Spoofing, what to do?
Thread poster: sylvie malich

sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 00:07
German to English
May 9, 2006

Some unknown person or organisation has spoofed my alternative email address and is sending out questionable business proposals under my good name (address).

This email address is not listed in any website, mailing list or anywhere since it was my alternative for intended use but never was.

I am getting bounced back emails in my mailbox every day now for about a week. The various links (I did NOT click on any) within link to a whole slew of serious looking websites without any way to contact the "firm" except through their contact form, no address, no nothing. Source text also reveals nothing.

My question is, is there anything that someone in my situation can do now? I know in the past this question was answered negatively, but maybe something has changed. Maybe there is an institution somewhere where I can report these a--holes, or forward these emails to and they can find out who they are?

What is my defense in this case? This is extremely annoying and I'd hate for people to associate my good name with spamming.

sylvie


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:07
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hy Sylvie May 9, 2006

Are you absolutely sure you have no viruses in your computer?

Natalia
P.S. Please note that I have moved the thread to the Safe Computing forum.


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 00:07
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Viruses? May 9, 2006

What makes you think I would have a virus?

sylvie


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:07
French to English
contact your ISP/email provider? May 9, 2006

If you are reasonably confident that you have not been infected by an auto-mailer virus, then perhaps your ISP or the provider of the email address in question (if different) could track the usage of this email address and find out where these emails are being sent from?

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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:07
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Sylvie May 9, 2006

If you did not send an email, but have received a mail delivery failure about this email, this has been sent by a virus. Viruses are programmed to spread themselves to as many email addresses as possible. They will automatically forge an email address they have gathered from various sources, and send an email apparently from your email. This can occur simply from your address being in a friends contact list. This could also indicate that your computer is infected by a virus or spyware.

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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 00:07
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
. May 9, 2006

Please read this page, it might help explain the problem:

http://ehostpros.net/showthread.php?s=5ecc55a0d238d7210b34c9ce1159b067&threadid=1386&goto=nextnewest


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:07
English to German
+ ...
Check the IP headers May 10, 2006

Hi Sylvie and all,
I have the same problem on one of my domains. Personally, I don't think it's a virus as the addresses used do not exist (they're using random combinations of letters, plus the domain), and hence cannot be drawn from address books.

Contacting your ISP won't be of much help, as it's highly unlikely these messages are sent through your ISP. On a positive note, the messages are unlikely to openly show your name or address publicly - your address is hidden in the IP data (in the "reply to" information).

To find out about the source of the problem, check the IP headers - chances are they'll link to some freemail accounts in a country where you don't really have a handle on ISPs.

Best ignored, IMO.

Best regards, Ralf


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 00:07
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Ralf May 10, 2006

I know this is a common problem, I'm surprised that nobody here knew what I was talking about.

The header shows that the email is being sent from a university in Spain "uni2.es", with "may be forged" in brackets. Host unknown.

I have a firewall, I have all the necessary virus blockers and killers and still, I do not believe we are totally helpless in the fight against spoofers.

What I found on the Internet:


What is spoofing?

Spoofing occurs when an e-mail sender hijacks an unsuspecting victim's address by falsifying its routing information so it appears to come from the victim's account. When the message reaches its intended target, all reply messages go to the victim's address, not the actual sender.

For spammers, using phony e-mail addresses means they can remain anonymous, avoid handling countless bounce-back messages from invalid addresses, and simultaneously bypass software filters set to block likely sources of junk e-mail. Plus, as spam and other types of junk-e-mail tactics become increasingly unpopular with consumers, spoofing allows spammers to avoid negative publicity.

For the victim, however, spoofing is nothing short of a nightmare. Typically, spoofing victims drown in a flood of bounced-back e-mails from bad addresses. Shortly thereafter, an inevitable wave of angry e-mails pour in from spam recipients asking to be removed from the spammer's marketing list.

In some cases, victims lose account privileges, after their Internet Service Provider (ISP) shuts down their service for violating its anti-spam policy.


=> What to do if you think you have received a spoofed e-mail or your e-mail address is being spoofed

Do not respond to a spoofed e-mail to complain because, it will only arrive in your own e-mail Inbox.

Send a copy of the spoofed e-mail to the spoofed e-mail sender's ISP. The e-mail address for this is usually abuse@theirisp.com or postmaster@theirisp.com but if you are not sure, visit their ISP's Web site and search for the information - it will be there.

Include full e-mail headers when you file a spoofing report. Find out how to read e-mail headers here.


In the US

The Federal Trade Commission accepts copies of unwanted or deceptive messages at: spam@uce.gov. If an unsubscribe request is not being honored (ignored or inoperative) you can fill out the FTC's online complaint form. The FTC stores spam complaints in a database and actively pursue law enforcement actions against people who send spam.

sylvie

[Edited at 2006-05-11 09:03]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 00:07
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
forget the damaged email adress ... May 15, 2006

inform the provider about it and get yourself a new, safer account. Make it long and use some numbers and then it should be ok - I mean, I dont think one can write to gwbush@whitehouse.gov or to Benedict@pope.va, at least not anymore, because it is too obvious to generate out of blue;)

smo


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