Query about Outlook Express message

Discussion in 'malware problems & news' started by bstarling, Oct 22, 2008.

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  1. bstarling

    bstarling Registered Member

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    This morning after logging in and leaving my computer to complete its startup routine I came back to find a message asking if "Outlook Express should compact its folders to recover disk space - Yes or No?"

    In my early morning half awake state, I scratched my head, said Yes.

    Then I started to think, what had provoked this message. I NEVER use Outlook Express, indeed when I loaded it up to see it started with its setup wizard and when I got into the program there were no messages in sight.

    I am now wondering if some Trojan/Keylogger has used it to mail results home.

    I have Spyware Doctor and NOD32 which I am doing some scanning with but I was just wondering if...
    A. Are there better products to scan with
    B. Has anyone heard of Outlook Express being used by a Trojan
    C. Any views on the possibility that this does indicate an infection.

    Thanks

    Bob.
     
  2. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    OE normally asks you to compact folders only after you have opened and closed Outlook Express 100 times. If you have never used OE, it means you have not configured it to either Send or Receive emails and also have not added a contact list to its address book, but now that you set it up, do this: go to Tools > Options > Security tab > click the Warn me when other applications try to send mail as me checkbox, if you don't see a green checkmark there.

    To eliminate any doubts, you should scan your PC with Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware free versions.
     
  3. bstarling

    bstarling Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advice - will do this.
     
  4. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    You're welcome. Let us know if you find anything during the scans. Take care.
     
  5. Eldar

    Eldar Registered Member

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    Hi Bob,
    I've never used OE, but the same applies to every email client out there. :)

    When you copy, move, delete mail from one mailbox, it's still present in that mailbox. Only a flag is set to your index file(s), so it won't show up.
    Once you compress (compact) your folders, those flagged messages are removed from the mailbox(es), thus it shrinks in size and your index file(s) will be refreshed.

    For example: I receive a lot of junk mail and as such I empty the Junk Mail folder regularly.
    As long as my email client hasn't compressed that folder I can recover those messages. I only have to close the program, delete the index file and on restart that mailbox will be reindexed, thus showing all those deleted messages again. :D

    Another example: Migrating to another email client.
    If you don't compress your mailboxes prior to performing that migration, than all messages, which you thought were gone, will show up again.
    That new email client will reindex those mailboxes. :eek:

    No infection, but just a precaution from OE to prevent corruption of your mailboxes. Compressing on regular bases will prevent that.
    Also make sure to backup your data regularly.

    Hope that helps you understand it better and good luck with OE. ;)
     
  6. gaslad

    gaslad Registered Member

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    The OP's problem is a known bug affecting a minority of XP SP3 users. It is unlikely to be due to malware.

    See the discussion on this over at aumha, including a list of programs that might be causing this:

    http://aumha.net/viewtopic.php?p=203273#p203273
     
  7. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    gaslad, great find! Wondering whether bstarling has XP SP3 or not. :doubt:
     
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