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The following information was obtained from different cyber security sources for notification to all parties concerned pursuant to the mandate of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG).

The information provided was classified as “Restricted” pursuant to the PNP Regulation 200-012 on Document Security and Impact Rating as high based on PNP Information Communication Technology (ICT) Security Manual s.2010-01 p. 22 and p.129.

SUMMARY

E-mail spam, also known as junk e-mail or Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (UBE), is a subset of spam that involves nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by e-mail. Definitions of spam usually include the aspects that e-mail is unsolicited and sent in bulk. One subset of UBE is UCE (Unsolicited Commercial E-mail). The opposite of "spam", e-mail which one wants, is called "ham", usually when referring to a message's automated analysis.

At its core, spam is unsolicited, irrelevant e-mail, sent in bulk to a list of people. For example, let us say you purchased a list of e-mail addresses from a local business organization. On the surface, that list of addresses seems like it could contain some great prospects for your business and you want to send them an e-mail with a relevant offer they cannot refuse. But since those people did not give you explicit permission to contact them, sending an email to that list would be considered spam.

Aside from the amount of junk arriving in the inboxes of millions of innocent e-mail users every day, spam can have a more indirect and serious effect on e-mail services and their users.

There are many reasons to avoid interacting with spam mail, but the some of the truly troubling scenarios include the possibility that you will be putting yourself at risk for identity theft or allowing an attacker to load viruses and malware onto your computer. In the worst-case scenarios, you could even be charged with crimes you were not aware you were helping the spammer commit such as being involved in money laundering or handling stolen items. In most cases when handling a spam message, the best course of action is to simply delete the message immediately.

Spam can be not only annoying but also dangerous to consumers. What that means for you as an e-mail marketer is that the safety precautions that e-mail service providers have put in place to control the amount of spam that makes it into a user's inbox may actually work against your perfectly legitimate and requested e-mail to your subscribers. As you expand your e-mail marketing program, you will consistently be frustrated by having to fight your way past email spam filters.

There are a number of other less formal characteristics that you will typically find present in spam e-mails. There is usually no way for a recipient to opt-out of future e-mail sends. The e-mail is typically sent from an international IP address to avoid both tracking and subjectivity to US laws and, of course, the e-mail almost exclusively promotes "scam" activities that would require the user to turn over sensitive financial or personal information to the sender of the e-mail.

Although spam mail can be difficult to avoid, you can greatly reduce and even eliminate the amount of spam clogging your inbox by using proper anti-spam software to ensureand filtered away from your inbox and other important e-mail folders the unsolicited and irrelevant e-mails received.

Additionally, many internet security softwares provide users with phishing protection, which can help in cases when an e-mail appears to be legitimate but it is not. Since these e-mails often ask for bank and other financial credentials, protection against phishing protection is a vital feature in any anti-spam tool.

RECOMMENDATION

      All PNP personnel as well as the public are advised to follow the tips in order to prevent the risk in e-mail spam from infecting their devices and computer systems, to wit:

  • Always update the anti-virus software installed in your computer and conduct regular full scanning at least once a week.;
  • Turn-off sharing if not necessary;
  • Disable autoplay to prevent automatic launching of executable files;
  • Say NO to unknown links and avoid downloading attachments from unrecognized sources; and
  • Always back up your data on an external device.

For additional information, please refer to the following websites:

  • http://www.pau.edu.tr/bidb/en/sayfa/spam-mail
  • https://mailchimp.com/resources/guides/avoid-spam-filters/
  • https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/simple-tips-spam-mail-protection
  • https://emailmarketing.comm100.com/email-marketing-ebook/email-spam.aspx

 

POINT OF CONTACT

            Please contact PCINSP ANGELICA STARLIGHT L. RIVERA, Chief, Personnel Records Management Section thru e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us on telephone number (632) 7230401 local 3562 for any inquiries related to this CYBER SECURITY BULLETIN.