Mailer daemon error for messages I didn't send

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RapunzlA51

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Dec 13, 2003
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The other day I noticed my task bar window showing "scanning outgoing e-mail" when I hadn't sent anything. The next day I had 2 mailer daemon messages saying that the e-mails were undeliverable - to a whole list of addresses I've never seen or heard of!

How can this happen and what can I do to keep it from happening again? I've checked my server and can't find any useful info. I use Outlook Express for my e-mail with IE for my internet via Comcast.

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions!

Sharon
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
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17,584
If that is indeed the case, you are infected and your system is being used as a host to senf viruses etc.

They will not be using OE though, but their own SMTP engine so it will not show in sent messages.

Bounced messages are common where someone elses PC is infected and is using an adddress at random (yours) as a spoofed "From" address, but if you are quite sure you saw the scanning outgoing message, it could be you (though any well written application would have bypassed that as well one would have thought).

Is your antivirus up to date, have you scanned the PC with AdAware and Spbot, do you run a firewall?
 

RapunzlA51

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 13, 2003
Messages
44
Thanks for the reply, Kiwiguy!
We use PC-cillin and it updates daily - sometimes more often - and we do have a Firewall - Zone Alarm, I believe. The system scans daily in the afternoon, and I've manually scanned for viruses and we're showing clean. We're also using the Spyware blocker that's part of PC Cillin and that scan shows "no known threat" (which I assume doesn't necessarily mean there's nothing there, just that's it's nothing "dangerous").
When I have incoming e-mail I always get a window saying "scanning incoming e-mail" and while I was doing something else that window popped up but it said "scanning OUTGOING e-mail" - which happens whenever I send. It took me by surprise because I hadn't sent any e-mail in at least an hour or more.
As an added (lame but somewhat effective) precaution I also have "!!!0000!!!" as the first entry in my address book - as both the name and the e-dress - which (supposedly) halts many of those auto-send trojans because it's not a valid address.
I've been getting tons of spam e-mail that I can't block - those buggers that have the random word subject lines like "or companion fish omnipresent paratroop" so I'm guessing this may be associated with one of those. I tend to check the properties and then block the entire domain (eg "fly4free.something) in my mail rules.
We do have a pop-up blocker also (not sure which one) but I do get an occasional rare pop-up.
With all things in place I know the event should NOT have happened, but I've got the mailer daemon e-mail (TWO!) telling me that it did.
Suggestions? :confused:
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
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3
If you haven't been experiencing the problem long, you can try a system restore. This sets back your settings and programs without deleting or modifying your files. It can also be 'undone' if necessary, so it can't hurt. It is not guaranteed as a fix for viruses or spyware, but it could help. Which operating system do you have, and what type of internet? Hopefully you're running Windows XP, though Windows ME also has the tool
Start>all programs>accesories>system tools> system restore.
-choose 'create a new restore point', hit next.
-type in a relevant description, like 'trying to fix email problem'. Now in the future you can set the computer back to the way it is right now. hit 'create' and then 'home'.
-choose 'restore my computer to an earlier time', hit next. Look on the calendar for a day in bold when you knew everything was working fine. Hit 'next' twice, twiddle your thumbs for a few minutes and see if that helps after rebooting.

Also, I'd recommend going thru your startup list. Go to Start>run, type 'msconfig' (without quotes), hit 'ok', and go to the startup tab. Each item listed here runs every time you turn on the computer, so you may see the program that's causing you grief. You can google items you don't recognize. There are things in this list that do need to start, like antivirus software, or video drivers for example. Just make a note first of what is and isn't checked before playing around :p.

It sure sounds like some kind of badware, so you can also go to housecall.trendmicro.com to do a scan of your system using a different scanner, just in case the programs you have aren't picking up a known threat.

Hope that helps!
_M
 

RapunzlA51

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 13, 2003
Messages
44
Thank you, Mason
Will try your suggestions tonight when I can sit here for a few minutes!
Sharon
 
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