Risk Rating:


Everyone knows SPAM (or Unsolicited Bulk Email, UBE) and everyone hates it. Since some SPAM is most likely landing in your mailbox at the exact moment you are reading this paragraph, it seems fairly unnecessary to describe what it is. While not strictly a security issue, SPAM can annoy users, violate internal security policies and users' privacy, and consume your storage space. Not to mention that it can carry malware as well, hence becoming a direct security issue for your network and your users.

With SPAM, we refer to unsolicited electronic messages focused on commercially advertised products. SPAM consists of the bulk email sent to thousands of millions of email addresses at the same time, addresses previously harvested on the Internet using various techniques. It could be defined as telemarketing on steroids, and it represents a low-cost medium for reaching millions of customers with little effort.

SPAM has evolved over the years; it started out as text messages, and then it became HTML to give a nice formatting to the advertisement, and last but not least, images and PDF files. Most of the time these last formats serve as an enclosure for the message being sent. To attempt to bypass some filters words are often spelled incorrectly or contain substitute letters that allow them to be read, for example, cialis or vlagra.

<Verbatim listing 8> [example of SPAM]

From: Dick Christopher <[email protected]> To: Kennedy Lisa <[email protected]>

Subject: Anna's Autopsy Report and Funeral Secrets

Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 14:49:33 +0000

X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1441

#1 Enlargement Solution in the World

You can order it here:

100% Guaranteed risk free results or your Money Back!


</Verbatim listing>

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