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Email Problems

Posted on 2014-10-04
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Last Modified: 2014-11-18
Hi,

I have friend why asked for my help.  He is getting lots of 'returned' emails, indicating emails which he didn't send could not be delivered. They are all taken from his contacts list.

He's recently changed the password and there are no signs of the email in his sent items.

Any tips as to how I can get the bottom of this?  I would have guessed that this is spoofing however the fact that they all are being sent to people on his contact list suggest otherwise?
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Question by:andyw27
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Author Comment

by:andyw27
ID: 40361073
Thanks for the reply.  It should be noted that this has occurred in the past, once when he used an apple device and now on clean installed Windows machine.   Given the amount of stuff on this machine its probably quicker to do another clean install.

Is it possible that historically his machine was hacked and that hack resulted in his contacts list being comprised, and the spoofer is now just using the contact list?
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Expert Comment

by:Eirman
ID: 40361076
Have a look at this ....
http://www.csoonline.com/article/2134125/data-protection/11-sure-signs-you-39-ve-been-hacked.html

It looks like someone has hacked your friend's contact list and is not sending the spoof emails correctly.

Has your friend's email address been blacklisted by any of his contacts .... can he email them?
If he has been blacklisted the emails would bounce back to him even if he did not send them.

Recommendations .... Scan for viruses ... malwarebytes and a free one month subscription to hitman pro would be a good start.

If your friends email address has been blacklisted by too many people then it's time to another email address
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Expert Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 40362428
What e-mail program is he using?
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SunBow earned 500 total points
ID: 40363026
>  this has occurred in the past

Address lists can be used, reused, bought, sold, given away (not only stolen). Expect it to continue and there is nothing to do except identify perpetrator. Succeed in that and you can sue for $10 to $1000 each (or actual damage, cpu unavailabily, disk, etc.).

Main defense is to never reply, including unsubscribe. Your friend 'may' want to issue a 'cease and desist' to sender if identified. What does mail look like, "I recommend Viagra" or what - elect so-and-so? Including their cat?

>  recently changed the password

Not much of an issue, although recommended, say every 90 days regardless.

> Is it possible that historically.. now just using the contact list?

Yes, of course, and more than likely

Also likely is your friend and their friends shop at same or similar places, and such places have provided addresses of millions upon millions of mail addresses.

Interesting would be that if they are your friend, why haven't you received any of these unsolicited junk mail messages?

Have them revisit whether they always use a different password for every ID. And how difficult PW is to crack, and whether IDs are reused in other systems.

If their ID is abused, it is best to simply dump it and get another ID, consider another email server.

Once the horse is out, it is too late to shut the gate (or barn door).
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