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Old Wednesday 30th May 2018, 15:09   #1
snowyowl
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Email Issue

I've suddenly started to get dozens of returned emails all from email addresses that I didn't send anything to, in fact even weren't in my address book. I have been hacked or my email address has been stolen. I've had a lot of emails myself from people that I know didn't really send them. They usually say something like "I thought you would be interested in this" followed by a link. I never click on the link, instead I immediately delete the email. I'm speculating that my email address is being used to send that type of email. The ones that I receive stop coming after a few days. I have asked some people in my address book If they have received anything unusual from me and the answer is no. Can anyone shed any light on what may be happening and/or what I should do about it?
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2018, 16:49   #2
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first thing if a bit late is to get a decent antivirus set up. at least it will identify any hidden or ongoing infection. try a couple, they usually dont clash but do take resources.

set them for full in depth scan and if on win also use 'malwarebytes'. do use a couple of free ones such as bit defender, eset, kaspersky. they pick up things that may be missed by one or other. later you can decide whuch you prefer for the kind of usage you have and if you need extra services. i have never required a paid servuce but would if i had business or customer details

we need to know whether you are using win or android or several o/s synced.

your mail servoce, hotmail or gmail or local should be inforned and you should join their forum to get advice on best way to save your mail and contacts

be aware also that if you use gmail you can ring them and when you get the annoying menus say 'agent' which will get you to a person

on a different device, go to your banking, gmail and other logins and change passwords.

if you use facebook or whatsapp etc. then you may have linked your contacts without even knowing, it is another way you could have had your addresses compromised. look into security features of your apps.

think about where you have been online, what you have clicked on, new apps etc.
then get back here with progress

Last edited by jape : Wednesday 30th May 2018 at 16:55.
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2018, 17:42   #3
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Hi jape, are you sure it's ok to have more than one anti-virus active on your computer at the same time? I have always believed that they would clash and not be as effective as they could be. On W10 I just use Win Defender with Malwarebytes as my on demand malware finder.

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Old Wednesday 30th May 2018, 18:12   #4
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Originally Posted by d.steeley View Post
Hi jape, are you sure it's ok to have more than one anti-virus active on your computer at the same time? I have always believed that they would clash and not be as effective as they could be. On W10 I just use Win Defender with Malwarebytes as my on demand malware finder.

Dave
thanks you are correct in the case of anti virus scanners with windows, sorry, i didnt word that well should have said security or anti malware types but the terminology gets confused.

i have done it without problems and have two on my samsung tab but for windows etc. it is best to download more than one but activate separately. some are better than others at finding problems in different areas so (as example) kaspersky may identify an issue missed by eset and vice versa.

some are bloody annoying with ads, some load all sorts of cleaners in alongside. thus try a few and get the one suits you and check reviews.

it is not a problem however to run something like malwarebytes at same time as antivirus but this can confuse people. malwarebytes does not clash..

but we dont even know the mail system, os and security background yet so i was trying to cover all bases. other things come in later like using NAT, port scanning with grc, secure emsil such as proton but we need to know the info first.

edit: i am not a security expert, i am retired but i have tech quals.and ran a computer store. most answers i have come from seeing the mistakes of others and myself over time! security is often underrated until you get infected or lose your backups then it can be a disaster.

Last edited by jape : Wednesday 30th May 2018 at 19:10. Reason: clarity
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2018, 18:19   #5
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Cheers jape.

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Old Thursday 31st May 2018, 15:58   #6
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Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated. I am using win10 with Norton 360 installed and fully updated. i also run Windows Defender also regularly updated. I never open email attachments unless they are from a known source and that I was expecting. On FB I rarely follow links. I am not new to this, I've been using computer since 1983 andknow what can happen. I am extremely cautious but obviously something went wrong which is why asked for help! I think that my next move will be to contact my email provider and also to visit any on line forums related to my service provider. I'll let you know what I find out.
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Old Thursday 31st May 2018, 16:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyowl View Post
I've suddenly started to get dozens of returned emails all from email addresses that I didn't send anything to, in fact even weren't in my address book.
I don't get these by the dozens, but I do get them sporadically to one of my Gmail accounts. I just ignore them (and never click on the link, of course). I'd probably get more if I didn't manage my email the way I do.

