Spam (unwanted junk email) is a problem people face all around the world.
At New Brunswick/Piscataway Computing Services, our email servers are filtering out spam. Spam is harder to hinder than viruses and there are many different ways to attempt to filter spam. There is currently no 100% accurate method to block all spam, the technology for this does not yet exist. Currently we block spam using a tool called SpamAssassin. This tool analyzes all incoming email and by comparing it with signatures of typical spam messages assigns a probability to the message that it is or is not spam. Once a certain threshold is exceeded, actions can be taken such as moving the spam to a separate mail folder, tagging the subject line, or deleting it.
For more information on this topic, please go to the following link:
New Brunswick/Piscataway Computing Services takes proactive measures to help fight against both viruses that are carried by email and also spam.
Currently our email servers are configured to check all incoming/outgoing viruses that are attached to email, using a tool from clamAV that identifies viruses. Any email laden with a virus is rejected and thrown away and is not passed on to our user community. We also keep our virus blocking software and signature files up to date. Currently we block anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 virus monthly on our email servers.
There are a number of attachment types which rarely have legitimate reason for being sent through email. These attachment types are also known to be commonly used for spreading viruses. To prevent this spreading, our email server will discard messages with the following types of attachments:
ade adp app bas bat chm cmd com cpl crt exe fxp hlp hta inf ins isp js jse lnk mda mde mdw mdt mdz msc msi msp mst ops pcd pif prg reg scr sct shb shs vb vbe vbs wsc wsf wsh
Attachments of other types such as doc, txt, etc. will still be able to be sent and received. This list may change in response to any new viral threat. Email that contains a virus or one of our blocked attachment types will be dropped without notification of either the sender or recipient. Message size, including attachments, is limited to 100MB. Larger messages will not be allowed to be sent or received through our servers.
Finally we still recommend that people not open attachments from strangers, nor from people they even know if the attachment is not expected. Its better to be safe. Be very careful opening attachments.
New Brunswick/Piscataway Computing Services also provides for free for all of our users, the ability to get Trend Micro anti-virus software to install on their systems at work and even at home. This is available to our faculty, staff and students. This acts as a second line of defense against viruses of all sorts and is highly recommended. New Brunswick/Piscataway Computing Services purchased a site license for this software for university wide use. This software can be found at: http://software.rutgers.edu