Hotmail "Contacts List" hijacked by Chinese hackers


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2009
I had my Hotmail Contacts List hijacked several weeks ago by the Chinese electronics store spammers/hackers. I deleted their message from both my vacation and signature features. I thought the problem was resolved, however they're back. I just opened my Hotmail email account and found 56 Postmaster Notification of Failure to Deliver Email notices in my Incoming Mail file, all with their advertisement as the message. The outgoing spam messages were in my Sent folder.

I am aware that this particular email spam/malware has been an ongoing problem for Hotmail, as well as other email servers, for quite some time. It affects computers running both Windows and Mac OS X. I have a Macintosh computer running Mac OS X version 10.6.2..

I've read the Hotmail Support guidance on removing spam and the guidance they offer of running an anti-virus scan on my computer, changing my email address and my password leaves me a little confused and yes, unhappy.

I don't have any Hotmail software on my computer, Microsoft Hotmail has the operating software. It seems to me therefore, that Hotmail has the responsibility to remove this spam/maiware from their system. Then, they should fix the software so this can not happen again. This spam/malware seems to attach itself to the vacation and signature features of Hotmail. I've emailed the Hotmail Help Line and asked for "help", as well as requested an estimate of when they would fix THEIR problem -- no answer so far.

I have had the same email address for more than 10 years. I use this address when corresponding with business and social contacts all over the world. It is easy for Hotmail to recommend changing my email address to solve the problem, but I find this solution unacceptable.

What if anything can I do to stop this spam from being sent out from my email address? Will changing my password do anything to stop this from happening?

What follows is a copy of the advertisement that was sent out from by email account. I have altered the addresses in the advertisement in order to not spread the malware further, but I can supply them if needed. Note that the spammers were considerate enough to apologize for hijacking my email.

From: {removed email address}
Subject: Forward: The good news for online shopping
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2009 22:57:42 -0800

Dear sir/madam:
Please forgive us to disturb your valued time. This is a big wholesale company in china, sell electronic products to all the world,such as laptop, camera, phone and so on. We can offer the low price and high quality to you. If you have free time, please take a few to visit our official website:
Then any questions, please contact us freely.

Temporary use your e-mail, I am sorry


macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
You don't have to have a virus for someone to hack your hotmail account. If you're using current Mac OS X, you don't have a virus, because none exist. Hackers/spammers can hijack email accounts by gaining direct access to hotmail, without it having anything to do with your computer. I would certainly change your hotmail password to something much more complex and harder to break.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2008
Do you ever log in from a windows computer? Maybe that computer has logging software on it that is sending your password. As GGJ said, try changing your password to something at least 8 characters long with a number, capital, symbol and small letters (with no words included). That should make it relatively secure.

If they get it again, it is likely that you are logging in with an infected computer (or an unsecured wireless network, or a secured wireless network with an infected computer on it).

Good luck.


macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
The real question is:
Why in the world are you still using Hotmail?

Move to a real email service like Gmail, Yahoo, etc. Then you'll have far fewer (if any) problems with this sort of thing. I've never had my email accounts compromised in any way, because I've avoided Hotmail, AOL, etc like the plague.

Really, do yourself a favor and switch to Gmail.

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