SOS! Email addie HIJACKED by a mail-bot!

<p>H is on phone with our online service provider right now, but I wanted to ask advice here, too.</p>

<p>Woke up to 4 plus pp of emails sent by my address (not by me) advertising a Canadian RX co to every single email address in my address book, incl many I have not used in over five years! (---yes, a wake-up call for me to clean that out LOL)</p>

<p>What to do? Is it important to notify all these recipients?
Should I use not my email until this is fixed?
Is it important for me to ID where this virus/bot came form?
Has the virus/bot now spread to all those who received these hijacking emails?</p>

<p>At this point, I am not sure if these bot-mails are also going out to recipients of my emails NOT actually in my address BOOK...</p>

<p>Any advice appreciated, and thanks in advance. I feel so bad about bothering these recipients. </p>

<p>What a ridiculous time-sink for all affected...</p>

<p>How do we avoid these hijackings in the future???????</p>

<p>Happy? Holidays!</p>

<p>1) change your password, preferably using a computer that you know to be clean. Use a strong password. Many of these kinds of exploits work by trying weak passwords. If that's the case with you, then this might be enough to stop it.
2) run malware detection scans on all of your systems using multiple programs. This is assuming Windows as some other platforms may not have malware scanners.
3) clean any systems with problems.</p>

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<p>They usually go out to those in your address book and maybe anyone that you've sent or received email to/from.</p>

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<p>Use strong passwords.
Keep your anti-malware up-to-date.
Keep your software updates up-to-date, especially with programs known to have problems.
Run periodic scans of your system with multiple products.
Maintain good backups of your systems.</p>

<p>Thanks, BCE, you are a great great help.</p>

<p>Any thoughts on which email providers are more or less virus resistant (I may also change my provider and email address now)? Or is it all about the anti-malware?</p>

<p>I think this is really about the strength of your password. This happened to me (with AOL), and changing the password to a stronger one appears to have stopped it. I was using a password that was just a word, and I'd been using it for a long time.</p>

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<p>I think that you are referring to the quality of spam filtering by email providers. One approach is to put the virus in the email itself, usually as an attachment. The other way is to put a link to an infected site in the email - the user clicks on the link and that's when they can get infected. It isn't realistic for email providers to check every link in emails that come through so they have to use other means in detecting spam.</p>

<p>I think that you have to use multiple modes of defense - secure network, secure systems, strong passwords, backups, regular scans. This sorts of things are standard in corporate email systems (though obviously some employees don't follow the recommendations).</p>

<p>We are now having a dickens of a time being able to change the password to our very old yahoo (now att) email account... bizarre.</p>

<p>We are now having a dickens of a time being able to change the password to our very old yahoo (now att) email account...
Well the spammers probably made some changes to your acct to make that difficult on purpose. I advise you get a new gmail acct. You can then use a program [see below] that will transfer all your old email addresses to you new account [ do this if you cant change your password] AND send out a "our email acct address has changed" notice.</p>

<p>then delete your old yahoo email acct</p>

<p><a href="http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=56283%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=56283&lt;/a>
<a href="http://www.labnol.org/internet/email/move-mails-across-email-accounts/8419/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.labnol.org/internet/email/move-mails-across-email-accounts/8419/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>mpm,
A good reason for why we are here in this awkward position today is that we did try to change all our accounts to comcast (bundled service to save moolah), but after it was all installed, comcast informed us that they do not/cannot provide the blanket notification of new email address service to all contacts if the user has an APPLE computer. We looked into it, and it was impossible!
So I stuck with my old yahoo/att email address, but the comcast address is ready and waiting...
Meanwhile, today I am probably going to have notify every single person in my address book about this scam...</p>

<p>Is there a way for ME to send out one email to everyone in my address book?
I will try to check the setting in my address book!</p>

<p>I think you are right- the password functions have been hacked. They are now locked and the rep on the phone is not able to help us...
Tis is going to be a tough mess for someone to deal with.</p>

<p>I have now learned how important it is to have STRONG PASSWORDS and to CHANGE PASSWORDS OFTEN- the hard way.</p>

<p>LOL- because our email account is locked, so I cannot do much of anything to the address list.</p>

<p>Nice way for us to send Christmas greetings to all our contacts- RIGHT!</p>

<p>So, I just checked again. On my (old yahoo) ATT mail, I cannot export contacts via Safari or other Apple-supported systems. What a scam!</p>

<p>see if your comcast.net has a program [ like the gmail link above] that imports all your addresses AND old mail. if so, send out a new email once all your old addresses are in the new email acct. if not, there are outside programs that charge a one time fee to do teh transfer.
with yahoo, you can send out an email to only a certain # of addresses at once[ because of their anti spam safeguards] </p>

<p>above all, if you are NOT yet using MALWAREBYTES , download that at once and run it. It is the best antimalware program out there- well worth the $ - get the full price version through cnet.downloads</p>

<p>can you get into the old yahoo email program using the old password?</p>

<p>can you use someone else's PC computer that has Firefox or internet explorer to get into your old address book?</p>

<p>Now's a good time to start fresh with all-new friends.</p>

<p>That's the stuff, Hunt!
I am getting some nice messages back from old friends due to this- meant to be! HA HA
(I am also finding out that many of these email addresses are defunct LOL) It is kind of a very goofy and annoying holiday letter...</p>

<p>mpm- GREAT stuff there, many many thanks!! you are bringing me into the 21st century, which I have assiduously avoided doing myself. Starting me on New Year's resolutions ahead of time (wink).</p>

<p>Taking all day, though...</p>

<p>
[quote]
> How do we avoid these hijackings in the future???????

[/quote]
In addition to what bceagle said, be careful opening email attachments since that's how many of these viruses get into your system - especially the attachments women seem to love sending other women - various self-help ones or 'cutesy' ones that came off the internet (as opposed to a personal email attachment like their personal photo or something) that they email to all their friends and their friends open them and then forward to all their friends, etc.</p>

<p>GGD - I only get those from male friends.</p>

<p>OP - wait, this happened on your Apple computer?!</p>

<p>If your email account is compromised to the point where you can't regain control over it (this includes contacting the provider), then create a new account and send email to your contacts to blacklist the old account or otherwise ignore it.</p>

<p>This has happened to me and many people I know. It's not something to get too upset about--your email contacts will know immediately what happened and ignore the message. I'm pretty convinced my email was hacked in connection with opening one of those stupid chain letter messages sent by an acquaintance who circulates junk on a daily basis. I asked her to take me off her distribution list, to no avail, so I just delete everything she sends unopened. (Beats me why anyone thinks every single person on her contacts list is just dying to see a cat video or lame joke.)</p>