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My email keep sending out virus

  1. Jun 13, 2014 #1
    I have problem with my email keep sending out email with virus to others. I have change password a few times and it did not help at all. I have Norton 360 already and that does not seems to help. What can I do to fix it?

    It is a very new computer in service for about a month only and I have been careful not to open any suspicious emails.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2014 #2


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    Are you sure it is YOUR computer sending these emails? Sender email can be easily faked.

    Are you sure your email account is not hacked? It is not clear what password you have changed.
  4. Jun 13, 2014 #3
    My stepson told me he received email that's suspicious from me. That happened after I change the password the second time.

    The password is my email account password.

    I am not sure about whether my email account got hacked, how do I check it? The email account was created in the old computer and it had problem before. This is a new computer and is working perfect perfect otherwise. I just sign in the email account with the new computer.
  5. Jun 13, 2014 #4


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    You've probably had your old e-mail account infected with a virus. The virus doesn't need to know your e-mail password to propagate; the password is there so only you can read your email.

    The virus apparently lies dormant in your system until you receive/send e-mails. Certain viruses propagate by reading your contact log/address book and getting the e-mail addresses stored there. The virus can either create and send the suspicious messages, in the hope that some unwary person will open the email and infect his computer, or it can piggy-back onto one of your legitimate messages.

    Changing your e-mail password will not disinfect your system. You need to have a good anti-virus program go thru your system and check for viruses. If your e-mail provided doesn't scan incoming/outgoing messages for viruses, you should probably consider changing to a provider with this feature.
  6. Jun 13, 2014 #5


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    You email account is not on your computer.

    Email that you send is "put" by your email client on the server where you account is. This server connects to other servers, where other people account are, and sends emails there. Whenever someone else sends an email to you the same happens, just they connect to their server and their server sends the email to your server. When you click on "check mail" you program connects to the server and fetches all emails that were delivered in the meantime.

    Best thing is to check headers of these emails your stepson received, they should contain information about where did the email originated from. Checking headers is typically one of the options available when viewing the email, but how it is done depends on the particular email client.

    Another thing to consider: compare the emails that your stepson received (and thinks they are suspicious) with the ones you have sent. Could be everything is OK, they are just flagged as suspicious by oversensitive antispam/antivirus program. Happens all the time. Doesn't mean to be not vigilant, just not every alarm is real.
  7. Jun 13, 2014 #6
    Thanks for the reply, he called to confirm that we did not sent that email.

    So if the email account is infected in the server, what can I do to fix it. Doesn't sound like any anti virus program in my computer is going to do any good.
  8. Jun 13, 2014 #7
    That's what I thought that the virus is dormant in the computer, but this is a very new computer and I definitely did not open any suspicious email yet. It feels like it stayed with the email account.

    I have Norton 360 which seems to be a whole lot better than McAfee. Also, I have two email account, one for business and one for personal use, it's only the personal used one that is infected.
  9. Jun 13, 2014 #8


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    As I wrote before: without checking headers you can't still know if the email was sent from your account. Not that it is very likely, but it still can't be ruled out.

    What email program do you use? Do you use it for both email accounts?

    Can your stepson check what virus was detected in the email from you?
  10. Jun 13, 2014 #9
    How do you check the headers?

    I have to ask him. My email is Hotmail @live.com.

  11. Jun 13, 2014 #10


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    As I wrote earlier - it depends on the mail program he uses.

    Typically you can select what is shown in some kind of a View menu, or in s local menu that shows after clicking displayed post with a right click.
  12. Jun 13, 2014 #11
    It sounds as though it may be a spoofed email being sent to your stepson and made to look like it's coming from you.
  13. Jun 13, 2014 #12
    Sounds like all of you here suspect the problem is on my stepson's side, not on my side!!! Right?

    I did some experiment and I find the Header. I just go to the inbox and right click on the email and choose "Show full header".

