Noticed a recent increase in Spam?

Posted by: Moe Assafiri
Category: News

Spam is on the rise – be cautious with emails.

We’ve had a number of customers notice the increase in Spam over the past 6 months.
Despite using the best practises for antivirus, anti spam and spam filters on all our email servers, hundreds of spam emails are still managing to go undetected by even the most complex spam filters.

World wide, there has been a significant spike in Malicious spam, says a report from Kaspersky Lab:

Number of email virus detections on computers

Although Spam filters have become increasingly sophisticated, Spammers are always finding new ways of seeping through the cracks. In addition, the sheer number of emails being sent is causing a small percentage to actually reach your inbox.


Be mindful of the attachments you open

Spam is harmless to your computer, you can delete the email without worrying about infection, however, marking it as spam may be beneficial for everyone on the internet (more on that below).
It is important that you never click on any links for spam as they can trigger downloads.
It is extremely important that you never open attachments from people you do not know.

These file formats can contain malicious files:

  • ZIP
  • RAR
  • TAR
  • GZ
  • BAT
  • EXE
  • Some PDFs
    (This is rare – it’s important that you keep your Adobe Reader up to date)

Be cautious of emails that look like they’re coming from:

  • Australia Post
    This is very common. Australia post will rarely send emails with attachments.
  • Telstra
  • ATO
  • PayPal
  • Any Bank

If you do open one of the file formats, you will still need to double click on the virus to start the infection process. In most cases, your AntiVirus will detect if the file is malicious – having Antivirus on your computer is critical to saving you if you make this mistake, especially if you are using Windows.

A common example of Spam, never open the attachment if you do not know the person.

Faking it

Faking names and email addresses is easy for spammers.

See the example above, it may look like it’s coming from – but it is not.
If you hover over the name of the sender, or right click and select Properties, you will be able to see the true sending email address – this can be a good indicator of whether this is spam or not.


What can we do?

In short; report spam on Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and Office 365.

Smart filters like Gmail, Hotmail and Office 365 work by collectively finding patterns in email and ranking them with a spam score. By marking emails as junk, filters can recognise patters, such as the IP Address the email is sent from, the sender’s name or subject.  The process takes time, but can result in very accurate spam control that is taught by everyone on these platforms.

Eventually, these filters create a blacklist which propagates to other services, such as your business email.

Important to note; marking spam on Apple’s Mail client will not contribute to the blacklist, however it will recognise patterns and Junk spam on your Mac (and only on your Mac).


What are your thoughts on combating spam? Share them below.

Author: Moe Assafiri
Mouhamed "Moe" Assafiri has a degree in Information Systems and over 5 year experience with cloud Point of Sale implantation and networking. He has worked with a range of Point of Sale solutions available in Australia and world-wide and delivered 100's of hospitality and retail projects across Australia.

Leave a Reply