e-mail problem

  zzzz999 07:38 28 Sep 2009
Locked

Lady of my acquaintance has been receiving a steady stream of undelivered e-mail messages for e-mails she swears she has never sent. The e-mails all appear to have come from her e-mail address but are to people she has never heard of. It sounds to me like someone has hijacked her e-mail address but that's just a guess. Anyone come across this before?

  tein 07:47 28 Sep 2009

Rick Intresting topic! ive had a similar issue! last year i had a email from the scottish goverment, It was in fact from a MP! the email had a file attached with it but i couldnt open it! the address was genuine & i called there office & the lady in question was on holiday which made it more bizzare.? im not sure what was in the file BUT her office was very concerned! ive kept the email just in case anyone comes back too me...

  morddwyd 08:03 28 Sep 2009

Yes, I get spates of this from time to time, sometimes as many as 40/50 "undeliverables" a day.

She could try changing her e-mail log in password, that cuts it down for a while, but it doesn't seem to cause any permanent damage.

Don't open them, just transfer them straight to the spam folder.

  zzzz999 08:38 28 Sep 2009

Thanks

  interzone55 09:15 28 Sep 2009

I wouldn't worry about the email being hacked, it's most likely a spammer who's spoofed the sending address.

This is very easy to do, and is the reason spammers can exist.

Most email servers only check that the To: address exists, they don't check that the mail was sent form the account listed in the from address.

There are legitimate reasons for this, say you have a google mail account, these can be set to collect email from various different accounts, then when you reply to one of these emails the From: address would show a [email protected] when you actually want it to show [email protected], by changing the from address it's not obvious to the recipient that you sent the email from a webmail account.

This little trick is something that spammers have relied on since year dot, but many web servers are now checking that the From: address is from the same domain as the mail server listed in the Received: part of the headers, if it isn't the mail is automatically chucked in the spam basket...

  Mike D 11:39 28 Sep 2009

It's all very well saying don't worry, but my business email was highjacked and the first indication that I got (before the trickle of undeleliverables turned into a torrent) was a letter from my ISP, Easynet, stating that unless I could prove that I had viable security measures in place they would remove my service. Luckily they accepted that under most circumstances the programmes that were in use to protect our network were adequate.

  interzone55 11:44 28 Sep 2009

My don't worry comment was because it's unlikely the email account had been hacked.

Regarding your issue, you can have all the security protection you like, but all it takes is for me to insert your email address in the From & Reply to fields of a little VB script and I can send out hundreds of spams with your details.

Until the ISP mail servers are set to reject emails that don't originate from the same domain as the from address we will never be rid of this problem.

  octal 13:06 28 Sep 2009

tein, have you actually had a look at the headers of the message and done a backtrace on the email? The chances are the origin of the email wasn't the Scottish goverment, but from a server in the USA or some other country, it often happens. If I have the time and inclination I'll report it to the owner of the ISP on their abuse email address.

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