The ICT service

Spam and Phishing Emails

Audience: Primary / Nursery / Special / Secondary Schools

Dear Colleagues,
Over the last week or so we have seen a massive increase in the number of phishing and spam emails received into the Cambridgeshire schools email system.  
Every day we receive around 250,000 emails for schools of which we block around 130,000 of them as spam or suspect. Spam is a never ending battle and the spammers go to more and more lengths to bypass email filtering systems.
Our system works by giving each email a score, based on this score, an automatic decision is made to either deliver the mail or to delete it. We can adjust the level at which we delete however doing this in the past has resulted in genuine emails not being delivered so we have to be cautious in this area.
We are working hard in an attempt to mitigate the effects of this current influx and while we understand it is frustrating, there is only so much we can do centrally to reduce the level of spam without impacting genuine mail.
We do request that schools continue to provide us with examples of the spam received so that we can add to the database.  Instructions about how to do this can be provided by contacting The ICT Service Helpline on 0300 300 0000. 
Once provided to us, delete the message/s and ensure that you empty your deleted items folder. 
Users should also exercise caution regarding the websites they register their email addresses on, as this can have an impact on the levels of spam received.  
Below you will find a link that will answer questions and give advice about identifying spam and phishing attempts that your staff might find useful.  
  • What is phishing?
  • How can I spot spam email?
  • How can I spot a phishing website?
  • Checking website security?
Get the answers
Our technical support team will continue to provide relevant updates via our social media channels Twitter and Facebook.
On a related subject, you may have seen in the media last week that Lincolnshire County Council had to shut down all of their IT systems as a result of an attack from a virus that was downloaded from an email.
Although every technical step is taken to scan emails for viruses as they enter the Cambridgeshire schools network we would like to remind users to be vigilant about opening emails with attachments from unknown sources. 
Please also consult with your ICT Support teams to ensure your virus protection is up-to-date on your devices.
Please call The ICT Service Helpline on 0300 300 0000 or email if you have any questions or concerns.
Kind regards
Dave Ager Signature
Dave Ager
Technical Services Manager

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