Viruses and Email Spoofing...
We control a great deal of domain names and websites, some are our own
and some we look after on behalf of
our customers. This page answers the questions we are often asked...
- Why am I getting email messages that make no sense?
- What should I do with emails containing attachments?
- Why are people replying to emails that I never sent? Does my computer
have a virus?
Computer viruses are an established part of the computer scene nowadays.
The proliferation of internet connectivity in terms of number of
people surfing / emailing and in terms of increases in 'always
on' broadband usage rather than dialup modem have meant that viruses
have flourished massively over the past few years. This trend is
unlikely to change.
Computer viruses are a pain the rear and cost companies billions on
an annual basis as well as being responsible for damaging and deleting
a mass of important data and electronic files putting people and
businesses to no end of inconvenience. Ok, so we don't like comoputer
These computer viruses need a way of propogating and a common way for
this to be done is via email, the general cycle / process of
computer virus infections goes something like this...
- Unsuspecting surfer / internet user checks their email..
- They open a message they have received...
- They open the attachment to the email...
- The email virus has now been loaded and starts to work...
- The virus may open 'back doors' into your system that allow other
people (hackers) to access your computers...
- The virus invariably will try to replicate itself on other PC's by
virtue of your internet connection. It does this by sifting through
your Outlook / Outlook Express etc email program looking in your
Inbox / Sent Items / Address Book etc and collects a list of
all the email addresses that you have contacted or have contacted
- The virus then emails a copy of itself to all the emails it just
- But, to avoid premature detection of the virus and its removal the
virus 'spoofs' the email address that has been sent from. This
means that the virus 'appears' to have sent the email from an
email account that is NOT set up on the computer that it actually
was sent from! This makes tracing the infected PC (and email
account) much harder than just looking at the email's 'From'
- Unless antivirus software is running on the mail servers that the
infected email goes through and / or on the PC that the email
is sent to then the virus infection spreads to a new host PC
- The cycle repeats itself...
Symptoms of computer virus infection include the computer behaving
'oddly', becoming very slow, and increased network activity
without explanation... if this describes your computer then it
would be wise to do something about it.
Some conclusions then...
- if you receive an nonsense email from someone you don't know it is
at least possible, if not likely, that the email contains or
contained a virus. i.e. if it has attachments do not open them...
if it doesn't have attachments then it probably did when it was
sent but antivirus software between the sender's outbox and your
inbox has removed it!
- if you have received a virus generated email then it was not sent
by the person / email address listed in the messages 'From' box!
- Email address spoofing is quite prevalent and is a common headache
especially for webmasters such as ourselves that control many
domain names and are therefore frequent victims of such attacks
/ virus infections!
- if your PC starts going very slow and trying to access the internet
without an obvious reason then your beloved PC may be nurturing
the next batch of virus-infected emails!
I hope you found this information useful... if you ever find yourself
in need of anything web, database or search engine-related then
please consider using me-too.net -