Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Emails sending automatically from Hotmail sounds suspiciously like a hack. Or maybe it is something on your computer.

Hey, Leo. I have new issue: every Tuesday, Hotmail sends out the same message to about six of my contacts automatically. How do I stop this? These contacts must think I'm an idiot.

In this excerpt from Answercast #11, I become suspicious about activity coming out of a Hotmail account and look at ways to protect your account.

Unwanted emails to your contacts?

No, they probably don't think you're an idiot. They probably think as I do that your email account has been probably been hacked.

What I would recommend you do immediately is change your password and change everything that could be used for a password recovery associated with your Hotmail account.

Changing your security information

I actually have an article on that called "Is changing my password enough?"

The short answer there is "No."

Compromised computer

The only other thing that comes to mind (since this is a Hotmail account, it's not as likely) is perhaps if you're accessing Hotmail via an email program, rather than the web; there's some form of malware on your PC or some kind of problem with the email program that you're using.

Fundamentally, this still feels like a hacked email account and that's the approach I would suggest you take.

If it continues after securing your account further, then I would start to look into other ways that your email account is being accessed: if you are indeed using a PC-based email program.

Next - Can I save my original system restore point?

Article C5237 - April 22, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
April 22, 2012 11:09 PM

My wife's email hotmail/live got hacked a recently. A nasty thing called Backdoor:PHP/C99 a Trojan virus.
It took over her live mail account and sent out spam emails to everybody. I downloaded MS Standalone Sweeper on another computer to disk and ran it on her comput. Took almost five hours but it did find and get rid of the bug. I loaded Bitdefender Internet Security on her comput as she had been using Mcafee which didn't catch the bug. It tried to get back in but Bitdefender caught it. It did a lot of nasty things while in the comput. Files went missing and others got moved around. Some programs got loaded on that shouldn't have been there. Whomever took control also hacked our wireless modem and messed with it as well. It took three to four days to get rid of it totally.

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