    For example, is it under:

    Return-Path: <orders@weberorders.com>

    This will show who actually sent the email? In this case the email is from <orders@weberorders.com> which is vaild. I should have my stepson read the full header on his computer to verify it's from us?

    If that's the case, then all he need to do is to put email address as spam?

  14. Jun 13, 2014 #13
    The return path is just the reply to address. This can be altered to be anything by the sender. Take a look at the mail servers listed in the header, they are much more informative.
    If the email came from your computer, your ISP's mail servers should be listed within the header also because the email would go from your system to your ISP's mail server before being sent to the destination.

    Take a closer look at all the hostnames listed and see if you anything sticks out. If it's spam the sending server could be something really odd like a server from Russia or China (.ru or .cn address) Basically something that is not your ISP.

    If you feel comfortable, you can post the header information here but keep in mind there may be personally identifiable information if it actually did come from your system.
  15. Jun 13, 2014 #14


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    This is what a spoof email header looks like:
    Code (Text):

    To: <personal information deleted>
    Subject: You have received a tax refund payment
    X-PHP-Originating-Script: 10002:mailer.php
    From: HM Revenue & Customs <service@paypal.co.uk>
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/html
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
    Message-Id: <20140421074824.30855116D180@mail.imagix.fr>
    ... etc
    it claims to be from the UK tax authorities, but the email address says "paypal", and it was actually sent from somewhere in France.

    You may have sent an email sometime in the past to someone whose computer was infected with a virus, that collected the contents of their address book. That's one way that email fraudsters get "real" email addresses, to send out fake messages that appear to come from somebody you know, so you are more likely to open them.
  16. Jun 13, 2014 #15
    This is extracted from one of my old email account. I deleted out things that did not make sense and change some numbers. Can you tell me what to look for?

    From PreSonus Audio Electronics Mon Jun 9 13:01:33 2014
    X-Apparently-To: alanchan@yahoo.com via 12.34.567.890; Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:01:35 +0000
    Return-Path: <support@presonus.zendesk.com>
    Received-SPF: pass (domain of presonus.zendesk.com designates as permitted sender)

    Received: from (EHLO out1.pod2.sac1.zdsys.com) (
    by mta1535.mail.ne1.yahoo.com with SMTPS; Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:01:34 +0000
    Received: from zendesk.com (work2.pod2.sac1.zdsys.com [])
    by out1.pod2.sac1.zdsys.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id AB88B780031
    for <alanchan@yahoo.com>; Mon, 9 Jun 2014 20:01:33 +0000 (UTC)
    From: PreSonus Audio Electronics <support@presonus.zendesk.com>
    Reply-To: PreSonus Audio Electronics <support+id186630@presonus.zendesk.com>
    To: Me <alanchan@yahoo.com>
    Message-ID: <Z9N1S1G3_5396129d43c15_eee3fd05c0b340490107f_sprut@zendesk.com>
    In-Reply-To: <Z9N1S1G3@zendesk.com>
    Subject: [PreSonus Audio Electronics] Pending request: Program cannot locate
    the sound files.
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Auto-Submitted: auto-generated
    X-Mailer: Zendesk Mailer
    Content-Length: 12698
  17. Jun 13, 2014 #16
    This first bit is a good indicator. The SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a basic check that the mail is not spoofed. In this case, it's coming from where it's supposed to be coming from, it got a pass.

    This part here is the path the email took to get to you. This also looks legit, i did a google search and zdsys.com appears to be zendesk
    This email came from out1.pod2.sac1.zdsys.com and arrived at a Yahoo mail server mta1535.mail.ne1.yahoo.com
    The return address says zendesk, the mail came through a zendesk server. Someone else isn't faking it, its actually coming from where the mail says it's from.

    All of this stuff doesn't matter too too much. Depending on circumstances, the Message-ID may be useful but the rest of it you can programatically changed when you're sending the email.

