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Possible pc virus question.
Old 02-15-2012, 07:31 AM   #1
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Possible pc virus question.

About 3 weeks ago we received an email that was apparently send by us, with garbled text and most of the people in our Outlook email address in the body of the message. Couple days later we received messages from friends in our email list stating that there anti virus program picked up spam that was sent by us. The tittle of the email is "Hey, I found this great opportunity".

I have the Avira Anti Virus running all the time with automatic updates and regular scans for viruses and did another scan and it picked up one Virus which it automatically quarantined. I thought all was ok, but about 2 hrs later I received another "Hey, I found this great opportunity" in our inbox and friends also stated they received new messages with the same title. I then purchased Norton Anti Virus and did a complete scan and it showed up nothing. I have both the Avira and Norton running all the time and did two more complete thorough virus scans yesterday night and it showed nothing other then cookies. Today I get more of the same messages re "Hey, I found this great opportunity" and friends stated they received more today.

Any idea what my options are since two different Anti Virus programs are not picking up any viruses? My pc runs normal expect it's really slow now, possibly due to running two Anti Virus programs.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:43 AM   #2
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Sounds like your email account got hacked. That would not necessarily be caused by a virus being planted onto your PC (what yours found may just be a coincidence). Twice this happened to my friend last year. His email provider suspended his account until he could reset his password each time. When he got back in, he found the same email sent to everyone (including me) in his address book. We ran antivirus and anti-spyware scans (they do slow your system)which found nothing unusual beyond cookies.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:47 AM   #3
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It may have nothing to do with a virus. If someone hacked into your account through the on-line portal, they can send emails as you.

Change your password, make it a strong one.

edit - cross posted with scrabbler1 - we have a consensus!

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:51 AM   #4
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Email hacking as you describe is quite common - I've had it happen twice to my Yahoo! account. Be happy the scumbag behind it didn't send out an email to all your contacts telling them you were in a Mexican jail and needed $300 wired to a specified address immediately.

It isn't likely it had anything to do with any spyware or virus on your computer.

Change your password on the email account is about the only action you can take.

EDIT: Third time is the charm!
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
It may have nothing to do with a virus. If someone hacked into your account through the on-line portal, they can send emails as you.
Correction - *anyone* can send e-mails as you. The Internet e-mail protocols essentially tell the receiving computer to believe the return address written on the back of the envelope. It's fairly easy for a person - and utterly trivial for a computer - to send e-mails "from", or whoever you want.

A standard feature of mass-mailing malware is to go through the address book - or even just trawl all the files on the PC - on the infected machine, and extract all the addresses. Then it picks one at random for "from". So for example if you are in the US and I am in France, and you know someone in Poland who once visited a Web page with my e-mail address on it, and the person in Poland gets a virus, it can send mails "from" you "to" me. You and I go nuts trying to work out what's happening, and the real problem is in Poland.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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1. Change your password. Try some really strong one and use a mnemonic. Like a sentence you can remember, like: “I own 2 Fords and 3 TVs”= Io2Fa3TV
2. Change your security questions.
3. Make your secondary email be on Google if your hacked account is Yahoo.
4. Delete your cookies, the hacker has probably copied them.
5. Virus scan but it will likely not see anything since it’s not a Virus or Worm.
6.After doing these, I'd create another Yahoo account and import your contacts.
There are a few other options but the above should stop the hacker.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help everyone and I appreciate you laying it out for me Zero. I'm going to take all your advice and maybe step it up a notch by reformatting this weekend. I just need to back everything up first.
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