Computer Crime Research Center


Computer virus and e-mail

Date: April 04, 2007

Q: I have started getting (almost every day) a message about "Failure to Deliver" from Mailer-Daemon. The e-mail address is unknown to me, and I did not send the subject message. Is someone using my e-mail account to send e-mails?

A: Technically, no. Your e-mail account is not being used to send these messages.

Instead, there is a computer on the Internet with your e-mail address in its address book, and it is infected with a virus.

There are certain viruses that, when they infect a computer, look in the address book and start sending themselves out to all the addresses there.

To make matters worse, they pick a name from and set that as the "from" address. In other words, the virus forges the sender to make it appear to be from someone it's not.
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