I have the latest version of the ZoneAlarm firewall installed on my Windows XP computer. Since yesterday, this has been happening.
My firewall informs me that explorer.exe wants to access the Internet. Curious that this had never happened in the 9 months I've had ZoneAlarm, I deny it access. A few seconds after that, it tells me that explorer.exe is attempting to transmit email messages across the Internet. Certain that I never asked for this, I deny it permission again.
Just a few minutes ago, I accidently ALLOWED explorer.exe to access the Internet when it requested. Next thing I knew, Norton AntiVirus 2003 was scanning an outgoing email for viruses. An email was being sent from my computer without my consent! Alarmed, I engaged ZoneAlarm's Internet Lock, hence stopping all Internet activity. Then Norton AntiVirus told me that an attempt to send email to [email protected] failed!!
I read the firewall logs and it was clearly a hacker attempt. I've scanned my system with Ad-Aware... it detected a spyware element I've never encountered before and removed it. Hope things will turn out right. An Ad-Aware scan is enough, isn't it?