SPAM What you can – and can’t – do about it
SPAM Overview • SPAM • Scope and cost • Viruses • Definition and examples (CCSF +) • Fraud and Phishing • Types of phishing • Some Examples • Spyware • From annoyance to identity theft • CCSF’s Barracuda SPAM filter • Protecting yourself
The Spam Problem • Spam = unsolicited email • Ads • Viruses • Phishing • spyware • The Problem • Volume / Annoyance • Cost-Shifting • Waste of Resources • Fraud
Spam as % of total email • March 2003 ― 45% • Feb 2004 ― 62%
Spam today • March 2003 ― 45% • January 14, 2005: • Feb 2004 ― 62% From http://www.appriver.com/- up-to-the minute statistics
Has this happened to you? • “Email undeliverable” notices for email you never sent? • Requests to confirm account numbers, PINs, Passwords? • “Microsoft” emails containing “updates” or “fixes”? • Administrator@ccsf.edu or“The ccsf.edu support team” messages
“Email undeliverable” • Mail from “your” email address sent to people all over the world • Causes • Mining: Spammers gather email addresses from • Intercepted email • Spyware planted on users’ computers • Spoofing: Spammers use your email address to disguise their messages
“Microsoft” emails • Contain fake “updates” with viruses • Microsoft never uses email for updates • http://office.microsoft.com/OfficeUpdate/ • http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com • Virus protection preinstalled on all CCSF computers • Automatically updates for latest virus data • Updates happen in background – no messages appear
Administrator@ccsf.edu • Messages claiming to come from our ITS admins • Ask for info because “account is expiring” • Verify by sending password • Unsigned (and misspelled) • Never genuine! We don’t: • Email confidential security/personal info • Send unsigned messages • Misspell
Recent examples 1: CCSF “support” • The W32mydoom virus carried by this message sent to many CCSF email addresses Dear user of ccsf.edu, Your account has been used to send a huge amount of spam during the recent week. We suspect that your computer was infected by a recent virus and now runs a trojan proxy server. Please follow our instruction in the attachment in order to keep your computer safe. Virtually yours, The ccsf.edu support team.
CCSF’s policy…. • Users: Delete this virus/hoax • Email Admin: Took action to block these messages as soon as known • Our policy statement: • CCSF PERSONNEL WILL NEVER SEND OUT A MESSAGE ASKING FOR ACCOUNT INFORMATION OR INSTRUCTING USERS TO OPEN AN ATTACHMENT THAT RELATES TO THEIR ACCOUNT THAT IS NOT PERSONALLY SIGNED BY A SYSTEMS ADMIN (i.e., with a name such as Shirley Barger, Anne Morris, Doug Re, whomever). "Virtually yours," "The CCSF Team", "CCSF Administrators" and such AIN'T our STYLE, and it won't be.
Recent examples 2: CCSF “user” • Email on Faculty Listserv from "Rbalestr“ From: "Rbalestr" <email@example.com> To: "firstname.lastname@example.org".GWIA.email@example.com Date: Saturday - September 18, 2004 6:50 AM Subject: Faculty: Re: jvwdtbyfru.bmp (3958 bytes) [View] [Save As] foto2.zip (36606 bytes) [View] [Save As] Mime.822 (57943 bytes) [View] [Save As]
Recent examples 2: Carried a virus • Email on Faculty Listserv from "Rbalestr“ From: "Rbalestr" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "email@example.com".GWIA.firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Saturday - September 18, 2004 6:50 AM Subject: Faculty: Re: jvwdtbyfru.bmp (3958 bytes) [View] [Save As] foto2.zip (36606 bytes) [View] [Save As] Mime.822 (57943 bytes) [View] [Save As] File carrying a Virus!
Other examples…. Fake craigslist msg w virus From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Important notify about your e-mail account. Hello user of Craigslist.org e-mail server, Your e-mail account will be disabled because of improper using in next three days, if you are still wishing to use it, please, resign your account information. Pay attention on attached file. For security reasons attached file is password protected. The password is "13545". Cheers, The Craigslist.org team March 2004
Fraud • Fake Subject lines disguise content • “Remove” links gather addresses • “Spoofing” of identity • Fake From: addresses in email • Disguised server sources implicate innocent parties • False claims, phishing
Phishing • Attempts to gather confidential information • Credit card #s • PINs • Account #s • Passwords • May use original site’s graphics • Return addresses/links mimic originals Since August 2003, most major banks in the USA, the UK and Australia have been hit with phishing attacks
Confirm account numbers • “Phishing” for confidential information • Growing fraud phenomenon • International • Recent organized crime involvement • Spam for • Siphoning money • Identity Theft
New Tsunami phishing scams From USA TODAY (Edward Iwata and Martin Kasindorf) The FBI is investigating dozens of bogus Web sites that prey on potential tsunami donors by mimicking sites of well-known charities, FBI Special Agent Tom Grasso said Monday. Con artists also are using variations of the Nigerian "419" scam.... The e-mail authors claim to be government officials, bank officers and poor farmers who have lost loved ones in the tsunami.
