Spam Report

In the last few months of 2007, spam has become more inventive.

In 2007 spammers waged stock pump-and-dump campaigns on the public using Adobe Acrobat PDF format files in order to evade traditional defenses. Later in the year this moved-up a gear by using other file attachment formats, including Microsoft Excel, Word, ZIP and more notably, MP3. The latter example comprised of an audio file attachment where the recipient could at last listen to the spam message being relayed to them.

Although overall spam has gone down slightly, the proportion of spam that is new and previously unknown has increased and is now more sophisticated and more difficult to stop using simple traffic management controls, such as traditional anti-spam software and appliances.

Several of WeGo.ca’s Clients have noticed an increase in spam messages which were not being filtered as usual. There has also been an increase in the number of bounce-back spams in 2007. This is where spammers spoof the from: and reply-to: addresses in the original spam message. The spoofed addressee then receives a bounce-back message from the recipients’ mail servers when the message cannot be delivered correctly. In some cases this may work as a form of social engineering, as the recipient may believe a non-delivery report to be genuine, and is then duped into reading the spam message.

For more statistics on spam and email threats, please visit Barracuda Central, a 24/7 security operations center that continuously monitors and blocks the latest Internet threats, at http://www.barracudacentral.com/.

What You Can Do to Fight Spam?

1. Enable Outlook 2003 Spam Filters. Microsoft Outlook® 2003 has many new features to block junk e-mail (spam). The most notable feature is Microsoft’s Junk E-Mail Filter with Microsoft SmartScreen Technology. SmartScreen Technology is based on a machine-learning Bayesian technology that uses a probability-based algorithms to determine whether email is legitimate or spam. Visit Visit SiteDeveloper for a full tutorial and explanation on how to enable full spam filtering for Microsoft Outlook 2003.

2. Ignore Delivery Failures of Messages You Did Not Send. If you wonder why you are getting delivery failures for messages you know you did not send, the cause is likely junk-mail from a spammer. You should delete these messages without opening.

3. Don’t Respond to Spam Messages. Never respond to a spam message in your inbox. This usually results in more spam. Encourage friends, coworkers, and relatives to NEVER respond to spam and to avoid purchasing anything that is being marketed via spam.

Need More Help?

If you find that spam is still clogging your inbox, there are additional steps we could take. Contact me to discuss if a third party spam filter provider or mail server upgrade is right for your e-mail account.

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