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Address added to email Cc: field

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#1 smileandwave


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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:46 AM

Please consider this scenario and tell me what might have happened. My wife is a late-comer to computing, having only been using email (Outlook Express) for a few months. Yesterday she replied to an email from a friend. The friend alerted my wife to the fact that my wife's email had been copied to another person (a relative who is in my wife's email address book). My wife did not intend to Cc: the third person. No harm in it (message was innocuous chit-chat). But we're trying to figure out how this could have happened.

The only two possibilities I could imagine:

1) My wife somehow accidentally added the second recipient. I can't imagine how this could have occurred. She would have had to accidentally hit the "Cc:" button then accidentally scroll down the address list to the address in question. (The name isn't visible without scrolling.)

2) Some sort of virus that takes a message **that is actively being written** and randomly appends one address from the Address book to the "Cc:" field. I assume there are viruses that could pull a message from the Inbox or Sent directory, then add an address of its choosing (that it either supplies or pulls from the user's Address book), then sends the message. But what are the chances this could occur to a message that is being actively written? Ever heard of such? And what would be the motive/benefit to the virus-writer?

I'd appreciate anyone's insight re: (1) how an address from the Address book could be accidentally added to the "Cc:" field or (2) whether a virus could add an address to an active message (and what the motive would be for doing so).

OS is Windows XP Home edition. Email client is Outlook Express.


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#2 jgweed


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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:10 AM

1) seems the more probable cause; it is often easy to add a CC address from the address list (for example) if you are not attending to what you are doing.
2. I don't see why a virus would WANT to do something like that; as you wrote, the motive for doing so seems unclear. If this has happened only once, and not on a regular and consistent basis,it would not be a virus. Just for ease of mind, though, you might want to test this by having her send several messages to your E-mail address to see if there is a unwanted CC and watch what she does when composing the test messages.
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