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Hotmail hijacked. Sent emails to all my contacts..?? Help..

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by musiclover, Sep 23, 2009.

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  1. musiclover

    musiclover Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    541
    I do not generally use my hotmail account these days. I was thinking of changing that, and installed the new outlook connector, so that I could pull my hotmail emails into outlook, and sort them out with rules, etc.. Tame the inbox if you will..

    Anyways, then I start to get emails from my friends saying why did you send me this crap.. Here is the body of the email if it helps..

    Heya,how are you doing recently ? I would like to introduce you a very good company which i knew.Their website is www.trade-beauty.com .They can offer you all kinds of electronical products which you need like laptops ,gps ,TV LCD,cell phones,ps3,MP3/4,motorcycles etc........Please take some time to have a check ,there must be somethings you 'd like to purchase .
    Their contact email: [email protected] .
    Hope you have a good mood in shopping from their company !
    Regards


    There are of course some handy links in there, that I did not bother taking... Anyways.. I think outlook is compromised. I doubt it is my hotmail account itself, but maybe. Having never found myself in this situation, thought I would ask here for the best way to handle it..

    Thanks for your assistance!!
     
  2. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    34,789
    E-mail spoofing

    A feature of the protocol that email is based upon is that the email message itself has a number of spaces (data fields) for information like the "intended recipient", "sender's email address" and the "return email address", "CC", "BCC", etc etc. within the email datagram (think of email like a picture postcard with spaces for the sender name and address as well as name and address of the person it is being sent to).

    What someone has done (or rather set up a piece of software to do) is send a spam email to so many million email addresses with the sender's FROM email address set to be the same as the "intended recipient's" TO email address. This is done for two main reasons, partly to try to get past email spam filters that filter on known spammer's FROM addresses (or email domains) and partly to hook your interest in getting an email from yourself - which it achieved.

    So the spammer is not sending spam email from your email account (that is - they are not hacking into your account and typing messages), but simply using your email address to send spam email to you. Just as if you had got a picture postcard through the post addressed to you with the offer of cheap Viagra but was signed with your name.
     
  3. webbette

    webbette

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    I had a similar experience not long ago. However, my hotmail account appears to have been hacked... when I try logging in, I get a message saying something like "user name and/or password incorrect". I tried resolving the issue using my "secret question", which has been reset to "name of your first pet". I tried names of every pet I remember... no luck.

    Then I get a phone call from my ex-husband. He asks if I'm still in Africa; then proceeds to tell me of the email he received from my hotmail account. He forwarded it to me. It read as follows:


    -----Original Message-----
    From: (my user name)@hotmail.com>
    Sent: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 12:15 pm
    Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP

    I am in a hurry writing this mail. I had a trip to West Africa visiting the Tinapa opening ceremony.(Africa's Premier Business Resort) http://www.tinapa.com Unfortunately,my belongings, including my money got Stolen at the hotel where i lodged from the attack of some armed robbers and ever since i have been with nothing i am still owe the hotel here, also the hotel telephone service was also disconnected, I have access to send mails only, my mobile phone can't work here so i didn't bring it along. Please i need you to raise me the sum of $1500 USD so i can settle the hotel bills and other necessary expenses. I will refund back your money as soon as i get back to the state, I am so confused right now cos i don't know what to do. You can have it sent through WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER to the details of the hotel staff in charge of me below.

    WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER DETAILS:
    Name: Relly Mohammed
    Location: Lagos
    Zip Code:23401
    Country: West Africa(Nigeria)
    Text Question: Money for?
    Text Answer: Hotel Bills

    Use the above details for the Transfer. As soon as you have the Money sent,Kindly provide me with the(Mtcn), Your Full name and Address) again for the pick up asap.

    Regards.

    I forwarded the email to the MS Customer Support and received the following response:

    Thank you for writing back to Windows Live Technical Support. I read that your hotmail account has been compromised and is soliciting money from your contacts. I know how important it is for you to have your concerns sorted out immediately.

    I would like to inform you that I could not confirm whether an unauthorized individual accessed your account or provide you any information about who may have done so, as all Windows Live Hotmail member information is confidential. I can only release it to law enforcement officials when served with a subpoena or criminal search warrant, in compliance with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

    If you can still access your hotmail account, please refer to the following suggestions below on how you can secure your Windows Live account.

    1. Change your password often. The quick act of changing your password can ensure that your e-mail remains private. In addition, passwords that use both letters and numbers are harder to break. Windows Live Hotmail passwords are case sensitive, so a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters is also recommended.

    2. Do not share your password. Most e-mail administrators will not ask for your password. Do not be duped by malicious e-mail messages asking you for your password. This is a well-known although not-too-common trick, designed to fool you into sharing your password. As a rule, never share your password with anyone.

    3. Never open attachments from unknown sources, as these attachments may contain what are known as "letter bombs" or "viruses," which can damage your personal computer.

    4. Always remember to log out when you are done. It is quick and easy and may save your account from unwanted trespassers. If you are using a public terminal, such as an Internet cafe, we advise you to clear the browser cache and close the Internet browser you are using when you are ready to end your Internet session. For instructions on how to clear the cache, refer to the Help files for the browser.

    5. Do not reply to unsolicited e-mail messages such as spam or other harassing or offensive mail. By responding, you only confirm that you are a person with an active e-mail address who can be plagued with constant unwanted e-mail solicitations. Instead, forward the unsolicited message with the full headers to the customer service department of the source's e-mail, which is usually in a form similar to "[email protected] or [email protected]".

    6. Be sure that you are using the most up-to-date Internet browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, as more recent versions often offer enhanced security protection.

    7. Always use a secure network. Most corporate networks and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are protected by administrators who watch for potential security problems and act to protect users from hackers or malicious users who may try to steal personal information that is transferred through the network.

    8. Although the risk is small, use caution when you are using any unfamiliar network. Use computers or Internet terminals maintained by sources you trust, or ask if the system you are using is protected against security break-ins.

    9. Use caution when revealing personal information, such as your physical address, to anyone you meet in cyberspace, even if they claim to be someone of authority.

    10. Change your secret question and answer stored in your Windows Live account as well as the alternate e-mail stored in it.

    Additionally, you may also try contacting the support team of Windows Live Hotmail. They are tasked to provide all the information you need. I would not mind extending my service if I could provide the information on my end. You can reach their team by creating posts in their forum, Windows Live Hotmail Online Solutions Center. Please visit: http://windowslivehelp.com. You may also try visiting their regarding this issue. Here is the link to their post: https://windowslivehelp.com/solutio.../04/29/recent-reports-of-account-hijacks.aspx

    We appreciate your continued support as we strive to provide you with the highest quality service available. Thank you for using Windows Live ID.

    Sincerely,
    Fabian
    Windows Live Technical Support


    I have given up on resolving the issue; but thought I'd share so others might be spared the same or similar experience.

     
  4. musiclover

    musiclover Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    541
    That sucks.. They should really make allowance for the possibility of this occurring and for it's swift resolution.. If your husband got that email, who knows who else did.. My grandma once sent 40,000 Western Union on a scan similar to that. Not kidding.. She passed a year ago, but in her last years, she got a phone call like the one listed, and sent the money.. Good luck with that..
     
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