Hundreds of "undelivered mail" messages

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Offline Lura

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Hundreds of "undelivered mail" messages
« on: April 01, 2013, 09:52:09 PM »
Today I'm receiving hundreds of "undelivered mail" messages.  They are coming in at about one per minute or two.  Does anyone know what is going on.

Lura

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Offline PCBruiser

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Re: Hundreds of "undelivered mail" messages
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 10:26:15 PM »
The most likely cause of this is that your password and user name for your email account has been compromised and spammers are using it to send spam to thousands of email addresses.  Many of the accounts they send the spam to will be invalid and the bounce backs will be returned to you since the originating email account is yours. 

This is a very common type of security issue and is usually caused by what is caused by what is called a "dictionary attack" on the email accounts of your email domain.  The spammers use an email account which they guess randomly using something like "randomlegitimatename@knownemaildomain.com" or realistically "laura {at} hotmail.com", spaces inserted since this is likely a legitimate email address, and {at}=@.  Then they use common passwords, starting with "password" which is probably the most commonly used password out there, and go on from there.  Since they use a computer generated spider to do the guessing, they can guess thousands of email accounts and passwords a second.  Sooner or later, usually sooner, they find and compromise an email account user name and password, and then use it to send out spam. 

The solution is to change your email account's password ASAP.  And, use something hard to guess like "5ue!ywiGa#rZ", a long combination of letters (caps and lower case), numbers and symbols.  That makes it harder for dictionary attacks to guess your password.  If you need help generating a random password like that, use a random password generator like this free one http://www.snapfiles.com/get/pwgenerator.html.  BTW, Snapfiles is totally clean and safe to use for downloading freeware and inexpensive shareware.  I have literally recommended hundreds of people to the site and never had any issues reported back to me about infected files.

If changing the password to something long and random doesn't solve the problem, then it is likely your system is infected with malware and needs to be cleaned up.  In that case, follow the instructions in the stickies at the top of our malware removal board, Post Here for Malware Removal ... and one of our malware removal staff will help you get rid of the problem.  Usually changing the password will solve the problem.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 10:30:12 PM by PCBruiser »
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Offline Lura

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Re: Hundreds of "undelivered mail" messages
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 12:05:42 PM »
Thank you.  I'll get right on it!!

Lura

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Offline Lura

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Re: Hundreds of "undelivered mail" messages
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 01:13:34 PM »
I am locked out of my email account and having a difficult time contacting my provider.  Could the spammers change my password?  Or do you think it was changed by my provider?  I had been accessing the email online rather than downloading thousands of messages to my computers when all of a sudden I was directed back to the login page and then could not log in.

Lura

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Offline PCBruiser

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Re: Hundreds of "undelivered mail" messages
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 03:14:53 PM »
Hi,

It is possible that either of them might have changed the password.  What is more likely is that your provider disabled your account to stop the spammers from using or accessing it.  The sheer volume of bounce backs you mention could have triggered a security alert at your email provider.  That could have, in turn, automatically disabled your account, or alerted a live person to investigate the problem.  Then they might have manually disabled the account.  You do really need to contact your provider to see what is happening at this point and to explain the situation.  This is not uncommon, so once you are in contact with your provider you should be able to get the problem fixed.  This kind of thing can be a real PITA for you for a while unfortunately.
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Offline Lura

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Re: Hundreds of "undelivered mail" messages
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 04:27:29 PM »
Okay.  Thanks very much.

Lura