Computer Security Compromised?
November 4, 2011 8:52 PM   Subscribe

What exactly is occurring in my Outlook Account. And what should I do about it?

About twice a day some variant of this email appears in my DELETED file of Outlook:

From: Mail Deliver System
To: (my email address)

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.
Delivery to the following recipients is still underway after 13.7 hour(s): *


Will keep trying and contact you if the message can't be delivered permanently.

Have I been botted? My computer shows no virus, I use MS Essentials, Firewall, etc... But it looks to me like my computer is being used to generate emails that I can not see... I get about 2 variations of this daily, which makes me wonder if a bunch more messages are being sent out on my account that I can not see because they are going through with no failure to deliver message. Though they do not show up in my sent file. What to do? Abandon email account and computer? I am about to switch anyway. None of my online accounts appear to have been hacked, and this has been going on a very long time...

thanks for your opinion
posted by jcworth to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
BTW, I use a pretty decent white hat/black hat filter called choice mail, but I suppose if I did somehow get infected that wouldnt help.
posted by jcworth at 8:53 PM on November 4, 2011

It's unlikely you've been compromised. If you've had the same e-mail address for a long time, you're likely experiencing backscatter. Spammers routinely set false "from" addresses so that they don't have to deal with the flood of non-delivery and reject reports. You don't see these e-mails because you legitimately never sent them.

Oh, and there's no effective way to stop this from happening. You can stop the messages from appearing by tightening your Outlook rules (instead of "delete," set to "permanently delete"), but this is just one of those things that happens on the Internet.
posted by fireoyster at 9:19 PM on November 4, 2011

If you are using a domain email address coming off your web hosting account where you have access to CPanel, enabling sender policy framework (SPF) will eliminate most of this. My Gmail spam folder used to sit at about 20,000 spams - mostly bounced joe job emails. When I added SPF to my domain, the spam folder decreased 90%.

SPF essentially tells the Internet which mail servers you use, and mail "from" you that is not coming via your specified servers gets dropped as spam before it ever gets delivered or bounced.
posted by COD at 6:34 AM on November 5, 2011

Is the message coming from your mailserver? Then you have a problem. If it is coming from some other mailserver, no worries.
posted by gjc at 9:23 AM on November 5, 2011

Excellent answers all you folks, thank you so much. Warm regarards, jcw
posted by jcworth at 9:46 AM on November 5, 2011

« Older What's the name of Pat Summit's electronic game?   |   Time for some new reading material. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.