My email addr was hijacked!

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pcguy9441

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Joined
Apr 16, 2007
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591
Most of have seen this: we or an acquaintance/relative/friend get an email from us that we did not send. The Subj field is typically blank and the body contains a single line; a link typically for a site on enlarging something or selling cheap drugs, etc. Sometimes the Subj field contains &#8220;Hey!&#8221;, or &#8220;Check this out&#8221;, or &#8220;Hi, <your first name here>!.

Can someone help with how this happens? Have they hacked the ATT/Yahoo server for our contacts list? My Yahoo and Gmail accounts now have an empty/blank contacts list in order to avoid this but used to be populated. All my contacts are in my Outlook 2010 email which is now IMAP, so on a server in the cloud somewhere.

Or, have they actually hacked my PC and extracted this info from my local .pst file? We are very careful and run both MBAM (daily on auto-schedule) and either AVG or Avira every other day on each of two machines. We have, however, reflexively opened one of these bogus emails in recent months, but did not click on the link.

I got one today from my wife with a blank Subj Field and the following in the body: &#8220;hey have a look 'http://bit.ly/11d1p8U' " Did not click on link.

1. How does this happen? How do they do it?
2. How best to avoid short of unplugging the computer indefinitely?
3. Once it starts with emails from me (that aren't really from me) going out, is there a way to stop it?
4. I have removed Java. Does that prevent websites from running code on my PC and injecting malware?

Running Win7 Home Premium with all Windows updates. Email provider is ATT/Yahoo, email program Outlook 2010 with IMAP

Thank you!
 
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