I see things like this on another account that has less robust pre-filtering turned-on than Google uses, but local Bayesian filtering keeps me from seeing it. The spammers really do work overtime and I see it best on that account.

I see no evidence in my case that it's any sort of hack...just some clever social engineering, a few lapses by friends, and lapses by Yours Truly decades ago (yeah, the Internet is Forever).

So while I wouldn't discount everyone's advice in this thread, it's also possible it's not anything to do with your account at all and you're just on the wrong end of the latest-n-greatest spam.
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Old Thursday 31st May 2018, 18:14   #8
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Originally Posted by CalvinFold View Post
So while I wouldn't discount everyone's advice in this thread, it's also possible it's not anything to do with your account at all and you're just on the wrong end of the latest-n-greatest spam.
quite likely given we now know snowyowl has security. although 'symantec norton' has been known to have windows vulnerabilities in the past it was many years ago. also, remarking on the fact of returns from outside of address book it is possible a contact/friend has been compromised and that their contact list has been used to spread the malware. most email providers have a report method and can further trace routes.
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Old Thursday 31st May 2018, 18:46   #9
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also, remarking on the fact of returns from outside of address book it is possible a contact/friend has been compromised and that their contact list has been used to spread the malware
Yeah I thought that too.

I could go on at length the measures I've built-up over the years (and highly recommend!) to safeguard something as seemingly innocuous as email.
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Old Thursday 31st May 2018, 19:54   #10
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Originally Posted by CalvinFold View Post
I could go on at length the measures I've built-up over the years (and highly recommend!) to safeguard something as seemingly innocuous as email.
i am considering a thread on security but despite my desire to help i cannot pretend expert status. i have seen instances of both businesses and personal accounts nearly destroyed by loss of data.

security and backups, and as an adjunct, privacy, are becoming of far more importance today. the risk is more than spam, confidentiality and financial security. it also pertains to simpler data such as photographic memories, lifestyle choices and trust.

without getting too far from original topic, i have seen when running the computer shop great distress after relationship breakup where partner was trusted with access, business breakups with partners and trusted employees having access and even, sad to say, family problems through children at risk or harm. some of it is a fine line where one necessarily trusts another but systems can be put in place to mitigate harm.

if any readers of this thread have experience pm and we can consider worth of such a thread as i have seen a couple on here and more on other forums.

and as a btw even online backups can be untrustworthy and lost without recourse, including dropbox.

Last edited by jape : Thursday 31st May 2018 at 20:07.
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Old Friday 1st June 2018, 14:33   #11
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Originally Posted by CalvinFold View Post
I don't get these by the dozens, but I do get them sporadically to one of my Gmail accounts. I just ignore them (and never click on the link, of course). I'd probably get more if I didn't manage my email the way I do.

I see things like this on another account that has less robust pre-filtering turned-on than Google uses, but local Bayesian filtering keeps me from seeing it. The spammers really do work overtime and I see it best on that account.

I see no evidence in my case that it's any sort of hack...just some clever social engineering, a few lapses by friends, and lapses by Yours Truly decades ago (yeah, the Internet is Forever).

So while I wouldn't discount everyone's advice in this thread, it's also possible it's not anything to do with your account at all and you're just on the wrong end of the latest-n-greatest spam.
Kevin; I think that you are correct. The returns have slowed down dramatically today so I think I'm moving into a wait-and-see mode.
Thanks, guys, for the input. I;ll let you know if anything changes.
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Old Monday 11th June 2018, 16:52   #12
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No returned mail today.
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