The storage space of the university’s e-mail system has been a long-standing complaint of students and faculty alike. But while many dream of larger inboxes, they’ve recently received a stream of spam for another type of enlargement.

Beth Ann Bergsmark, a director at University Information Services, said that a group of 30 to 40 users who are charged with reporting increases in spam mail to UIS have recently reported an extra two to 10 spam messages per day. Most of these messages have advertised penis enlargement products.

“We have seen an increase in spam getting through our filters. It is not to the degree that we have seen an overall average increase in volume of mail, but we have observed spikes or fluctuations that are most likely spam,” she said.

Spencer French (SFS ’08) said there was a jump in his spam e-mails “a couple of weeks ago” and that he now receives three or four spam e-mails a day as opposed to one or two a month. He said some of the e-mails have had titles such as, “I can’t believe it, but it got bigger,” and, “Don’t let anyone laugh at your small wee-wee again.”

Bergsmark said that further upgrades to the filtering system are planned for the next few weeks. However, she did admit that increased filtering could result in the unintended blocking of normal e-mail.

“UIS does have plans to increase the spam filter threshold in the next two weeks. As we increase the spam threshold, there is an increased chance for blocking legitimate mail that may appear to be spam but is not,” she said. “It’s a continual balance between increasing the filters to stop more aggressive spamming techniques and not increasing the filters too much to affect normal communications.”

In September, a wave of 250,000 spam messages debilitated the university’s e-mail system and other networks requiring a NetID login for over a day. In response, UIS workers teamed up with engineers from technology developer Sun Microsystems to improve the email infrastructure.

Bergsmark said this influx has not been so severe as to lead to overall e-mail increases or an overflow of e-mail account storage.

“It is not to the degree that we have seen an overall average increase in volume of mail,” she said.

UIS also upgraded spam filters in February 2007 when one school filter, the Ironports filter, was added to supplement the previously installed Spamhaus system, which UIS implemented in 2004, after discovering that 20 percent of all university e-mail was spam.

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