Increase in SPAM Detected

November 4, 2015 - Staff

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Over the last several weeks there's been an increase in the number of spam email messages reaching users.

As part of IT's commitment to cybersecurity for our users we would like to remind users not to open emails from untrusted sources as those are often spam or phishing attempts. Of the approximately 4 million messages that arrive at UNM (unm.edu and salud.unm.edu) daily from outside those systems, roughly 95% of those messages are identified as spam and discarded.

Phishing is defined as "the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication."

UNM uses Sophos' PureMessage system to filter the messages that arrive at UNM. PureMessage uses a system of many rules and policies to determine if a message is spam; these rules are updated several times per day.

In order to avoid false positives IT has deliberately tuned our systems to be very forgiving in what they allow to be delivered. Messages that the system thinks are likely to be spam (with a "spam probability" of 50-78%) are marked in the subject line similar to this: "[SPAM?? 61%]."

If you receive messages you consider to be spam but they are not marked in the subject with a tag like this: "[SPAM?? 61%]" please forward the message as an attachment to: spamdrop@unm.edu

It is important the message be forwarded as an attachment so our vendor can analyze the data in the message properly. If you need help attaching a suspected spam message see FastInfo #3708.

For more information about SPAM and UNM email, please see FastInfo #1229.