Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My server is sending the spam email and I am not able to find out which script is sending them.

The emails were all from nobody@myhost so disabled from the cpanel that nobody should not be allowed to send emails

Now at least they are not going out, I keep receiving them. This is mail I get:

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:
    Mail sent by user nobody being discarded due to sender restrictions in WHM->Tweak Settings

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

Return-path: <>
Received: from nobody by with local (Exim 4.80)
        (envelope-from <>)
        id 1UBBap-0007EM-9r
        for; Fri, 01 Mar 2013 08:34:47 +1030
Subject: Order Detail
From: "Manager Ethan Finch" <>
X-Mailer: Fscfz(ver.2.75)
Reply-To: "Manager Ethan Finch" <>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;boundary="----------1362089087512FD47F4767C"
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2013 08:34:47 +1030

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1"; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

This is my logs for exim logs:

2013-03-01 14:36:00 no IP address found for host (during SMTP connection from []:54411)
2013-03-01 14:36:59 H=() []:54411 rejected MAIL HELO required before MAIL
2013-03-01 14:37:28 H=(helo) []:54411 rejected MAIL Access denied - Invalid HELO name (See RFC2821
2013-03-01 14:37:28 SMTP connection from (helo) []:54411 closed by DROP in ACL
2013-03-01 14:37:29 cwd=/var/spool/exim 2 args: /usr/sbin/exim -q
2013-03-01 14:37:29 Start queue run: pid=12155
2013-03-01 14:37:29 1UBBap-0007EM-9r ** R=enforce_mail_permissions: Mail sent by user nobody being discarded due to sender restrictions in WHM->Tweak Settings
2013-03-01 14:37:29 cwd=/var/spool/exim 7 args: /usr/sbin/exim -t -oem -oi -f <> -E1UBBap-0007EM-9r
2013-03-01 14:37:30 1UBHFp-0003A7-W3 <= <> R=1UBBap-0007EM-9r U=mailnull P=local S=7826 T="Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender" for
2013-03-01 14:37:30 cwd=/var/spool/exim 3 args: /usr/sbin/exim -Mc 1UBHFp-0003A7-W3
2013-03-01 14:37:30 1UBBap-0007EM-9r Completed
2013-03-01 14:37:32 1UBHFp-0003A7-W3 [2607:f8b0:400e:c00::1b] Network is unreachable
2013-03-01 14:37:38 1UBHFp-0003A7-W3 => <> R=lookuphost T=remote_smtp [] X=TLSv1:RC4-SHA:128
2013-03-01 14:37:39 1UBHFp-0003A7-W3 Completed
2013-03-01 14:37:39 End queue run: pid=12155
2013-03-01 14:38:20 SMTP connection from []:36667 (TCP/IP connection count = 1)
2013-03-01 14:38:21 SMTP connection from localhost []:36667 closed by QUIT
2013-03-01 14:42:45 cwd=/ 2 args: /usr/sbin/sendmail -t
2013-03-01 14:42:45 1UBHKv-0003BH-LD <= U=root P=local S=1156 T="[] Root Login from IP" for
2013-03-01 14:42:45 cwd=/var/spool/exim 3 args: /usr/sbin/exim -Mc 1UBHKv-0003BH-LD
2013-03-01 14:42:47 1UBHKv-0003BH-LD [2607:f8b0:400e:c00::1a] Network is unreachable
2013-03-01 14:42:51 1UBHKv-0003BH-LD => R=lookuphost T=remote_smtp [] X=TLSv1:RC4-SHA:128
2013-03-01 14:42:51 1UBHKv-0003BH-LD Completed
2013-03-01 14:43:22 SMTP connection from []:37499 (TCP/IP connection count = 1)
2013-03-01 14:43:23 SMTP connection from localhost []:37499 closed by QUIT

Is there any way to find which script, or which user, is generating those?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by EEAA, Michael Hampton, RobM, mgorven, Hennes Mar 2 '13 at 0:35

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Is this a web server? Are you hosting a PHP form on the machine that sends mail to you? Do you run a webmail interface on the machine? All these are just initial pointers on where to start searching for the culprit. – adamo Mar 1 '13 at 6:40
I have the web server with php. i don't have any contact form but i have the user registration form which send the email. but how can i track that – user75380 Mar 1 '13 at 6:57
First of all disable it. Then read about how to write secure PHP forms that mail stuff back to you. You should ask at PHP specific forums about that. – adamo Mar 1 '13 at 6:58
I don't think this is exactly a duplicate of the other questions. Often it is useful to know what scripts or services are sending out emails - even if your server hasn't been compromised. – Eric Kigathi Apr 25 '15 at 16:52
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Linux Malware Detect ( installation is quite easy :). Go via this link, download The link to this file is located at the very top of the web-page. Then unzip this archive, go to newly created directory by running cd in your terminal. In the directory run

sudo ./

which will install the scanner to your system. To perform the scanning itself you are to run

sudo /usr/local/sbin/maldet -a /

-a option here means that you want ro scan all the files. Use -r instead to scan only recent ones. / specifies the directory where scan should be performed. So just change it to any directory you want.

Just that )

share|improve this answer

Run a malware scanner, such as maldet, or AVG, or both, on your user's data. Most malicious scripts are picked up by such tools.

share|improve this answer
how can i install that , then how to run it – user75380 Mar 1 '13 at 5:52
You click the link and follow the directions. – Michael Hampton Mar 1 '13 at 6:10
there is nothing written over there which says how to install and use it – user75380 Mar 1 '13 at 6:14
You may wish to have a professional server administrator perform the installation for you, if you are unable to do it yourself. – Michael Hampton Mar 1 '13 at 6:24

The emails were all from nobody@myhost

Find all processes that is running as nobody:

ps -U nobody

SMTP connection from []:36667 (TCP/IP connection count = 1)

Run netstat under watch to see which process is connecting to port 25:

watch 'netstat -na | grep :25'

These steps can help you find out the culprit is the... web server. Then you can run a strace to see which script is called when an email is sent:

strace -f -e trace=open,stat -p 1234 -o wserver.strace

(1234 is the parent PID of the web server process)

share|improve this answer
Will the connection even be open long enough to complete this? – Michael Hampton Mar 1 '13 at 8:15
Which connection do you mean? The PHP script? – quanta Mar 1 '13 at 8:21

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.