Spam Spam Spam Spam

My brother got hisself hacked, and I get daily emails from ‘him’ that are beyond stupid. The entire content is typically:

“Hey, what’s up! Let’s party tonight! LOL!”


“I made and extra $1000 this week!”


  1. What can he do to fix this?

  2. What the hell are the hackers accomplishing? Simply being annoying?

Heh. I (didn’t) get a over 300 spam emails today.

As I say in that thread, I have a spamblocker (as part of my email account) that automatically deletes emails from blocked senders and domains. They’re just gone, and I wouldn’t know about them except for a report that lists the addresses, subject, date, and reason why they were blocked. If your brothers email provider has such a feature, he can set it to the ‘high’ setting so that he doesn’t receive them.

But it sounds like receiving spam isn’t the problem. It sounds like someone is spoofing his address. I don’t know if there’s any way to fix that. On rare occasions I get spam from ‘me’. I suspect that your brother’s (and my, and zillions of other people’s) address is on an email list that was sold, and spammers take valid addresses from the list when they spoof the Sender address.

Yeah, but then I won’t get his legit emails.

I think the only sure fire way for him to fix this is to terminate the infected account and start a new one.

Yes, that’s the problem. That part of the post was about blocking, rather than what your brother can do to stop it. It’s possible that after a brief burst of activity it will die down, as the spammer moves to another spoof address.

I assume this is an online email account, like hotmail or AOL, and the spam is being sent to you because you are in his address book.

Has he changed his password?

The spammer does not have to hack into your brother’s account to spoof his e-mail address. They just gather addresses from all over the web – millions of them – and then pick one address at random as the"sender." In that case, they will die down eventually.

Sometimes they do hack an account to send spam; a password change will fix that. But a growing scam is to send a e-mail to everyone in the address book saying that the “sender” desperately needs money (usually because he was robbed while in London).

But if it is simply spoofing the sender address, the spammmer has no access to the address book. It would be quite a coincidence if the spammer spoofed the sender address, and also sent it to the spoofed sender’s brother.

would this work:?
ask your brother to remove you from his address book. Would that stop the spam bot from finding you?
When he wants to send you a legit email, he’ll have to type your address from memory.
But hey, he’s your brother- I’ll bet he knows your name.So he can probably remember your address ,too.

We had a problem last weekend with our email accounts being spoofed (sorry to anyone here who got some crap from “us” because of it) - we changed all our passwords, and, fingers crossed, it seems to have stopped the problem. It wasn’t even sending to people in my address book - it seemed to just be grabbing anything that looked like an email address. So yeah, first step is change all your passwords.

This was on macs, too, by the way.

Are there links to click in the message? If so they may want to infect your machine. Otherwise, yours seem like strange annoyances, but much spam is instead (very) cheap advertising.

My proposed solution is to develop some sort of Internet micro-money, with sender paying one penny to each sendee. This would have no effect on normal users – they’d just be trading the same penny back and forth as they replied, or sending 52 cents of micro-money once a year to subscribe to a free weekly newsletter – but would eliminate spam.

Implementing this would be a big challenge but hardly insurmountable. At some point in time Gmail et al would provide a new checkbox: “Reject any message with no penny enclosed.”

Many people are leaving Yahoo because of them having given up a ton of addresses and passwords. The fix is to change that account and go elsewhere.

I looked at them again and determined:

They all contain a clickable link (which I know not to click on).

He has a Hotmail account.
Thanks for the replies.

Have him check the ‘Sent’ items folder; if the spam appears there, a password change should stop the problem.

Not necessarily: if they already have the guy’s address book, they can keep spoofing stuff to him.

In my experience, the ones that hijack mail accounts instead of spoofing do it to actually use the account, not just steal the address book. But, yeah, it could happen.