We had a business customer bring their laptop to us who was not able to send mails through her ISP (Internet Service Provider). She was able to download emails as normal.
Upon receiving her laptop computer in our repair shop, I established that her outgoing email account had indeed been locked; most probably as a safety guard by her ISP, iburst.co.za
After checking with her ISP, she had it confirmed that her account had indeed been locked because of a proliferation of SPAM (unwanted solicitation emails) being sent out of her email account.
Needless to say, she was in a frantic state because her business was suffering since she could not now correspond with her customers.
When this happens, this can point to a malware (malicious software) on the computer. After doing a thorough malware sweep, I discovered 6 malwares were residing on her laptop. One of these malwares was the “Conficker” virus. You can read more about it here.
This email exploitation can also be used to send copies of the malware to other unsuspecting email recipients.
The malware had disabled her anti-malware software, which had left her exposed to various nefarious activities being conducted on her laptop. The malware also prevented her laptop from performing the monthly Microsoft updates which left her vulnerable.
After firstly repairing the laptop’s OS (Operating System) we were then able to thoroughly clean her laptop of the malware. We also changed her anti-malware software to Bitdefender, She was then able to ask her ISP to unlock her outgoing email account.
This is a lesson for everyone in that ISPs are taking action to protect other Internet users, by blocking customers from communicating over the Internet when their computers are being used by Spammers and malware.