Phishing increases • From latest AntiPhishing.org report • December 2004
Phishing updates • http://antiphishing.org/ • Up-to-date examples and descriptions of phishing scams • Examples: Amazon, eBay, AOL, Washington Mutual… • http://survey.mailfrontier.com/survey/quiztest.html • Good information provided after you take a quiz based on actual emails, real and fraudulent
Spyware • Programs installed secretly on your computer as you browse the Internet • Purposes: • Pop up ads; change home page • Capture keystrokes as you enter passwords, logins, etc • Gather Info about • browsing habits • email addresses/passwords/credit card #s
Combating Spyware • Combat with free programs: • Spybot Search and Destroy (www.safer-networking.org) • Ad-Aware (www.lavasoft.com) • Yahoo: New free toolbar contains anti-spyware program, popup-blocker • Microsoft: Beta tool for Windowshttp://www.microsoft.com/athome/security • Summary info at http://www.ccsf.edu/vfascio/spampage
CCSF: New Spam filtering • Barracuda Spam-filter • Applied starting November 2004 • GroupWise email only • MUCH less Spam in Mailbox • Separate Quarantine area • Quarantine message once a day • User control over Spam • Whitelist: Addresses always allowed • Blacklist: Always blocked
CCSF (informal) Spam stats • 2003: 25-50% filtered out • ½-1 hour/day of GroupWise administrator’s time • March 2004: 65-75% filtered • Feb 2005: 80+% filtered • 118,000+ messages a week! • Current: 6000 + domains / addresses blocked • List grows daily
Barracuda’s 4 categories • Definitely Spam/Virus • Not allowed through system • Likely to be Spam • Sent to your Quarantine area for you to review/delete/allow • Maybe Spam • Tagged with [BULK] in Subject • Sent to Mailbox • Not Spam Sent to Mailbox
Quarantine message: Web • Once a day, you’ll see this message (Web client) • You can take limited action – but …
Accessing Quarantine: Web • For more control: • Scroll to end of message • Click link at end: “click here” • Takes you to your quarantine area • See all quarantined messages • Act on them
Quarantine message: Windows • Once a day, you’ll see this message (Windows client) • Click long link at end • Tip: Click first or last lines • Takes you to your quarantine area • See & act on all quarantined messages
Quarantine area • Deliver • Just deliver the mail. Make no change to filtering parameters. • Whitelist • Deliver and always allow message from this sender • Delete • Just deletes without changes to filtering parameters. • Classify as Not Spam • Deliver message and updates Spam filter. • Classify as Spam • Delete and update Spam filter
Barracuda tips • Look at the Barracuda SPAM message regularly • Go to your SPAM link • Delete Spam • THEN: • DELETE Barracuda SPAM report messages • They are big! • Fill up your email space unless deleted
Be Vigilant • Protect your email address - treat it like your phone number. • Never email passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal information. • Don't post your email address in public places. • Never respond to unsolicited email or click on a URL or web site listed in spam. • Never forward spam chain letters.
Protect against viruses • Don’t open suspicious attachments – even from friends • Check to see if they have actually sent attached docs • At CCSF: • Desktops automatically update Virus SW • Laptops: Lucky owners must actively keep CCSF virus SW updated (Windows and Mac) • At home: Get a Virus checker • Keep it updated!
Virus Vigilance • Look at email attachments • Suspicious signs: • Nonsense names • Names ending with any of the following: .zip .scr .pif .exe .vbs .com
Protect against Spyware • Use at least one Spyware catcher • Free: Ad-Aware (Personal edition)http://www.lavasoft.com • Free: Spybot Search and Destroyhttp://spybot.safer-networking.de/ • Free (So far): Microsoft betahttp://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/ • Not Free: SpySweeper ($30/yr)http://www.webroot.com • Mac: MacScanhttp://macscan.securemac.com/
Don’t contribute to Spam • Use the BC email field for groups outside CCSF • BC Field hides addresses • May help get msgs to Yahoo, Hotmail recipients • Helps prevent address capture by spammers
Don’t look like Spam If you want people to read your email messages • Make your email Subject lines count • CNIT 3/22 meeting minutes • Not: Info • Don’t use suspicious Subjects: • Hi! • Pix • Re: • Don’t leave subjects blank
Spam / Spyware Resources • Search on Spam facts • Your ISP for Spam info • http://www.pcwebopedia.com/quick_ref/SpamGuide.asp • http://biz.yahoo.com/pfg/e15credible/index.html(Suze Orman on Spam Scams) • For fun: http://www.mailmsg.com/SPAM_python.htm • Spyware: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/
Identity Theft Resources • Search on Identity+theft athttp://www.sfgov.org/ • Prevention tips • What to do • to find out if your identity has been stolen • after the fact • http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/ • Good clearinghouse of information
Updates • General: • http://news.yahoo.com/fc?tmpl=fc&cid=34&in=tech&cat=spam_warsExcellent updated news links site • http://www.spamanti.net/en/ • http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/ • Good source for Windows OS updates and general information • Phishing and Organized crime • http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/consumer.htm • Government site on many aspects of spam and crime
Final note • From CAUCEthe Coalition Against Unsolicited email • http://www.cauce.org/ According to the European Commission, the costs of spam to businesses and consumers have been estimated at USD $8 billion/year. Pressing <DELETE> doesn't recover those costs.