Am I being bugged?

  KennyG 15:12 13 Dec 2003
Locked

Recently I 'finally deleted' an email from Outlook Express 6 and then realized a few days that I needed something it contained. I hit on the idea of using Norton Utilities UnErase to try and recover it, and searched for 'Deleted Items.dbx'. It found several, but when I tried restoring any of them into OE6, no messages showed up in the Deleted folder.

So then I tried looking inside the recovered file with a text editor. I found my lost message (yippee!), but I was amazed at what else I found there. There was stuff I'd been working on recently that I've never knowingly e-mailed to anyone, including bits of Word documents, spreadsheets and web pages that I 've recently been working on.

My immediate thought was that something is secretly e-mailing chunks of data from my computer and then deleting the evidence. Since then I've continued to look inside the current Deleted Items.dbx, and keep finding stuff that (to my mind) has no business being there.

I'm up to date with Windows updates and Norton Antivirus, and neither Norton Firewall or SpyBot show anything suspicious. Can anyone suggest what's going on? Is there an innocent explanation, or am I being 'bugged'?

  Diodorus Siculus 15:23 13 Dec 2003

More or less every program uses temp files which are deleted when the program closes down but you can never be sure that they are fully gone from the PC.

If you are concerned, get a file shredder like Eraser from eraser.sourceforge.net which securely deletes files and also will wipe so called "free space" ie space that is free for Windows to use but the data is still there.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 18:31 13 Dec 2003

Even if you delete files from your compouter they are still there. Deleting only alters the first letter of the filename, so the file is still there and can be accessed until that part of the disk is overwritten. Everytime that you use a file there will be temp. files created that may also have snippets of info. All eraser programmes can be reversed and even if you format a drive the information is still there....this is how Plod nails crims.

G

  GANDALF <|:-)> 18:32 13 Dec 2003

compouter = computer in a sullen, stroppy mood. ;-)))

G

  spikeychris 18:37 13 Dec 2003

Or a Russian super model.

  KennyG 21:44 13 Dec 2003

Hi Diodorus and Gandalf, and thanks for your replies.

Yes, I appreciate that there are old deleted files scattered over the hard drive, but the stuff I'm concerned about is actually embedded within a current Outlook Express file.

For instance, this evening I used Windows Explorer to go to my Outlook Express message folder, and then opened the file 'Deleted Items.dbx' with WordPad. I would expect Deleted Items.dbx to contain only deleted e-mails. But as well as old e-mails, and a lot of gobbledegook that I imagine is the folder set-up details, I can also identify parts of a college assignment I'm currently working on. I've never e-mailed that to anyone. So what's puzzling me is, how has it become part of OE's deleted e-mails file unless it has been e-mailed by something?

  canard 23:36 13 Dec 2003

All this was explained to me the other day. In a nutshell everything you do in OE is on your disc until overwritten. A blessing if you've deleted in error and a curse if you're trying to cover your tracks.

  Gaz 25 00:21 14 Dec 2003

"then opened the file 'Deleted Items.dbx' with WordPad. I would expect Deleted Items.dbx to contain only deleted e-mails. But as well as old e-mails, and a lot of gobbledegook that I imagine is the folder set-up details, I can also identify parts of a college assignment I'm currently working on."


It is odd.

But computers are odd anyway.

  Gaz 25 00:22 14 Dec 2003

Long as you have antivirus, up-to-date then any keyloggers, etc will be GONE.

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