    So from the information above, I would be confident in claiming that the email message actually came from the source that the message claims to be from.
    Now with the spam mail in question, you'll need to check to see if it actually came from your system in a similar manner. If it did, then there's a chance that your computer is infected and is sending out spam to your contact list.
    But if it turns out that the mail didn't come from your system/network/ISP, then just tell the person that got it to delete it without opening any attachments. That's all that you can do.
  18. Jun 13, 2014 #17
    Thanks for your example.

    1)Is the last two characters tell you what country it comes from?

    2) So I should compare the "From" to the "Message ID" to see whether there is inconsistency?

    3) What if they all from US? Do I compare "20140421074824.30855116D180@mail.imagix" in the "Message ID" with " HM Revenue & Customs <service@paypal.co.uk>" in the "From"?

    Any other hint?

    Thanks for your help.
  19. Jun 13, 2014 #18
    1) Yes, the last bit of a hostname tells you where the address is from. In the example that AlephZero presented, the From field was service@paypal.co.uk
    anything.co.uk means this address is from the United Kingdom.
    google.ca means the address is from Canada
    .ru is Russia, .fr is France, .in is India, etc.
    It's an easy way to identify where the address is located.

    2) This email claims it's from the United Kingdom (the From field) but the Message ID shows that the message in fact originated in France. Someone deliberately changed the From address. This is a very good indication that something fishy is going on.

    3) The first part of the message ID (before the @) is usually just a timestamp. in the example:

    20140421074824 is:
    Year 2014
    Month 04
    Day 21
    Hour: 07
    Min: 48
    Sec: 24

    I don't know what the 2nd part(.30855116D180) the server added was. The important bit is the stuff after the @ sign as it is the domain that the sending server belongs to. This will let you know more about the origin of the message.
  20. Jun 13, 2014 #19
    So back to using my example:

    From PreSonus Audio Electronics Mon Jun 9 13:01:33 2014
    X-Apparently-To: ******@yahoo.com via 12.34.567.890; Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:01:35 +0000
    Return-Path: <support@presonus.zendesk.com>
    Received-SPF: pass (domain of presonus.zendesk.com designates as permitted sender)

    Received: from (EHLO out1.pod2.sac1.zdsys.com) (
    by mta1535.mail.ne1.yahoo.com with SMTPS; Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:01:34 +0000
    Received: from zendesk.com (work2.pod2.sac1.zdsys.com [])
    by out1.pod2.sac1.zdsys.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id AB88B780031
    for <******@yahoo.com>; Mon, 9 Jun 2014 20:01:33 +0000 (UTC)
    From: PreSonus Audio Electronics <support@presonus.zendesk.com>
    Reply-To: PreSonus Audio Electronics <support+id186630@presonus.zendesk.com>
    To: Me <******@yahoo.com>
    Message-ID: <Z9N1S1G3_5396129d43c15_eee3fd05c0b340490107f_sprut@zendesk.com>
    In-Reply-To: <Z9N1S1G3@zendesk.com>

    So that's the two lines to compare? I don't see what country it comes from. I know they are from us.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2014
  21. Jun 13, 2014 #20
    I am trying to learn. This is from att.net. It is different. This is a legitimate email. What do I look for?

    From Weber Orders Desk Fri Jun 13 09:47:28 2014
    X-Apparently-To: *****@yahoo.com via 12.345.768.566; Fri, 13 Jun 2014 16:47:35 +0000
    Return-Path: <orders@weberorders.com>
    Received-SPF: neutral ( 246.345.21.90 is neither permitted nor denied by domain of weberorders.com)

