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Someone sent email to all my yahoo contacts!

by Guet Pooi / November 3, 2009 11:33 PM PST

Would appreciate if someone could explain to me what happened, what else could have happened, and how to avoid it in the future.

An email was sent in my name to all my Yahoo email contacts. I got to know of it only when a friend replied to inquire about it. The funny thing is that my computer was offline from Oct 29th to Nov 3rd because my modem was struck by lightning; but the email was purportedly sent on Nov 30th! How did the person do it?

I had installed on my computer Avira free personal antivirus. But I have just replaced it with Windows Security Essentials a few minutes ago.

Any help is much appreciated. Thank you.


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Please login to your yahoo and change the password
by Donna Buenaventura / November 5, 2009 12:33 AM PST

>>>How did the person do it?

Could be malware or hacked. Run a full system scan with your antivirus, update Windows and change the password of your Yahoo.

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Can the rogue computer be traced?
by Guet Pooi / November 5, 2009 11:43 PM PST

Hi Donna,

Thanks for the advice. I did a full scan with Windows Security Essentials and found nothing. I also did a full scan with Super AntiSpyware and only found 3 tracking cookies.

My Windows is on auto update. So I did not do anything.

Have changed my Yahoo password. What else can I do to tighten security?

Is there a way to trace where the rogue computer is from?

Thank you.


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by kashif_nsw / May 24, 2012 8:58 PM PDT

I know this post is quite old, but some thing like that happened to me as well, which seems to quite unexplainable.

The auto spam email was sent to my 'sent email contacts' in yahoo mail from my address.

1) the ip addresses of sender was from Tehran - Iran.
2) Yahoo 'account recent activity' says, only my IP address ever logged in.
3) The 'sent spam email' was recorded in my 'mail sent box'.

So if i think on ot, its quite un believable, that without a compromise on yahoo's own servers or security,
how come a virus can does it all.

If there is a virus on my machine, then how come Yahoo never recorded that "Login" of mine (when I was sleeping in middle of night).

If its not virus, and no one logged in my account (if i trust yahoo 'recent login activity section') , then how come
some one else got all my recent contacts on yahoo, and sent the email, and got it recorded on my 'sent email box as well' ?

Sounds really fishy, looks like Yahoo needs to investigate thier security ...

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Have you changed your password?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 25, 2012 5:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Strange

Spammers and hackers are always looking for easy password accounts. And the same for usernames. They already have the end part of the email address, eg @yahoo.com , so they can use a generator to generate random usernames and passwords to try logging on.

So the general advice is, change your password as quickly as possible to some strong password.

As to receiving your own emails, it is comparitively easy to spoof an email address.

I don't know how to do it, but spammers do and they will send you an email with the sender displayed as your own email address. That doesn't mean they have hacked into your account, and it also doesn't mean that Yahoo's servers are vulnerable. But it is a common ploy by spammers to do this.

If you can "View Source" for such emails, (we can in email software but I am not sure if it can be done in web mail. Perhaps right click the email in the Inbox and see if there is an option), you will see all sorts of hidden properties of the email, and where it actually came from.

The main question is, how did the spammer get your email address to send you email in the first place, and there are a coule of options for that;

1] Just lucky with a random email address generator tool. For example, if my email address was markflax@yahoo.com then it would be quite easy for a generator to make that. But if my email address was hTewoJK8wtMkdi3Lli@yahoo.com then it would be much harder.

2] Spammers send millions of emails from their own servers every day to random email addresses. They don't care if 99.999% don't exist and are returned. Those are just discarded. But the 0.001% who get through are noted for future spam.

3] As with 2 above. If the recipient opens the email, then a cleverly crafted email can send a message back to the spammer showing that this particular email address is live and active.

4] Another way to get live email addresses is from public forums like these and public blogs. If a poster adds his/her email address to a post or a blog comment, then forum bots, (software robots), trawl forums and blogs for them and pick them up for spam.


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