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University Reports Increase in Spam

The University authorities are baffled over the spurt in the amount of junk or malicious e-mails targeting Yale University inboxes during the past two months.

Philip Long, the Chief Information Officer of Yale University said that the problem of spam was faced by almost all people connected to the Internet. Some of the University's computing assistants and mailing list administrators believe that these spam e-mails are specifically targeting the Yale community. This is because few of the spam e-mails were distributed via the University's Pantheon mailing lists.

The University officials stated that nearly 1.1 million messages per day were discarded by the Yale spam filters at the beginning of June. The number of messages discarded daily in April was about 850,000. Although Yale's Information Technology Services cannot specify the number of spam e-mails actually reaching the University inboxes, this huge difference reveals the increase in the number of spam e-mails targeted at the Yale University.

"While the data we have is what we got rid of, we certainly expect that a similar increase has occurred in what is getting through," Long stated.

Long added that spammers are becoming smarter and are sending messages in huge numbers using more creative measures to escape filters. Alex Johnson, a computing assistant said that the spammers are using attached images rather than normal text to bypass the University filters. According to him, the similarities in spam imply that many of the e-mails may be originating from the same mailing list.

Long believes that a virus might have gained access to the student computers containing the lists and spammed them automatically.

Other than the common stock tips and advertisements for bodily enlargements, the students also received messages composed of absurd phrases. Johnson believes that the content might have been generated randomly by a program trying to fool the University filters.

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