Someone sent spam from your email: what do you do?


Someone sent spam from my email: what do I do?

By Fabrizio Ferri-Benedetti on September 13, 2011

" Stop sending me spam! "yells a friend. And you, who not only are not a spammer , but also hate spam to death, you're stunned. "I've never sent spam!", Exclaim.

But then he shows you the emails promoting ******, casinos and other firsts that came from your address (or so it seems). What happened? Is it a virus? Stolen? Password? Come, I'll explain ...

Case 1: junk mail appears in the Sent
If you allegedly sent spam in Sent Items tray of your email, you are in the most serious of all: the security of your mailbox or computer has been raped by a virus or a hacker. How? For one of the following methods:

-Phishing , if someone has "fish" password via a fake website
-Local Theft : someone physically accessed your computer or you left the password in a Internet cafe
-Virus or keylogger : the malware is increasingly ready to steal personal data when
-Server hacked : if someone has hacked your mail server, you can get the passwords

Knowing if someone has entered your email is quite easy in GMail, which has an intrusion detection system, but others put it much more difficult. And after all is not as relevant: the first thing to do is to safeguard your email account. Follow these steps:

Changes the password for a safer , unique and hard to guess
If your ad appears within emails, change the signature and automatic responses
Check that no forwarding rule or imports from other accounts
Update your antivirus and scan the entire team (also with anti-botnet tools )
Installs a link checker and search results
If you managed to stop sending spam from your account, it's a good time to send an email of apology to your contacts (yes, put all the addresses in the BCC field to avoid being visible). You can read more tips to diagnose and remedy the theft of passwords in this article .

Case 2: spam is NOT in the Sent

If the mail was not sent from your computer or web mailbox, then someone is impersonating your e -mail address. You may wonder how this can happen. The cause is a technique called phishing e-mail spoofing . With it there is a security violation, but only a hoax.

And this is the most difficult concept to understand for most people: but the e-mail and mailbox are related, they are not necessarily the same. Let me repeat again: the email address is one thing the mailbox quite another. "( Leo Notenboom )

Why spammers use your email and name you're wondering. Everything is based on reputation: a name and a legitimate email address "virgin" (ie, that has not ever been used to send spam) can be overcome, many firewalls and anti-junk filters. But how they got your address? There are three common ways:

-A spider web found your address searching through thousands of pages
-Someone collected addresses after sending a thread of messages
-A friend of yours was infected by a virus that stole all your address book

There is also the possibility that a cyber criminal wants to spend a hoax (which in English is known as Joe Job ), particularly obnoxious spamming with your address so that others, who do not know or you know-you angry answer . The situation is less likely.

What you can do against spoofing is very little. Analyze message headers you get bounced can help you identify the real author of the same (to report it to your service provider or the authorities), but in general, the fault is not yours. Luckily, spam filters better every day ...