    X-Originating-IP: [246.345.21.90]
    Authentication-Results: mta1024.sbc.mail.ne1.yahoo.com from=weberorders.com; domainkeys=neutral (no sig); from=weberorders.com; dkim=pass (ok)
    Received: from qproxy1-pub.mail.unifiedlayer.com) (EHLO mta1024.sbc.mail.ne1.yahoo.com) (246.345.21.90)
    by mta1024.sbc.mail.ne1.yahoo.com with SMTP; Fri, 13 Jun 2014 16:47:34 +0000
    Received: (qmail 22416 invoked by uid 0); 13 Jun 2014 16:47:34 -0000
    Received: from unknown (HELO cmgw3) (
    by qproxy1.mail.unifiedlayer.com with SMTP; 13 Jun 2014 16:47:34 -0000
    Received: from host118.hostmonster.com ([])
    by cmgw3 with
    id DsnX1o0032ZoPqa01sna6j; Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:47:34 -0600
    Received: from localhost ([]:47108 helo=host118.hostmonster.com)
    by host118.hostmonster.com with esmtp (Exim 4.82)
    (envelope-from <orders@weberorders.com>)
    id 1WvUdW-0008Nk-TF
    for ]*****@yahoo.com; Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:47:30 -0600
    Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:47:28 -0600
    To: Alan < ]*****@yahoo.com >
    X-Autorespond: Re: Weber Speakers Order # 70560
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    X-Loop: Alan < ]*****@yahoo.com >
    Precedence: auto_reply
    X-Precedence: auto_reply
    From: "Weber Orders Desk" <orders@weberorders.com>
    Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8
    Subject: Your order / email to Weber
    X-Identified-User: {:host118.hostmonster.com:weberord:weberorders.com} {sentby:program running on server}
    Content-Length: 694

    Can you tell me what to look for? Where do you learn all these, any book or link you can suggest?

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2014
  22. Jun 13, 2014 #21


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    In theory - yes. In reality - often yes, sometimes not. All it tells is where the domain was registered, it doesn't tell anything about where the server is nor who owns it. These days you can register your domain in almost any country with just a few clicks.

    Edit: beware, while posting headers you have posted your email addresses, you don't want to do that. Edited them out (replaced with *****), I hope I have not missed anything.
  23. Jun 13, 2014 #22
    Thanks, I actually change the email address already.
  24. Jun 13, 2014 #23


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    Ah, OK. Still, as long as you change it to something that is quite likely to be a real address, you may be doing a disservice to the original owner.
  25. Jun 13, 2014 #24
    .com addresses are almost all located in the US. The reason they are not .us is because those sites were the first on the scene. They didn't need to identify they were from the US, all of them were from the US. Kind of like the UK post office, they don't specify their name because they were the first post office. Every other country needs to say it's name.

    From: PreSonus Audio Electronics <support@presonus.zendesk.com>
    Message-ID: <Z9N1S1G3_5396129d43c15_eee3fd05c0b340490107f_sprut@zendesk.com>

    The from field says it's from @presonus.zendesk.com
    The MessageID (server says) it came from a @zendesk.com system. I'd be confident based on that the email came from where it says it came from

    Basically, this is what you need to do when you suspect an email is phishing or scam. The contents of the email will be your first clue. Check the links, often the text is different from the actual link specified.
    Google the domain names listed to see who/what they are, if they have a website, etc.
    In this header we have:

    Weberorders are a Speaker Sales
    Hostmonster is one of the domains the mail went through
    same for unifiedlayer and finally arrived at yahoo.

    Since this is a commercial website, it's possible that the website was registered through the hostmonster service, they offer webspace and email services.

    Do a Whois on the domain names to see if it's registered by an actual company or just some random person. A couple searches gave me this

    The website info matches what the email says (your subject line was Re: Weber Speakers Order # 70560)

    But there is one thing that I thought was very strange
    X-Originating-IP: [246.345.21.90]
    Received: from qproxy1-pub.mail.unifiedlayer.com) (EHLO mta1024.sbc.mail.ne1.yahoo.com) (246.345.21.90)

    This is not a valid IP address, the 2nd octet is 345. I'm assuming you changed this. Otherwise I don't know what's going on with this.
  26. Jun 13, 2014 #25


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    Here's a site that will help you. On the home page, there's a link to help you trace where an email came from.

    What's my IP Address?

    If you just have the name and don't know the IP Address, you can figure it out by pinging the server. Open a command prompt and type something like this:

    ping www.cnn.com

    The numbers that come back are the IP Address.
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