Unsolicited E-mail (Spam) Policy and Practice

What we do (policy)

Unsolicited e-mail is a growing problem. A survey of e-mail received at UWRF indicates that more than 80% of the incoming e-mail is Spam or virus mail. Processing and storing this e-mail taxes our computing resources and network capacity.

Unsolicited e-mail is handled in two ways:

  1. We reserve the right to manually block any source of e-mail that both:
    1. Comes in a volume large enough to impact our computer resources.
    2. Appears to be targeted to the entire campus rather than a specific group that may have requested the e-mail.
  2. E-mail that is determined likely to be Spam is marked as such by the incoming mail gateway. E-mail users can filter their e-mail based on these markings.

In general the goal of our Spam-blocking is to be as non-invasive as possible in the reception of e-mail while still allowing us the right to block senders of e-mail that was not requested by the recipients and arrives in large quantities.

The primary mission of these controls is to preserve the operation of our e-mail systems and to help our e-mail users determine which incoming e-mail is likely to be Spam and to let them personally decide how to handle this.

How we do it (practice)

The UW-River Falls e-mail system filters e-mail for spam. Spam is currently filtered through the use of a pair of Barracuda Networks Spam and Virus Firewall (BSVF) devices. These devices utilize a complex combination of methods including blacklists and vendor-provided filters to block or tag spam.

The BSVF devices add extra lines to the "headers" of incoming e-mail which indicate the results of their analysis of the e-mail.

X-Barracuda-Spam-Score: 4.71
X-Barracuda-Spam-Report: Code version 3.2, rules version
Rule breakdown below
pts rule name description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
0.01 MARKETING_PARTNERS BODY: Claims you registered with a partner
-0.00 DKIM_VERIFIED Domain Keys Identified Mail: signature passes
0.00 DKIM_SIGNED Domain Keys Identified Mail: message has a signature
0.12 CN_BODY_332 BODY: CN_BODY_332
0.21 SH_BIG5_05413_BODY_104 BODY: Body: contain "UNSUBSCRIBE"
0.00 HTML_MESSAGE BODY: HTML included in message
2.00 GAPPY_SUBJECT Subject: contains G.a.p.p.y-T.e.x.t
2.35 MARKETING_PARTNERS_2 Claims you registered with a partner
X-Barracuda-Spam-Flag: YES

E-mails receiving a score in excess of 9 are discarded and never delivered. For emails which are discarded as spam, we do not send rejection notices.

You will occasionally receive some non-spam e-mail that will be marked as spam, and some spam that is not marked. This will always be the case, as it is difficult to guess which e-mail will be considered spam by a particular recipient.

If you would like assistance with Junk e-mail rules in OWA or Outlook, please send us a request.

If you have concerns or questions about the way UW-River Falls handles spam, please give us your feedback.