E-mail spammer at work?

Recently my mailbox has been receiving Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender notifications, all from unrecognised addresses (most, tellingly, with a .ru suffix).

This despite comprehensive anti-virus and anti-spam protection, and having just changed my mail account password. Not sure where to turn from here...

Anyone else with this problem?

Well, I think we need to do some checking before I make any recommendations. Lets check that your machine has indeed not been taken, and is not being used as an SMTP relay - (email server)

I'll assume Windows as your OS, so open a command window, and at the prompt type the following command 'netstat -a'

Look under the Local Address Column and look for ":25"

If that exists, then your machine is likely acting as an SMTP relay, and we will have bigger problems to fix it. I have seen this few times on Windows, and you may well notice your network speed has seemed very slow lately.

If not, then it is likely that your email address is being used as suggested previously. I would however like to see one of these emails, with the full detail log turned on so I can look at the SMTP headers.

On the Topic of passwords can I recommend Lastpass to generate complex passwords which are non-dictionary originated. You have one global password which controls all your other web accounts if you use it wisely. Make your global password a complex phrase as it will hold the keys to your digital life. I use two stage authentication with Lastpass, but that is because I'm a paranoid penguin ;-)



sorry Roger, I stand corrected....

You can block suffixes in Windows Mail as well as Outlook. Go to Options > Safety Options > International > Blocked Top-Level Domain list.

Glad you started this thread Roger. I've recently received emails purportedly from my husband. He is a darling man but a complete Luddite, so someone has "cloned" his address so it looks like it's from him. How do I stop this? I don't really want to write to everyone saying Henry is not selling viagra or cheap watches! Have to hope most of my friends will spot it for what it is. Thanks.

I agree with Steve, I get this frequently as my email address is easy to find on the net. I just add it to my spam filter, 120 messages in there so far today already.

It could also be that the spammer is not actually using your computer/account, simply that they have used your email address as the 'Reply To' address for all of the messages that they are sending out. By doing this the user who's PC has been compromised by them does not get alerted to the problem by way of all of the bounced messages.

Got it!

In Outlook email screen:

Tools > Options > Preferences > Junk Email > International > Blocked Top-Level Domain List

and then just X those domains that you would prefer not to receive emails from, and click Apply.

Hope that helps.

Roger, I am most definitely not a computer expert [quite the reverse!] but, when I was setting up my mailbox, I found something I could set to 'refuse' delivery of any emails with suspicious suffixes, eg Russia, China etc. It was a long time ago so I'll have to do some ferreting about to see if I can find it again in case it might help you. Will report back.

Hi Roger,

I'm no expert, but it looks like your account has been attacked by a trojan.I.e they've cloned your details and are sending outunsolcited emails for Viagra or whatever. If they are bounced back it seems that they are not their own recipients. Check with a regular 'recipient' and see If the have received something that looks as if its from you but isn't.

It will be something along those lines. The only resolve to to change your email password, and let it dwindle away.

PS the Viagra is cheap but tastes funny!