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Has Your Address Been Spoofed?

From NTBugTraq:

Most viruses these days use spoofed email addresses. As such, using an Anti-Virus product which automatically notifies the perceived sender of a message it believes is infected may well cause more harm than good. Someone who did not actually send you a virus may receive the notification and scramble their support staff to find an infection which never existed in the first place. Suggest such notifications be disabled by whomever is responsible for your AV, or at least that the idea is considered.

From WinXPNews:

Are you getting e-mail messages from administrators of other mail domains, notifying you that the messages you sent were undeliverable? When you open these, do you find that you never sent a message to the supposed recipient? Sometimes these messages indicate that you have a virus sending e-mail from your account without your knowledge. Other times, though, the mail didn't come from your account at all - instead, somebody spoofed your e-mail address and used it as their return address.

Either way, it's more than just an anomaly or an annoyance. If your address is used to send spam, it may be reported to various "spam cop" organizations, resulting in your address - or even your entire domain - being added to various public blacklists of known spammers. And that means the legitimate e-mail you send won't get through to a lot of recipients. Not a good situation. You can read more about how e-mail spoofing is done in my article at http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Email-Spoofing.html.

What can you do about it? The federal CAN SPAM Act makes it illegal to send unsolicited commercial e-mail with false or misleading headers (return addresses). Unfortunately, you can't prosecute someone for this or any other crime unless you know who the perpetrator is.

Okay, what if your name ends up on a black list? Is there anything you can do about that? The answer is: sometimes. There are many different black lists, so the first challenge is to find out which list(s) are identifying you as a spammer. There is a list of some black lists at http://www.email-policy.com/Spam-black-lists.htm. In some cases, you can write to those who maintain the lists and explain what happened and ask to have your address removed. Here is an article that contains info on how to get off of specific blacklists: http://www.emailtools.co.uk/tips/blacklists.htm. Have you been blacklisted? If others are telling you that your e-mails don't reach them, it might be because you're on a blacklist. Many ISPs use blacklists to block spam at the server level.



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