just got this crazy email from "firstname.lastname@example.org:"
<i>Dear user of crtc.gc.ca,
We have found that your account was used to send a huge amount of unsolicited e-mail during the recent week.
Most likely your computer had been infected by a recent virus and now runs a hidden proxy server.
Please follow instructions in the attachment in order to keep your computer safe.
Have a nice day,
The crtc.gc.ca support team. </i>
wtf? i thought this stuff was only for PC users...
No basis in this. Just indiscriminate spamming that doesn't get the "Mac" part of ".Mac".
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Mass-mailing worms often use a technique called "spoofing." When a mass-mailing worm performs its email routine, it randomly selects an email address from somewhere on the infected computer. It then uses that random email address in the From field, and emails an infected email to other email addresses it finds on the infected computer. There have been many cases reported to Symantec where users of Macintosh computers receive complaints that they sent an infected message to someone. Because the mass-mailing worm does not use the email address of the infected computer in the email it sends, there is no way to know where the infected email came from.
Example of email spoofing
Linda has a Windows-based computer infected with a mass-mailing worm. The mass-mailing worm creates a new email and searches Linda's computer for email addresses. The worm finds email addresses for Harold and Janet on Linda's computer and then inserts Harold's email address into the "From" field of the message, and Janet's email address into the "To" field. The worm then attaches itself to the email message and sends it to Janet. When Janet receives the message, her antivirus software tells her the message is infected with a virus. Janet contacts Harold, because his email address is in the "From" field, and complains that he sent her an infected message. When Harold scans his Macintosh with his antivirus software, no virus is detected. This is because his Macintosh does not have the virus, and he did not send the message to Janet. There is no way for Janet to know that the virus came from Linda's computer.
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It's obvious if you think about it, but worth mentioning that if you are being spoofed, then someone with your eMail address on their Windows system (someone you correspond with or have in the past) is infected. Sometimes knowing this can help you track down who that might be, and if you care you could warn them to update & disinfect.
A lot of the time there are just too many people who might fall under that, but if your eMail address isn't widely known it can provide some clues.