#1  
Old 08-12-2019, 11:49 AM
Mislav is offline
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Email spoofing spam


I recently received a "Delivery failed" email saying that the message sent from my email address couldn't be delivered to a recipient. However, I never tried sending that email from my account. I checked the "Sent" folder. There were no records of it there. Nothing in the trash folder either. I scanned my phone and computer for viruses. Nothing.

I did some research and found out this could be the case of email spoofing:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_spoofing

Some people have talked about it on Reddit and Straight Dope:

https://www.reddit.com/r/LiveOverflo...l_from_myself/

https://www.reddit.com/r/ProtonMail/...version_of_my/

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=859036

Is that dangerous? Will my e-mail be tagged as spam? Can something be done about that? I only received one of those "Delivery failed" messages so far.

I tagged the message as Spam and then deleted it.
  #2  
Old 08-12-2019, 12:07 PM
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Atamasama is offline
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Naw, chances are that it was set up that way specifically to trick you into thinking you sent the original message. It gives it a false veneer of legitimacy. It’s unlikely to spread from there or have any other consequences.

While email spoofing is a thing, you’re unlikely to be specifically used as the spoofed sender for messages being sent to others, because what advantage would that give a spammer?
  #3  
Old 08-12-2019, 12:14 PM
Joey P is offline
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Just delete it and move on. Yes, it's very possible it's a trick, hoping to get you to click on a link (or even just to get something to load when you open the email). It's also possible an email was sent with your name as the sender, so it bounced back to your email address. IME, when that happens, it's not usually a few, it's thousands or 10's of thousands of emails bouncing back to you.

In either case, if you didn't send it, don't give it too much thought.

Having said all that, if failed deliveries are to people you know, you may want to change your password.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:51 PM
Mislav is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Just delete it and move on. Yes, it's very possible it's a trick, hoping to get you to click on a link (or even just to get something to load when you open the email). It's also possible an email was sent with your name as the sender, so it bounced back to your email address. IME, when that happens, it's not usually a few, it's thousands or 10's of thousands of emails bouncing back to you.

In either case, if you didn't send it, don't give it too much thought.

Having said all that, if failed deliveries are to people you know, you may want to change your password.
Thank you for the replies. No, I haven't received any "Delivery failed" messages about the people I know. The only "Delivery failed" message I have received said that I tried sending an email to some weird e-mail address I've never seen before.

I was just worried that others may receive spam with my email address in the header and report it as spam, and that that could result in my account being blacklisted or something, since it would appear that I've been sending spam. But I never heard of that happening with email spoofing spam.

Should I report that spam somewhere? Or change my password?

I have only received one "Delivery failed" email. I haven't noticed anything weird in "Sent" or "Trash" folder, no missing emails from my inbox. I don't have any problems logging in my email account.
  #5  
Old 08-12-2019, 01:12 PM
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If the failed deliveries are to people you know, then you want to tell all of your friends (or at least, people in that particular circle of friends) to check their security. One plausible scenario is that malware got on someone else's machine, and the malware then scraped up a list of e-mail addresses from that machine, and used one of them as the "from" line and sent it out to all the rest of them.

Just a reminder: E-mail "from" lines and caller ID identification have the same security as the return address up in the corner of an envelope: That is to say, none. I could write anything I wanted in the corner of an envelope, and I could put anything I wanted in as the from line of an e-mail. Nobody who got a mysterious envelope in their mailbox with their address in the upper left and a big red "Insufficient Postage" stamp over it would think that someone had stealthily taken over control of their mailbox, or had the keys to their house. What happened to you is just like that.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:59 PM
Mislav is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
If the failed deliveries are to people you know, then you want to tell all of your friends (or at least, people in that particular circle of friends) to check their security. One plausible scenario is that malware got on someone else's machine, and the malware then scraped up a list of e-mail addresses from that machine, and used one of them as the "from" line and sent it out to all the rest of them.

Just a reminder: E-mail "from" lines and caller ID identification have the same security as the return address up in the corner of an envelope: That is to say, none. I could write anything I wanted in the corner of an envelope, and I could put anything I wanted in as the from line of an e-mail. Nobody who got a mysterious envelope in their mailbox with their address in the upper left and a big red "Insufficient Postage" stamp over it would think that someone had stealthily taken over control of their mailbox, or had the keys to their house. What happened to you is just like that.
Thank you for the reply. None of the failed deliveries are to the people I know. Actually, I have only received one Delivery failed e-mail.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:29 AM
Mislav is offline
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OK, I'm really worried now. I tried logging into my account today. The notification said that there has been some irregular activity related to my account and that I should change my password. I did, and everything seems to be working fine now. But I'm really worried. Has my email account been hacked? Or have they noticed spam being sent from my (spoofed) email and wanted me to take precaution? Once I logged into my account with a new password I noticed I've received three more "Delivery failed" messages. None from the people I know, and none of them are in my "Sent" folder.
  #8  
Old 08-13-2019, 07:32 AM
Mislav is offline
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Any advice?
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:08 PM
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The spam might be targeted at you. Are there suspicious links in it? The spammer might be trying to get around your own spam filter by using a backscatter attack. You might be more likely to click on links in an email you think you forgot that you sent. You've changed your password, that's probably the best thing at the moment. I'd tell your mail provider about this, create a custom spam filter, and forget about it.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2019, 05:15 PM
Hari Seldon is offline
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It's happened to me a couple times that I get a slew (dozens) of such messages all in a row. My assumption is that some spammer is sending emails, presumably phishing, spoofing my email address. Nowadays, spammers don't want a reply; they want you to click on a link. Just delete them.
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