My webhost has deactivated my shared hosting account, since it was sending spam emails through my domain.

I have all unrouted mail such as mailto:[email protected] set to be forwarded to a specific email account, and in that account I did found thousands of returned email in this form (my domain appears as "mydomain.com"):

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

  [email protected]
    Domain mydomain.com has exceeded the max emails per hour (125/100 (125%)) allowed.  Message discarded.
  [email protected]
    Domain mydomain.com has exceeded the max emails per hour (125/100 (125%)) allowed.  Message discarded.
  [email protected]
    Domain mydomain.com has exceeded the max emails per hour (125/100 (125%)) allowed.  Message discarded.
  [email protected]
    Domain mydomain.com has exceeded the max emails per hour (125/100 (125%)) allowed.  Message discarded.
  [email protected]
    Domain mydomain.com has exceeded the max emails per hour (125/100 (125%)) allowed.  Message discarded.

------ This is a copy of the message, including all the headers. ------

Return-path: <[email protected]>
Received: from [] (port=53818 helo=[])
        by sw2.scarabweb.com with esmtpa (Exim 4.82)
        (envelope-from <[email protected]>)
        id 1XGu1e-000JKY-Qy; Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:08:55 -0400
X-AntiVirus: Checked by Dr.Web [version:, engine:, virus records: 3408234, updated: 26.11.2012]
From: Di <[email protected]>
Content-Type: text/plain;
X-Mailer: iPhone Mail (10A403)
Message-Id: <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 09:55:01 -0700
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Mime-Version: 1.0 (1.0)

Sent from my iPhone=

The first time it happened, my webhost didn't provide any useful help, and I've just ended up changing my password (such as ftp password), and got my account re-instated. but now, a day after, this is happening once again, and the account was deactivated again.

I do not run any scripts on my website such as wordpress, everything is simple .php as far as i know.

  • Do you have a contact form on your website? Does it use php code to send the emails.
    – John Conde
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 2:55

1 Answer 1


There is not enough information for anyone to really know what is going on here. But here is what you may be missing.

Any system has several services installed along with applications; FTP, HTTP, SSH, DNS, and PHP and Java are fairly common. You will have more. Each service and application can be vulnerable. PHP and Java are environments/languages that can offer vulnerabilities without having to have PHP or Java code installed/available. As well FTP and DNS are often compromised.

You will need to use a anti-virus and scan all of your hard-drives including rootkit to try and remove any virus or Trojan that may have been installed. Please understand that not all viruses or Trojans are known or can be detected. You may have to format and re-install everything from scratch. DO NOT USE an online web based anti-virus! There are plenty of very good free anti-virus software out there. You can even use a trial version.

Make sure that you are running the latest version of all software. This is not a guarantee that you will not have any problems, but reduces the likelihood of an issue. Make sure that you are vigilant and keep your software up to date checking for vulnerabilities that may have been discovered.

You will also need to make sure that no services are running except for those that are necessary. If at all possible, use a hardware or software firewall. Which software firewall is best depends upon your operating system. Do port scans against your system to see what ports are open. There are plenty of websites available for this.

Last, get familiar with security. Please. This is a huge subject, but the basics are well within your reach and the basics are often enough to get you started.

  • Thanks, but keep in mind that this is shared hosting, so I don't understand if any of this is relevant for me as the end user. i.e, scan which hard drives? since my own computer has nothing to do with this, as I am simply using it to enter my cpanel or upload via ftp, I guess you mean the hosted hard drive? but I don't control it, how can I scan it? it's just a designated folder on some server of my webhost. neither can I make any software updates to whatever it is on their cpanel...
    – rockyraw
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 9:50
  • @rockyraw Then you need to have your host tech support solve the problem. I used to be a web host in a previous life. My systems were constantly scanned for viruses and vulnerabilities including any script that might be installed. It is the responsibility of your host to protect their servers and services as a part of good business practices. If you do not get satisfaction, then perhaps you need to find another host. These e-mails may be costing your domain it's reputation- who knows.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 14:40

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