Frequently Asked Questions Regarding E-Mail

What is E-Mail Spoofing?

Answer:
Email spoofing refers to email that appears to have originated from one source when it was actually sent from another source. Individuals, who are sending “junk” email or “SPAM”, typically want the email to appear to be from an email address other than their own or one that may not exist. This way the email cannot be traced back to the originator.

There is no way to prevent receiving spoofed email. This is the equivalent of sending a letting via the US post office and forging the return address.

Remember that although your email address may have been spoofed this does not mean that the spoofer has gained access to your computer or mailbox.


Why are people getting e-mails from me that I didn’t send and why am I getting bounce back for e-mails that I didn’t send?

Answer:
Email-distributed viruses that use spoofing, such the Klez or Sobig virus, take a random name from somewhere on the infected person’s hard disk and mail themselves out as if they were from that randomly chosen address. Recipients of these viruses are therefore misled as to the address from which they were sent, and may end up complaining to, or alerting the wrong person. As a result, users of uninfected computers may be wrongly informed that they have, and have been distributing a virus.

If you receive an alert that you’re sending infected emails, first run a virus scan using McAfee. If you are uninfected, then you may want to reply to the infection alert with this information:

“Your virus may have appeared to have been sent by me, but I have scanned my system and I am not infected. A number of email-distributed viruses fake, or spoof, the ‘From’ address using a random address taken from the Outlook contacts list or from Web files stored on the hard drive.”

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