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Thread: Zombie...?

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    Bronze Lounger
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    Zombie...?

    My son-in-law is stationed with the US Army in Korea, and my wife and I use e-mail to stay in touch with him. Yesterday we both sent him messages that bounced back. We re-sent the messages, but they again bounced. The error message we get says something to the effect that the Comcast e-mail server in California has gotten many complaints about spam originating from "this IP address." Sorry, I don't have access to the exact wording at this moment.)

    I take the message to mean that the problem is with my son-in-law's IP address, not ours. Message we've sent to other people have gone through just fine. My hunch is that he may have allowed someone to use his machine as a zombie. I know he uses AV software on his laptop, but I'm not sure about his firewall. If we're dealing with a zombie, what is the cure? What should the owner of a zombie machine look for? That is, how would I discover that my computer is being misused this way?

    FWIW: My wife and I use separate Vista computers that share Internet access via a wireless network. Both machines have current AV and software firewall protection. Of course, the router has a hardware firewall. I can't describe the level of protection on my son-in-law's laptop, nor do I know how he connects to the Internet in Korea.

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Zombie...?

    Some one may have HiJacked his IP?
    I would definitely try to find out if he has a good firewall that also blocks OUTGOING traffic as well as inbound.
    The default WIndows firewall does NOT block outbound traffic.
    BOB
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    Re: Zombie...?

    If your security is up-to-date, and in particular if you have a firewall that monitors outgoing traffic as well as incoming traffic, it is unlikely that you have been infected.

    I get the impression that ISPs are currently trying very hard to clamp down on spam, and that they're overdoing it in some cases. My brother can't send messages to my Gmail account any more - Google rejects it as spam, it doesn't even end up in my Spam folder. E-mail notifications and digests from Woody's Lounge are increasingly being classified as spam too.

    Sometimes, the rejection e-mail contains a link to a web page where you can complain.

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Zombie...?

    I just had Comcast lock down my outgoing email port (25) without notification. I called to complain that I was unable to send anything and was told that they had locked the port and sent me an email about my address being used for spam. I never received the email and after a quick check, they confirmed that it had not, in fact, been received by me (they claimed it was a "glitch" in the email server). They told me that it would be impossible to unlock the port and that I would have to use another (587) and then walked me through the necessary setting changes. He may have to contact Comcast and get his email straightened out.
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Zombie...?

    Doc,
    That's REALLY GREAT.
    Comcast can lock down a port for your own emails ( on that premise that they sent you an email about it ) We told you so!
    THEN they can't unlock it? And THEY decide that you are sending Spam?

    Shades of Verizon!

    I'm not sure that I would let them get off so easy on that but that's your choice. <img src=/S/cranky.gif border=0 alt=cranky width=18 height=25> <img src=/S/scream.gif border=0 alt=scream width=15 height=15>
    BOB
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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Zombie...?

    Bob,

    My email works and I had to weigh the prospect of talking to a few "moron's with manuals" (aka - Support Personel) before I actually got someone on the phone with any real authority against letting it go and not wasting any more of my time. My personal feeling is that Comcast is simply "cleaning house" and forcing the issue of secured ports on subscribers. I don't much care as long as my email works. Too much trouble to fight city hall over an issue (the lost email) that they will deny ever occurred and I have no proof to the contrary except what is in their records (which I have no access to and they can alter as they please or simply deny). <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    But, I agree that it doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence in their business practices.
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