Undelivered email to wrong address

By Healer ·
A friend of mine keeps getting notices of undelivered emails saying he has sent emails to people with the wrong email addresses. Certainly he is not doing it. He doens't recognize any of those email addresses.

Somebody somehow has got his email address and is using it to spam other people? What could be the source of the problem? Could it indicate there is spyware in his computer system? How can we prevent this from happening and how can we stop it now?

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I suppose the only way

by Healer In reply to It is possible

to find out if the computer is a spambot is give it some thorough virus scans and look up the returned emails and see where they originate.

It is a worry though if we can't stop it and don't know whether they are from one's own computer.

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That's the question.

by LocoLobo In reply to I suppose the only way

Are they really returned emails or are they spoofing attempts to get you to open their SPAM? Yes, run virus scans, ccleaner, spybot, etc, but I suspect the "returned" emails are not really returned.

For instance, lets say one of my contacts is Jane Doe, My inbox will show email from her as "Jane Doe". But sometimes SPAM gets thru showing as from "" usually something "urgent".

That's my first warning, the email doesn't "look" right. If I suspect the email is legit, I will personally call Jane and ask her what it's about. I don't open her email until I am sure she sent it. So far that hasn't happened. Every case I've checked (I don't check many) has been fake.

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When I get those I just e-mail them to myself

by OH Smeg In reply to That's the question.

On a account that is only opened on a Linux Box. Makes things much safer to look at if nothing else.

If they are not from the computer of your friend there's very little that can be done particularly as Optus got hit recently and had at the very least some of their customers E-Mail Addresses lifted. I'm currently getting Spam on a Account that I don't use but is the Master Optus Address.

The only reference to that Account is from Optus as they are the only ones who send me anything on it, generally things like You have used 80% of your Available Bandwidth this month when you exceed the limit your Speed will be slowed to whatever. I normally get those type of messages before the 10 of the month.

Anyway if you are certain that it's not from that computer it's not really safe to open them on a Windows System as they will likely infect it. Stick a Live Linux Disc in the system and boot off that to do any investigation.


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Depends on how you open them

by TobiF In reply to When I get those I just e ...

I open such emails on my windows computer...

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How do you

by Healer In reply to Depends on how you open t ...

open in notepad?

Don't tell me you export every email to notepad. What a hassle? Actually I can't see an export option for each email on my Outlook 2010.

What about setting the mail reader whatever it is to receive and read text email only? That would be very safe, wouldn't it? How are we going to deal with those emails with media files in text format? I suppose they could come in attachments. Well, opening the attachments could still be a risk.

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Are you saying

by Healer In reply to When I get those I just e ...

checking email with a Linux system is safer? However doing that with a Linux live system would be very troublesome if you have to set up the email account every time. Though we can have some setup save with some live system, we would only check the emails in smtp mode or pop mode without deleting the emails in order that we still can retrieve the email at the real system. Then how can we stop new emails from coming in when we use the real system? Did you say you were forwarding email to yourself? Oh! You have given yourself a lot of work, haven't you?

Is that the investigation you meant?

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I have a Nix box running all of the time in addition tot he Gateway here

by OH Smeg In reply to Are you saying

It has it's own Mail Account on it and I just forward to it anything suspicious. As most E-Mail Infections are aimed at Windows Systems it's considerably safer and if there is something that tries to install Under Debian I'm asked to enter the Root Password which is a dead give away that something not right is happening.

I suggested the Live Linux simply because not many people have 5 computers running 100% of the time and use them so the idea was to make it easier at least a bit.

As part of my work involves Security it's all fairly basic stuff to me at least, but when I get E-Mail coming into the Nix Box I know that's it's suspect as I only use it to check things. If someone else gets access to that account it wasn't from me or Legitimately so anything received there is most defiantly Suspect.


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So you ...

by Healer In reply to I have a Nix box running ...

manually check every email and forward those suspicious ones to the Nix box, or you set up the system somehow automatically detects and forwards suspicious emails to the Nix box. I like the automatic system but do not know what software provides that. If it is a manual job, then checking them would be a hassle and a risk too. Don't you think so?

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I manually forward the suspicious E-Mails to the remote address

by OH Smeg In reply to I have a Nix box running ...

And no it's not dangerous forwarding them on as I don't actually open them. If there where going to do any damage they would do it when they hit the In Box and as there are only a few a month it's not overly time consuming.

I also have a half way decent Spam Filter in place which catches all of these things and it's only when I go looking at what's been caught that I see most of this. I suppose I could just as easily configure the Spam Filter to forward them on but as I'm Inherently Lazy I just can not be bothered.


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The problem is

by Healer In reply to That's the question.

when it is supposedly a notice from a mail server saying the email can't be delivered. I do not think we can phone up somebody to verify the veracity.

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