I Spammed my Hotmail contacts?

April 25, 2006 at 05:59:27
Specs: XP (&Win95), ?/56Mg!

On Sunday an email with a link to a porn site was sent from my hotmail account to all the contacts I had in that account.

I'd only been using this laptop for a few days (it's my old one, my Dell died) and didn't have any antivirus software running, but did have the windows firewall up.

I've since downloaded and run AVG and Avast antivirus software and SpybotS&D but they didn't find anything nasty.

Do I definitely have a virus? Why hasn't a similar thing happened to the other hotmail accounts I've been using on this laptop?

Hotmail support gave me a pretty standard "change password, update antivirus software" response.

Any advice appreciated.

See More: I Spammed my Hotmail contacts?

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April 25, 2006 at 06:21:43
Read this thread. It should help you better understand what is happening.

BTW everyone needs to be better educated because the Internet is filled with mines (or IED) waiting to blow up your browser.


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April 25, 2006 at 08:01:06
Thanks for your reply.

I'd read some posts about spoofing email addresses but couldn't understand how my contacts list had been obtained - unless the email really did come from my account.

Have you/anyone heard about this before?

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April 25, 2006 at 08:28:48
I couldn't answer your question because I do not sit next to you and watch everything you do. Perhaps if you read this article written by Columnist Leo Notenboom, it may bring back some recollections of what you might have done?

Quoted from another article:

5. Viruses, Spyware, and Mailicous Code: Not to long ago viruses & spyware started to appear that transparently load themselves or are sent via email to your mail client. As soon as you open books, contact lists, and distribution lists, and “report” their findings back them, the read you address to home base.

The stark truth is that the spammers uses countless ways to get your contact list.


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April 25, 2006 at 08:33:30
Yes - somebody has your email address in THEIR PC quite likely and it is THEIR PC responsible for the spammimg!

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April 25, 2006 at 12:02:26
OK, so you're suggesting I opened a spammer's link and as I was logged in to hotmail, it was able to capture all my contact email addresses? And then they were emailed using a spoof of my email address?

Is it possible to capture the contact details without downloading a virus (as AVG and AVAST suggest)? Or must a virus have been downloaded from the spam site, but for some reason AVG and AVAST can't detect it?

Thanks for your patience with me on this.

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April 25, 2006 at 16:11:07
"Is it possible to capture the contact details without downloading a virus (as AVG and AVAST suggest)? Or must a virus have been downloaded from the spam site, but for some reason AVG and AVAST can't detect it?"

Either of those ways is a possibility. If your virus scans are up to date then most likey the contacts were snagged without a virus or sometime before

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April 26, 2006 at 01:19:42
It's frightening to know that details can be captured without downloading a virus. Surely if this is the case you should never have more than one internet window up at the same time - in case one site is capturing personal details from the other.

For what it's worth, I've never emailed a couple of the contacts, so the details must have come out of hotmail, not via an intercepted email or something.

I guess I'm just trying to work out if it's safe to use this laptop for things like online banking. Any thoughts on the way to proceed?

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April 26, 2006 at 10:50:13
"Yes - somebody has your email address in THEIR PC quite likely and it is THEIR PC responsible for the spammimg!"

Your Synopsis eloquently put....

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May 14, 2006 at 02:49:23
I have exactly the same problem.
The emails are being sent to all the addresses in my hotmail contact list (not the contact list I have for my POP email account) and are purporting to be from my hotmail address. I don't see the email in my sent items folder, but I do get bounce back messages.
It's now sent 2 messages - the first one said I'd made a new website asking people to check it out with a link to a site. On the site you had to download a codec which contained a virus.
Around 2 weeks later another mail sent itself out. This one split itself into different emails so the whole contact list wasn't on the same mail. This message was written as follows:

-----Original Message-----
From: Gareth Williams [mailto:j_dandcoke@hotmail.com]
Sent: 13 May 2006 01:10
To: (deleted to protect the innocent)
Subject: Help

My computer has been crashed by viruses a few days ago.
I scaned my computer with Norton AntiVirus and Microsoft AntiSpyware and
they didn't found anything. But this Spy Guard found 3 viruses and 15
I bought it here http://sxpress.org

See you!

I've changed my Hotmail password just in case that could be the issue. I'd really prefer not to get rid of the account as I've had it for years.
I did post my email address on an Esato forum in 2003, but nothing else. Isn't it a coincidence that we're both having the same problem now?

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May 16, 2006 at 15:46:10
I'm having the same problem. The spam email asking people to see "my new website" went out once, and then I deleted most of my contacts from the address book. (I don't use hotmail for e-mail anymore so I thought it wouldn't be a problem. But that deleted many of my MSN messenger contacts as well, which *was* a problem!) Anyway, it's about 2 weeks later, and another e-mail just went out from my hotmail account. I haven't figured out whether it went out to the new pared-down contact list alone, or to the same list as previously. I've no idea what to do to stop this.

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May 17, 2006 at 16:01:53
Sorry to hear you've both had this. The email apparently sent out from my account was also to "check out my new website".

I changed my hotmail password the next day and haven't seen the second email you both mentioned - had you changed your passwords before or after the second email was sent?

PS brian - guess you're also UK based? svisaria?

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