The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138844   Message #3179514
Posted By: Jim Dixon
01-Jul-11 - 12:33 AM
Thread Name: Tech: Virus/Worm that hijacks e-mail account
Subject: RE: Tech: Virus/Worm that Sends e-mail to friends
Something once hijacked my entire contact list and sent everyone an email that appeared to come from me, although, of course, I hadn't authorized it. The email was very brief; it recommended that people buy a certain stock, and gave a web address. When I checked the site myself the next day, the web site apparently had been shut down. The email contained several spelling and grammar errors, which immediately made some of my friends suspicious. Besides, recommending stocks is something I would never do. I don't think anybody was fooled. A few people contacted me to warn me that they had received a suspicious email that appeared to come from me. I was surprised, though, how few replies I got.

Maybe most of my friends never saw the email because it was caught by their spam filters.

Actually, the same thing happened twice. The first time, I did nothing about it. The second time, I changed my password, but I kept my email address. It never happened again. I think that was over a year ago.

A friend of mine had something similar happen to her, but in her case, all her friends got an email saying she was stranded in Europe without any money and asked people to transfer money to her account. Of course it was an account that didn't really belong to her. (Now that's nasty.) As soon as she learned about it, she notified her email provider. (I think it was hotmail.) Without asking her, the provider immediately shut down her email account. That meant she couldn't even access her own address book. She lost all the email addresses and other data she had stored there, as well as her history of sent and received emails. She had no backup. She couldn't even send out a follow-up email telling people to disregard the bogus one. If you ask me, the cure was worse than the disease.

Did you know you can back up (export) your address book? I recommend it.