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Indiana Office of Technology

IOT > Security > Matters of Interest > Spoofing Spoofing

”Hey, I never sent a message to this address!”

IOT has received numerous reports from individuals concerned about “undeliverable” message notifications from addresses to which they did not send a message. The cause is most likely a SPAMMER. Here is a common scenario:

  1. SPAM sender gets your email address from a Web page listing you as an Indiana contact.
  2. SPAM sender prepares message to send to thousands of addresses and plugs your address into the "From:" field (called "spoofing”).
  3. The message, appearing to be from you, goes to thousands of addresses.
  4. Some of the addresses are incorrect. The receiving mail system sends back a reply to the address it mistakenly believes sent the message (yours).
  5. You call IOT Customer Service or IOT Security to report the e-mail.

Example Message

From: Mail Delivery System [mailto:MAILER-DAEMON@xxyyzz.com]
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 9:39 AM
To: Doe, John
Subject: Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender

This is the mail system at host mx2.xxyyzz.com.

I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below. For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster. If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.

The mail system