Here is the email I just sent out to everybody on my mailing list:
"Tonight I opened my email and got a lot of inexplicable "replies" to a message I never sent, something about an electronics site. Then I noticed my "vacation" settings were on, and that the spam in my "vacation reply" box was the same spam electronics ad. Then in my "junk mail" folder, I found the same ad from somebody named "stacy" something, which I also deleted.
I am very sorry that somehow my account has become infected, and by proxy I've put yours at risk.
I've had this email account for about 3 years now, it's going to be a bear to change out to a new one, but there ya go.
I'm going to change over to a gmail account that I never use, but will begin to use now.
Again I am so very sorry for spreading this electronic swine flu,
...so I toddled over to the hotmail "help" center, which is evidently there to permanently irritate people under duress after things have already gone terribly wrong, and there is a list of people saying "contact list disappeared", etc.
I have over 200 contacts, all over the world. There's no way in hell I can recover them all.
Oh. And. Hotmail tells me that I've "exceeded my limit" for message sending now.
If you use hotmail, go snag all of your contacts NOW, and print them out. Do not put them into a file in your computer, lest "Stacy" be lurking there.
If you use email period, do this thing, and save yourself some grief.
This is a b*tch of a virus.