a news service, fact checker and rumor debunker all on one website.

The iRumor Mill - Because you can't believe everything you read on the Internet!

Your source for the truth about Conspiracy Theories, Internet Rumors, Scams and Warnings
Home About  Subscriptions Contact us Social Media Site & Privacy Notice  FAQ Virus Virus Protection

Short eMails with a Link, Bots and Spam Zombies

Short eMails that say "check this out" or "here is the information you requested" and have a link for you to click. Determination: Real

This is not really a virus but more of what is called in the computer world a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP), Bot or Spam Zombie. These send massive amounts of emails from rouge running computer while the owners are totally unaware. It isn't the end of the world if you are affected but it could be embarrasing.

According to Dell' Sonic Wall, "It is estimated that there are up to 150 million compromised computer systems Zombies, spread throughout the globe."

If you get such a "bot" email do not click the link. It could simply be a spam that sends you to a website adverting a product or it could send you to a website that could potentially infect your computer with malware. 

Spam Zombies have been around since 2006 but really went viral on the Internet around 2011.

You will know you have one when some of your email contacts reply and ask you about it. The problem may or may not be in your personal computer. Some advanced versions have hacked into the mail servers at AOL and Yahoo.

How to solve the problem

If you think your computer is infected go to your Internet Service Provider configuration, change your email password and run a full virus scan of your computer system.  Windows users should also make sure their vulnerabilities protection is up to date. This is done by going to the system folder in the control panel and running Windows Update.

If your online email server (Yahoo, AOL, etc.) is affected, simply change the password.
Note: If the traffic is heavy, Yahoo will deactivate your email until you have changed your password. When you try to access your email, you will be taken to another page. This usually happens at the most inconvenient time. Don't panic, it is an easy process.

Need anti-virus software? Click the Virus Protection link at the top of this page.


2014 iRumor Mill