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Hotmail sending hoax emails to all contacts - Can anyone help?

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by hype, Apr 25, 2006.

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  1. hype

    hype Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
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    Hi,

    I logged on to my work email this morning to discover I'd been sent an email from my girlfriends hotmail account. The email had been sent to me and everyone else in her hotmail contacts and all it contained was a brief statement that requested people to visit a website (which was blank). The thing is, the email was sent when I know for a fact my girlfriend wasn't logged onto hotmail – and she certainly never sent it or knows anything about it. Does anyone know why this has happened? Or has anyone else come accross this? She only ever accesses her hotmail account at home and no-one else could have used that computer.

    Many thanks for any advice!
     
  2. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    17,584
    What is most likely to have happened is that her email address has been "harvested" from an infected computer on which the address was stored (from an incoming email). Or from any public forum or webpage where it may have been posted.

    The harvested email has been used by a spammer or virus writer as a "spoofed" :From address, which only looks as if it came from her.

    If the email website link was blank, it may have been an error by the perpetrator or the website may have actually contained some nasty script that you have protection against the vulnerability that it was trying to exploit.

    There are a large number of permutation on the theme.
     
  3. hype

    hype Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
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    Thanks for that. Doesn't sound like any real harm has been done if that's the case. Having said that I've since heard that the web link has caused problems on a friends PC. I'm on a mac here and nothing untoward happened thankfully.

    The only thing I don't understand is how it has been sent to all her contacts? She hasn't ever sent a group email to them all (as a lot of them are very old and no longer in-use) so I can't see where the info was gathered from.
     
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