E-mail address being hijacked
Question : For the past year, I have been getting virus-laden messages that purport to
be undeliverable mail being returned to me. I recently decided to change my account password, and
these bounced e-mail messages suddenly stopped. It seems that someone was logging in to my account
and using my address to send this e-mail. Have you heard of this kind of spamming?
Answer : It is possible that your computer was hijacked by someone on the Internet and
added to a botnet. A botnet, also called a zombie army, is a group of computers that have been compromised
without their owners' awareness and then used to forward spam and viruses.
Computers without adequate firewall protection to shield them from intruders are at risk for induction
into one of these zombie armies, as are machines without antivirus and antispyware protection. Intruders can
get into unprotected computers and install software that allows them to remotely control the machines to do
specific tasks like sending spam.
If you haven't already, you may want to install a firewall program, (Windows XP and Mac OS X include
firewalls; ZoneLabs offers its free Zone Alarm firewall for Windows at www.zonelabs.com) and get antivirus
and antispyware programs. You may also want to change any other passwords you use with the computer in case
those have been exposed, too.
IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of nonregistered contributors.