Email Spam

All of a sudden I have begun getting SPAM messages from a number of people in my address book.  Normally, I would expect this to reflect that THEIR email accounts were hacked, but the fact that I'm getting so many within a few days of each other makes me wonder if MY account has somehow been hacked (though I don't know how that would translate into ME getting the messages).  The messages appear to come from someone I know, and as with all SPAM they have a generic subject line like "hi" or "check this out".  The body always contains some version of:

hey what do you think of this http://msn.msnbc.com-december-18.net/jobs/      

I haven't gone to the link to see what it is.  Can you please tell me what this means, and if there's something I can do to fix it?  Or if it needs fixing?

Thanks,

Phil
philsimmonsAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
pcelbaCommented:
Change your e-mail address and provide it to trusted friends and colleagues only.

Don't use your address in any web forms and services which require registration or just e-mail entering. Create aliases to your main e-mail and use them for above temporary purposes. These aliases is easy to delete when they become publicly known.

The sender visible on the message does not necessarily is the right sender. You may inspect the message header (or message source) to find the message origin.

Your link is blocked as potentially dangerous page by e.g. Avast antivirus but even when you let your antivirus software to check incoming messages don't click on unknown links in messages and do not open any file attached to messages which are not from trusted sources.

Ask your colleagues and friends to implement same rules.

Unfortunately, the spam will be still here we may just reduce it...
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philsimmonsAuthor Commented:
I appreciate the general rules (and will follow them).  Do you have any knowledge of what this specific SPAM may be for or from, and whether it is doing any damage to the folks who open it?  And what we can do to eliminate it?

"aaaPHIL hi merry xmas, check this out .... http:// .... msn.msnbc.com-december-18.net/jobs/"

Thanks,

Phil
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
This is a world wide problem, it's the spam method of the moment.  They pick up your email address where ever they can find and send these emails.  If you look at the headers, you can see that they are coming from all over the world and not actually from the people you know.  

That is typical of a spam-bot network created by virus infections and usually controlled from 'master servers' somewhere in the world.  The big companies like Microsoft and Google are undoubtedly trying to find them as we talk because that spam wastes a lot of their bandwidth.
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philsimmonsAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  My big ticket question is whether this particular SPAM is doing any harm to me, my computer, or the folks in my address book to whom it has been sent.
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
We filter 99% of our spam out by using GFI Mail max Protection. It involves updating our mx records. All incomming mail is forwarded to GFI's mail server where it's checked and scored for spam. All good mail is directed to our mail servr. All spam is quarentined and we receive a daily report of what was caught in case any mail was flagged as spam incorrectly and we want to release it. we also white users that come up a false positive a number of times so their mail comes right through.

We've used it for about five years and it works very well. Pricing is pretty good compared to other simular services.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
None of these spams have done any harm here because I do not click on the links.  So, of course, I don't know anything about the content at those sites.  Because I do not click on the links.
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