First, "hacking" may be a bit of an overstatement, and it may be more appropriate to call it hijacking. Many times responding to spam asking to be removed from the mailing list provides a confirmation of a legitimate account, and that may be hijacked for spoofing and hiding the sender's real identity. Posting to newsgroups and other forums with an e-mail address can allow this as well. This could also be as simple as someone who knows both you and your friends email bothering you spoofing your friend's identity. A look at the headers from the email address may provide some insight, but not always guarantee a resolution. Often it is impossible to determine the exact computer and individual responsible for the abuse. Some excellent information about tracking e-mail abuse and also tools to help are available at www.samespade.org.
Dig Deeper on Network Security Best Practices and Products
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.