Solved

Someone is using my email address to send emails to my contacts!

Posted on 2016-09-07
6
60 Views
Last Modified: 2016-09-09
Someone is sending spam emails to my contacts using my email account. I don't know how he does it. I know that this is happening because a lot of Message Delivery Failure emails are finding their way to my inbox with me as the sender.

What should I do to stop this? Should I disable my email temporarily?
0
Comment
Question by:Anton Tajanlangit
6 Comments
 
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

by:
Terry Woods earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
Changing your email account password would be the best first step.

Secondly, consider whether a computer or device you've used to access your email might have been compromised. Is your computer up to date with security patches and antivirus software?
1
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Malmensa
Comment Utility
Sounds like someone is "spoofing" your address, just specifying it as the sender. Nothing you can do to prevent that, however, if you ensure that correct SPF records are set up on your DNS server, it will make you a less attractive target, and this will probably not happen again.

More here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sender_Policy_Framework
2
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Terry Woods
Comment Utility
If emails are using both your address as the sender, plus people you're familiar with as recipients (as you seemed to indicate in your question), then it seems unlikely to just be spoofing; it says to me that someone's contacts have been compromised, though not necessarily yours.

@Malmensa is correct though that emails can appear to bounce back to you even when they weren't sent from your account.

It may be the case that someone who shares similar contacts with you has been compromised instead. If you have a number of different bounce message involving different people you know, then consider whether the selection of contacts included might also be included in a friend or colleagues contacts. If so, it might be them that's compromised (and your address being spoofed to send scam/spam email to others). If the contents of the bounced emails look like a scam that friends/colleagues might fall for, then it might be worth warning them. Otherwise, it's just a matter of understanding whose contacts have been compromised and taking appropriate action.
2
6 Surprising Benefits of Threat Intelligence

All sorts of threat intelligence is available on the web. Intelligence you can learn from, and use to anticipate and prepare for future attacks.

 

Author Comment

by:Anton Tajanlangit
Comment Utility
What I remember now is that I received a scam email the other day asking money from me for a medical emergency. It seemed to come from an aunt of mine, which I know wasn't at all possible because that particular aunt of mine is wealthy and doesn't need to ask money from anyone.

So just for fun, I replied to the message anyway, and to confuse the sender I wrote it in my mother tongue instead of in English, the way I should be talking to my aunt.

The next day Message Delivery Failures started to flood my inbox. I'm worried about those sent away that succeeded—there should have been hundreds, if not thousands!

And by the way, the email addresses that came "back" to me were unfamiliar to me. But how do I know that this scammer didn't have access to my contacts? He did it to me with my aunt's email address!
0
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:CompProbSolv
Comment Utility
If the account has been compromised, I'd expect to see the bogus outgoing mail messages to appear in the Sent Mail folder.  Depending on whether POP is being used (as opposed to something that syncs such as IMAP or Exchange) it may only appear on the Sent Mail folder on the server (visible through the web interface).

If nothing appears in either Sent Mail folder (local or server), then I would agree that someone is spoofing your address.

In any case, it would be a reasonable thing to change your password as suggested above.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:Anton Tajanlangit
Comment Utility
Problem solved.
0

Featured Post

Maximize Your Threat Intelligence Reporting

Reporting is one of the most important and least talked about aspects of a world-class threat intelligence program. Here’s how to do it right.

Join & Write a Comment

Article by: btan
Provide an easy one stop to quickly get the relevant information on common asked question on Ransomware in Expert Exchange.
It’s a strangely common occurrence that when you send someone their login details for a system, they can’t get in. This article will help you understand why it happens, and what you can do about it.
In this video we show how to create a User Mailbox in Exchange 2013. We show this process by using the Exchange Admin Center. Log into Exchange Admin Center.: First we need to log into the Exchange Admin Center. Navigate to the Recipients >> Mailb…
In this video we show how to create an email address policy in Exchange 2013. We show this process by using the Exchange Admin Center. Log into Exchange Admin Center.:  First we need to log into the Exchange Admin Center. Navigate to the Mail Flow…

762 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

8 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now