If you've been receiving spam from a friend with a Hotmail account, or you own the Hotmail account that is sending out spam, please read the info below from Microsoft:
Recent reports of Account hijacks
This solution article provides information about the increase in reports that we have received about accounts been hijacked and spam mails been sent to customer's contact list without customer's knowledge.
Hotmail is seeing instances of accounts being "hijacked" by spammers who send emails out advertising an electronics website. The spam mails usually have subjects like "Good shopping good mood" and may go to your contact list in addition to a random list of emails. Indications that this is happening to you may include you being required to match the characters in the picture (to verify that you're a person and not an automated program) to send mails when you reach your limits.
Some of the other symptoms that our customers have noticed are:
- Deleted contacts
- Safe sender's list is deleted
- Deletion of Junk messages is set to "Immediately"
- Junk Mail Settings is set to "Exclusive"
The last symptom would prevent messages from being delivered to your Inbox. If you would like to change the Junk Mail Filter settings, visit this Solution Article for the steps.
Some of the other account setting that might be affected by this issue is your Signature.
To know how to delete the Signature that appears on your e-mail, follow these steps:
1. In the upper-right corner of the Windows Live Hotmail home page, click "Options" and then click "More options"
2. Under Customize your mail, click "Personal e-mail signature"
3. Delete the text or any image in the signature box, and then click "Save."
Note that you will still be able to login, and are in fact, "sharing" your account with the spammer.
Hotmail believes that this may be due to one of these reasons:
1. The user has fell victim to some type of phishing scheme - either they replied to an email threatening to close their account if they didn't provide their password, or they went to a website that looked like the Hotmail login page and provided their password.
If you have access to your account, we recommend that you change your password and secret question and answer immediately.
If you have lost access to your account, click here to regain access.
2. A virus on a computer that you have used to login to Hotmail at some point in the past.
If you login and see in your "sent items" folder mails that you haven't sent, or receive Non Delivery reports (NDRs) in your inbox, we recommend that you scan your computer for viruses and malware using a reliable Antivirus product (click here to go to Microsoft's anti-virus page). Once your computer has been cleaned, immediately change your current password to a "strong" password. Click here to know how to create a strong password.
The worm/virus sends various messages that entice users to click on a malicious link that leads to a Web site. Clicking on the said link downloads a copy of the worm onto message recipients' computers. Upon download, it then gathers e-mail addresses saved on the recipient's computer and sends itself out to all of those addresses.
There are a number of ways you can protect your computer against these viruses:
- Obtain the most recent virus definitions. You can visit your anti-virus company's website or call them to get more information.
- Be cautious about opening messages that contain links to websites.
- Be cautious when opening embedded links. Point your mouse cursor on the link and look at the underlying URL that displays in your browser status bar at the bottom and ensure that the URL makes sense for what the link states. Never login from one of these links. If a link directs you to login to a service that you use, instead go to that service by accessing the services website directly from your browser and not use the embedded link.
- Do not open attachments unless you are expecting them.
- Download the latest Microsoft updates frequently. To download the latest updates for Microsoft software, please visit the following links:
If you feel that a virus has already infected your computer, you can get online support (or toll-free telephone support in the U.S. and Canada) for security-related issues such as viruses and security updates from the Microsoft Security Help and Support Team. Please click on the link below:
For more information on how you can protect your computer, please click on the link below:
In addition, to ensure the security of your Hotmail account, we highly recommend that you change your Hotmail password and Secret Question. To do this, please follow the steps below:
To change your Hotmail password, sign in to https://account.live.com and select the "Change" option next to Password. Or if you want a direct link, you can go directly to the Change Password Page.
To change your Secret Question, click here.
Please ensure that you have updated your passport profile information as much complete as possible including your alternate email address. The more complete and more recent this information is, the better chance we have of assisting you in the event your account gets compromised.
We want to assure you that your security and protection online is our top priority and we are dedicated to help you obtain support for security-related issues such as viruses and security updates.