http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid14_gci840262,00.html

 E-mail spoofing is the forgery of an e-mail header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Distributors of spam often use spoofing in an attempt to get recipients to open, and possibly even respond to, their solicitations. Spoofing can be used legitimately. Classic examples of senders who might prefer to disguise the source of the e-mail include a sender reporting mistreatment by a spouse to a welfare agency or a "whistle-blower" who fears retaliation. However, spoofing anyone other than yourself is illegal in some jurisdictions.

E-mail spoofing is possible because Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), the main protocol used in sending e-mail, does not include an authentication mechanism. Although an SMTP service extension (specified in IETF RFC 2554) allows an SMTP client to negotiate a security level with a mail server, this precaution is not often taken. If the precaution is not taken, anyone with the requisite knowledge can connect to the server and use it to send messages. To send spoofed e-mail, senders insert commands in headers that will alter message information. It is possible to send a message that appears to be from anyone, anywhere, saying whatever the sender wants it to say. Thus, someone could send spoofed e-mail that appears to be from you with a message that you didn't write.

Although most spoofed e-mail falls into the "nuisance" category and requires little action other than deletion, the more malicious varieties can cause serious problems and security risks. For example, spoofed e-mail may purport to be from someone in a position of authority, asking for sensitive data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal information -- any of which can be used for a variety of criminal purposes. The Bank of America, eBay, and Wells Fargo are among the companies recently spoofed in mass spam mailings. One type of e-mail spoofing, self-sending spam, involves messages that appear to be both to and from the recipient.
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 12111178
Have you already scanned the file for virusses
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Author Comment

by:peril
ID: 12111803
I have scanned for viruses.  Thanks for your help, I will just delete the message I think!
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Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 12111842
If your sure you didn't send that mail in the first place (and  I think you didn't, like you said too) it's best to delete the mail.

Jvuz
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Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 12111885
Thanx,

Jvuz
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