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Prso9
On our wavelength
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Message 1 of 7
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Email Hacked

I know this is an ongoing problem, which is really annoying and I hope VM can do something about this very soon as I have changed my password 3 times and it's still happening.

I've had my ntlworld account for 15 years and it's only in the last maybe 8 months that I've had this problem and it is extremely annoying to me as I get numerous undelivered emails a day plus people are receiving emails from me that aren't actually from me.

What I have noticed is that some people in my work that are receiving these emails from 'me', I have never actually emailed them from my ntlworld email address nor do I have them in my address book, so why would they be receiving these emails?

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Superuser
Superuser
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Message 2 of 7
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Re: Email Hacked

Ever sent a work email to your ntl account?

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coenoby
Fibre optic
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Message 3 of 7
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Re: Email Hacked

Or did one of your work colleagues send or cc an email to your ntlworld address from his work account at some point? If that email had a other work email addresses as cc's the spammers/spoofers will have the link they need.

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Wrock
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Message 4 of 7
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Re: Email Hacked

Hello Prso9,

You are a patient soul if you have been suffering with this problem for more than six months before filing a report.  It is a difficult, outrageous, and frightening problem. You are not alone - there are at least 450 people with Virgin Media accounts having the same experience, and thousands more at Yahoo!, TalkTalk and a number of other email providers.

If you log in to your Virgin Media account using web mail, and search for the email addresses of your work colleagues, I think you will find the work addresses somewhere in the account, probably as a CC or BCC on a message which was sent to you.  It could have been in a message sent years ago. 

Do you have these symptoms:

-You receive messages about emails which have not been delivered, messages which you have not sent.  If you look inside these messages for the subjects of the emails which were not delivered, in examples since mid-May, are the subjects in the list in Table 2 on this web page?

 http://wardinewrock.blogspot.com/2015/09/email-sent-under-my-name-not-from-me.html

-The messages which your work colleagues are receiving are short, contain a link which is different every time, and a little bit of text asking them to click on the link.  Over time, your colleagues have received a number of these messages spaced weeks apart.  Between October 2015 and early May 2016, the subject of these messages were likely to be "Fw: new message", "Fw: important message", or "Fw: new important message".

If so, what has happened is that some point in the past, shortly before the problem started, spammers obtained access to your account and collected every single address that was present in the account, not just your address book and addresses you have sent email to, but anything that looked like an email address, for example, email addresses for one-time online shopping receipts sent to you.  After they collected this list of your correspondents, the spammers have been storing your address collection and using the list periodically.  They log into an account which is not yours, and send spam to your correspondents, spam which has your email address attached as a false from address.

Virgin Media is not in a position to do much for you.  They may be able to give you more information about when the unauthorized access to your account occurred, especially if you have received a letter stating that the account may have been receiving spam, and that letter contained a reference number.  On the other hand, it has been many months since your addresses were stolen, and so Virgin Media may no longer have the server logs which would provide more information.  Other email providers who have had this problem on a large scale, such as AOL in April 2014, added additional protections to their email systems to further protect their users against spoofing and involved government cyber-crime experts to investigate the hacks further.  As far as I know, Virgin Media has not yet added additional spoofing protection such as DMARC to their servers.

And so you should take action.  The ongoing spam to your work colleagues is doing damage to your professional reputation, and these spammers are experts in fraud who are storing a list of every address that was in your account, leaving you open to identify theft and financial fraud.

Open a new email account.  I suggest a Google account because it has these protections against this sort of problem:

  • the ability to set a long complicated password
  • the ability to turn on two-step verification, so that it is not enough for someone to have your password to log into your account without your permission. Turn this on.
  • alerts if someone logs into your account from an unusual location, such as another country where you do not live.
  • spoofing protection.

As soon as you have the new email address set up, make a list of all the people who have email addresses in your old account and write to them.  Ask them to block all emails which arrive in their accounts from your old address because you will not be sending emails any longer from that address.  Only the spammers will...  Also ask them to forward examples of the spam to the United States Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov, an organization which is currently taking legal action against a similar spam and fraud operation.

-Wrock.

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malsiluk
Fibre optic
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Message 5 of 7
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Re: Email Hacked

Wrock,

Great post! Should be good reading for anyone else suffering from the spoofing problem. SHOULD also be good reading for the Virgin Media people on here. Might stop them posting the same stupid replies to new people who report this problem and pointing them at that outdated sticky from last October, that was never relevant to 99% of suffers anyway.

Interesting last sentence about the US people taking some action. Wish somebody in this country would take it seriously and hold people like Virgin Media to account for their careless attitude towards our private data!! The ICO have shown themselves to be a useless, toothless watchdog, despite many people reporting VM to them.

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JillA
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Message 6 of 7
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Re: Email Hacked

Both my husband and I have an ntlworld.com address. I receive my emails from this account via my googlemail account and have not experienced any issues whatsoever.

My husband on the other hand seems to be having the same ridiculous problems that have been described here to which Virgin can offer no practical solutions.

Is the answer as simple as setting up a gmail account and adding the ntlworld address as this is what has worked for me?

I hope this helps the rest of you that are suffering from this problem.

JillA

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malsiluk
Fibre optic
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Message 7 of 7
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Re: Email Hacked

Jill,

I have my @ntlworld emails now all directed to an Outlook.com email account and that filters out 99% of the junk that Virgin Media lets through.

I also have a Gmail account and that works fine. The truth is that Virgin seem incapable of running an email service themselves to an acceptable level. There have been some mild improvements of late, as least with the incorrect rejection of totally legitimate emails. (only after political intervention shamed them into action!)

You husbands best bet is to open a Gmail account and use it instead of any run by Virgin.