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© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Unclogging My Email: Spam, Phishing Attacks, Netiquette Dr. Charles D. Knutson Brigham Young University www.charlesknutson.net
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Positives and negatives Email is amazingly useful and efficient Abuses of the technology Inappropriate content Technically destructive Criminal behavior Annoying and cumbersome Bandwidth limiting 2
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Brief email tutorial Individuals license domains byu.edu, lds.org, etc. Owner may manage subdomains cs.byu.edu Owner may support and manage email users email@example.com 3
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Brief email tutorial Messages routed across Internet Domain owner routes individual emails to particular accounts Sending SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Receiving POP - Post Office Protocol IMAP - Internet Message Access Protocol 4
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Brief email tutorial Email programs Microsoft Outlook Mac Mail Web-based services (Webmail) Microsoft Hotmail Yahoo! Mail Google Gmail America Online 5
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Email concerns Malicious Spam Phishing attacks Email worms Annoying Hoaxes Education generally needed Forwarding Netiquette Email at work 6
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam Generically -- Sending copies of the same message to large numbers of recipients who didn't ask for it Email, instant messaging, blogs, fax transmissions, cell phone messages Here we're concerned specifically with email spam Most common form of spam 7
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam Almost no cost to send an email to millions of addresses Very profitable Which means -- people are buying stuff from these emails! Requires very low hit rate to be profitable It will only stop when people stop clicking! 8
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam - Volume 100 billion spam emails sent each day 90% of all incoming corporate email Dr. K receives around 2,000/month 50-100 each day Most captured by spam filter Another handful manually deleted each day 9
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam - Cost Fraud Dependent on content, obviously Lost productivity Lost bandwidth Support to alleviate the burden Hardware, software, personnel $20 billion per year in U.S. alone just to combat spam 10
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam - Content Significant areas: Pornography Sexual products Fraudulent activities Indiscriminately sent to everyone Children can be exposed 11
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam - Some statistics 80% of youth said they receive inappropriate email on a daily basis. Such email makes them: Annoyed – 51% Uncomfortable – 34% Offended – 23% Curious – 13% 38% do not tell their parents about receiving inappropriate email 12
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam - Solutions Never buy anything advertised by a spam email!! Any company with whom you don't already have a relationship Do not use unsubscribe feature Confirms your email is accurate Spam filters Not perfect, but very helpful 13
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam filters Attempt to automatically detect and remove spam email Very hard problem! False positives - Non-spam tossed into the junk folder When searching, include junk folder Missed positives - Spam that makes it through the filter into your inbox 14
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam filters Solutions: Many email programs have built-in Programs can be installed Server-based solutions Internet service provider (ISP) Generally a training phase Software learns from you as you identify spam email 15
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Phishing attacks Fraudulent attempt to gain access to usernames, passwords, credit card information, etc. Key source of identity theft 1.2 million computer users in US suffered losses in 2004 $929 million in personal losses UK losses doubled from '04 to '05 16
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Phishing attacks Authentic-looking fraudulent emails lead user to authentic-looking fraudulent websites User types in name and password, or credit card information 17
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Phishing - Protection Don't click on the link in an email Type it yourself, or click from favorites Many email filters detect spam But don't rely exclusively! Double check the web address of the link to be sure Most are pretty flagrant 18
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Phishing attacks 19
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Email worms Attachment in the email Trick you into clicking on it Installs itself Checks your address book Sends a copy to everyone May or may not be damaging 20
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Hoaxes Benign email worms that are spread entirely by… Gullible users!! Almost every email that asks you to forward it to everyone in your address book ... is a hoax This is not an exaggeration! 21
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Hoaxes - Samples Warning about cash back charges being placed on WalMart customers' credit cards Warning that the Obama health care reform bill mandates that seniors be given euthanasia counseling Internet-circulated coupon offers free lunch from Wendy's Electronic petition seeks to overturn Congressional vote granting Social Security benefits to illegal aliens 22
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Hoaxes - Samples The planet Mars will make a remarkably close approach to Earth in August 2009 Warning that cell phone numbers are about to be given to telemarketers Warning about baby carrots made from deformed full-sized carrots which have been permeated with chlorine A new Pepsi soda can design omits the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance 23
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Hoaxes - Cost If all Internet users received a single hoax, spent 1 minute, and discarded ~$40 million If forwarded, spread is exponential 10 people per spread = 1,000,000 on the 6th hop Spammers harvest email addresses from hoax emails 24
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Hoaxes - What to do Assume the email is a hoax Attempt to independently validate If you can personally validate that the information is true... Send it to select individuals with whom you have a relationship And who don't mind receiving things If you can't... DON'T FORWARD IT! 25
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Hoaxes - Validating Google Search for specific phrases See where that leads you Check hoax tracking sites www.snopes.com Symantec McAfee Many others… … but these are absolutely credible 26
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Forwarding What about forwarding other stuff? Any email that actively encourages you to send it to everyone is very bad form Email forms a community or social network Must respect the rules of that social network 27
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Netiquette Network etiquette Rules of proper social behavior in the new digital society Remember that users are human Never say in an email or online something you wouldn't say in person Don't forward junk/hoax emails 28
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Netiquette Limit all forwarding to people you personally know, and who you know want to receive it from you The noise can be overwhelming! Lurk before you leap Understand the social rules of any new community before diving in and embarrassing yourself 29
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Netiquette Be careful about "Reply to All" Accidentally spam a large group trying to respond to one user ALL CAPS IS SHOUTING!!!!!!!!!!! One exclamation point is enough! Use subject lines appropriately Helps users sort, find, prioritize 30
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Netiquette BCC for multiple senders Otherwise you expose a large number of email addresses to people who don't know each other Include relevant portions of email that you're responding to Intersperse your comments 31
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Netiquette Remember that emotion is not fully conveyed via email Emoticons can help :) ;) :( :D... (HTML humor) Non-emotion can be helpful! Work through issues that would be too emotional face-to-face 32
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Flaming Flame: Hostile or rude email or communication That would never happen in person Flame bait: Trolling for a fight in cyberspace Flame war: Challenge accepted, combat engaged Generally very bad form 33
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Email at work 34
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Questions? Internet Safety Podcast www.internetsafetypodcast.com Internet Safety Wiki wiki.internetsafetypodcast.com Dr. Charles Knutson firstname.lastname@example.org 35
Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. Practice safety Learn how to protect yourself against common attacks.
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