Author Topic: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender  (Read 9584 times)

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John Barleycorn

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Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
« on: July 08, 2011, 12:53:05 PM »
At the recommendation of a message I received when attempting to reply to a previous posting regarding this topic I am beginning anew.  Emails with the wording detailed in the Subject line as well as variations on the theme have been flooding one of my inboxes for weeks.  I only check email in the morning on my dial-up internet connection and the email count varies from ten or twelve to hundreds.  Today was four hundred and fifty of these emails.  The largest count was sixteen hundred and seven.  My emails are downloaded to Outlook.  There are two email addresses and these emails are only coming to one of them.  Is there anything that can be done?  I have the Avast! Internet Security (upgraded from the free one) but regardless of the type of scan I run (boot-time, full, etc) it can find nothing wrong.  Does AIS block/search out these types of issues and fix them?

Also, for the past two days when booting up the computer I receive a message from Avast! stating that my system is not protected.  When I click to discover what this is I find that my Real-Time Shields have been turned off, and not by me.  I click FIX NOW and they turn back on, but I wonder if something sinister is lurking in my machine.

Obviously I'm not well-versed in these issues and would appreciate any help or guidance that anyone could provide.  There was a recommended action regarding IP address in the other posting but I did not understand it.  Thank you in advance for any advice anyone can offer.

Offline Left123

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Re: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 01:52:18 PM »
You are sending spam messages.Change your password.
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John Barleycorn

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Re: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 02:18:55 PM »
My apologies.  I have already had my password changed.  There was no effect on the incoming return emails.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 05:07:27 PM »
My guess is that your email address, rather than your email account is being used as the from email address in spam listing. Any spam that is bounced or fails delivery is sent back to the from address, this is to easily faked, you can effectively put any email address in the From address.

Presumably you aren't using webmail (?), which if someone had hacked/guessed your username/password they could be sending out email unknown to you.

Since you changed your password with no change in effect, that would tend to support my guess above. As it is unlikely that it would be using your email account or email program.

However, if you only use Outlook (are you talking outlook express ?) to send and receive email then the avast Mail Shield (set the sensitivity to High, do that now) should detect multiple identical email in a period of time. Your firewall (?) should also provide a level of protection by not allowing unauthorised outbound connections.

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As  Dial-up user I would suggest that you investigate getting an anti-spam program that is capable of a) detecting spam or b) marking suspect emails for deletion. This deletion is done at email server level before calling your email program to download only the remaining clean (not bounced emails), this would save you a lot of hassle having to download all this cr*p over a dial-up connection before deleting them.

I use a program called MailWasher Pro and whilst this is a paid for product has been great for me over the years when I too was using dial-up; I have only had broadband for a little over 7 months.

MailWasher doesn't download the complete email to do its analysis, it only downloads the headers, a small part of the body (user configurable), it doesn't download images or attachments and it views what is downloaded in text mode only.

There are free anti-spam options, google for them and see if they work independent of your email program, e.g. they filter the spam at email server level before actually download the remainder on outlook.
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John Barleycorn

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Re: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 02:05:39 PM »
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.  My email shield is already set (and has been) at the 'high' level.  The firewall is at the default (medium risk) zone.  I was under the impression that AIS also combated malware and such.  The Avast news service link on the bottom of the Summary page states- Avast software Twenty years in pursuit of malware.  At any rate, thank you for the recommendation of the Mailwasher program or similar.  I use regular Outlook and not Outlook express to download my emails.  This dial-up connection is currently connected at 26.4kbps so I obviously don't do much surfing or internet browsing or most especially downloading.  I will investigate the additional program but in the meantime if there are any other measures or settings that I ought to employ, please let me know.  Today there were 1858 emails.  Thank you.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 03:45:56 PM »
The avast firewall works in conjunction with the other shields, but as far as unauthorised outbound connections go that would down to the firewall as it would be pretty hard to determine if the connection were malicious.

That is where the other shields come in if you had a hidden/undetected spambot on your system, the mail shield monitoring the email ports (before it gets to the firewall) could identify the multiple identical emails. The likelihood is that it also wouldn't be using your email program (most have their own very small SMTP function), that could be an unknown application or one that hasn't previously been authorised for outbound connections. Here the firewall might come into effect.

So there are multiple checks that would hopefully pick up on spam being actually sent from your system and why my guess that your email address, not email account, or your ISP would likely be contacting you also.

In all honesty, you don't want to be downloading 1500+ emails just to filter them (aside from the fact it could take ages on dial-up), then you have to delete them. I don't use Outlook, so I don't know if there is anything that would allow filtering/deletion at email server level (but I would doubt it). It would totally depend on how much of a pain in the rear it is and how much time it takes to deal with each day, as to the benefit of having a program do it.

####
If you haven't already got this software (freeware) for a secondary scanner/opinion that your system is clean, download, install, update and run it and report the findings (it should product a log file).
MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM), On-Demand only in free version http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/malwarebytes/mbam-setup.exe, right click on the link and select Save As or Save File (As depending on your browser), save it to a location where you can find it easily later.
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Re: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 06:51:08 PM »
My apologies.  I have already had my password changed.  There was no effect on the incoming return emails.

Well, as you don't hide your email on the forum, such things can easily happen.
Better hide it. ;)
And btw, also on all forums, social networks, etc.. you're subscribed..!
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