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Information Security

Spam Information

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Information Security

Address:
Allegheny Hall 002
121 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383


Frank Piscitello, Manager/ISO
Phone: 610-436-3192
Fax: 610-436-3110
Email: FPiscitello@wcupa.edu

Spam Information

What is Spam you ask?

Well, Spam is a meat product distributed by Hormel. Spam also happens to the term used for any unsolicited email. A better description of spam is email that is unsolicited and does not have a legitimate return address label. There are email messages that you receive that are still unsolicited; however, they are coming from legitimate sources.

How did I get on their lists?

There are many ways your email address could have been submitted to a list. First, you may have subscribed to an email distribution list or filled out an online form for a company that does not have a privacy policy. The distribution list owner most likely sold the list to an email distributor.

Another method is by specialized software that hunts for email addresses. The software is set loose on web sites, bulletin boards, Usenet, and other documents published on the internet. These address hunters, create their lists, and use them for email distributors.

Finally, there's the sneaky way... The spammers send a message to some list that they have. However, that list may have lots of invalid addresses. So, they clean it up by putting a link on the bottom of a message telling you to "click here" to remove yourself from the list. Once you click here, the spammer now knows that this was a valid address, and moves your email address to a "good" list.

What do I do now?

This is a difficult question to answer. The answer is "it depends." If it is true spam, there may not be an easy way to get your address off their lists. However, if it is unsolicited email from a legitimate company, you can compose a new message (don't reply) to the company that is "advertised". Ask them to remove your email address from their list. Many times legitimate companies have a generic address such as abuse@company.com, or postmaster@company.com.

With true spam, the return address is usually invalid. Therefore, it is difficult to determine who really sent it. Many times you'll see spam from Hotmail.COM or AOL.COM. These are just about impossible to trace without a lot of technical research to trace the message. These messages probably traversed many networks or even countries before it ended up in your Inbox.

Isn't this illegal?

Currently there are no federal crimes associated specifically with spam or unsolicited email. The only exception is if the email content may be deemed illegal (i.e. child pornography, threatening messages, etc.). The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does have a law related to spam which is Title 18, Section 5903 (subsections a, b, and h). This mainly addresses pornographic email by requiring a "rating" be specified in the subject line of the message.

Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Title 18, Chapter 76, Section 7661, which was introduced in 2003, addresses some issues with the transmission of electronic mail.

Campus policy restricts the sending of unsolicited email except when approved by department directors, chairs, deans, VPs, and the president. This policy can be found in the current Rams Eye View.

How do I avoid getting on lists?

This is another tough question. Make sure that you verify any web site's privacy policy before submitting your email address or name to the site. This includes online purchases and subscriptions. If you do receive unsolicited email, don't reply to the message or click on the "unsubscribe" option, unless you know it's a valid option.

Further Information

If you have any questions about spam or unsolicited email that you received, you can contact the Help Desk for assistance. If you received email that you believe may be illegal, please contact Frank Piscitello by sending email to abuse @ wcupa.edu or calling x3192.

Links

Barracuda Spam Filter

Logging In

  1. Open an internet browser and type the following in the address bar: http://spamcontrol.wcupa.edu
  2. Log in using your WCU username and password

Managing the Quarantine Inbox

The Barracuda spam filter will quarantine suspected spam email messages delivered to your WCU email account. Quarantined messages will be stored in the Barracuda system for 30 days.

  • Deliver - Delivers selected/individual messages to your mailbox.
  • Whitelist - Delivers the selected/individual messages to your mailbox and adds the sender to your list of allowed senders.
  • Delete - Removes the message from your Barracuda inbox.
  • Select the check boxes on the left to apply an action to multiple emails.
  • Select an action on the right side of the message to apply an action to the individual message.

Preferences

Whitelist/ Blacklist

  • Allowed Email Addresses and Domains (Whitelist) - Addresses on this list will automatically bypass the spam firewall and be delivered to your mailbox.
  • Blocked Email Addresses and Domains (Blacklist) - Addresses on this list will always be directed to your quarantine inbox available at http://spamcontrol.wcupa.edu.

Email addresses can be added to the blacklist and whitelist individually or in bulk:

  • To modify your lists in bulk, click the "Bulk Edit" button for the list you wish to modify. This will open a new window where you can add, remove, or modify entries. Click "Save Changes" when you are finished editing your list.
  • To individually add an address, type the name in the add field for the appropriate list. Once the address is entered, click "Add".
  • To individually remove an address from either list, click the trashcan icon to the right of the email address.

Quarantine Settings

Quarantine Notification - This feature allows you to select the interval at which Barracuda will email you a summary of quarantined emails. You also have the option to specify an email address for the summary email. By default all summaries are sent to your WCU account.

Note: Be sure to save any changes you made before logging out of Barracuda.