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IT Acts to Curb Junk E-Mail

February 20, 2006

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Information Technology is implementing two measures for the E-mail Defense System (EDS) to address the dramatic increase in junk e-mail and its serious impact on networked University resources.

Although the EDS has proven highly effective in blocking junk e-mail, the volume of junk e-mail has increased dramatically.

The following took effect Feb. 20:

• All e-mail with a greater than "99" junk probability rating against EDS tests will be deleted, effectively reducing the amount of junk e-mail being held in quarantine. This change will not affect undergraduate students or alumni because their e-mail deletion thresholds are currently less than "99." For more information about current threshold levels, visit http://www.it.northwestern.edu/security/eds/how/index.html. Users have the option to opt out of the system. Instructions for opting out can be found at http://www.it.northwestern.edu/security/eds/features/options.html.

• Anonymous directory queries from off-campus will be blocked to help prevent the harvesting of northwestern.edu e-mail addresses by known spammers  -- a contributing factor to the recent increase in junk e-mail. This means anyone e-mailing from off-campus must authenticate to the Northwestern Network with Virtual Private Network (VPN) to use directory queries from their e-mail client. Instructions for downloading and configuring VPN are available on the IT Web site at http://www.it.northwestern.edu/oncampus/vpn/. For more information about anonymous directory queries, visit http://www.it.northwestern.edu/security/spam/directory.html.

There is no change to obtaining directory information from the Northwestern University online directory. Community members can still access full online directory information from off-campus by using the "authenticated access" service available at http://directory.northwestern.edu/. Non-authenticated users will continue to receive limited directory information.

Information Technology recommends that you disable the auto delivery of the EDS daily quarantine digest to your e-mail inbox if you are not reviewing it on a daily basis. This can be easily accomplished by https://eds.northwestern.edu:28080/options.cgi. This action will further reduce the processing effort required of the system and further improve performance.

Additional information is available on IT's "What's New & Changing with Technology @ NU?" site at http://www.it.northwestern.edu/transitions/2006/eds-security.html.

Questions can be directed to the IT Support Center at (847) 491-HELP (4357) or consultant@northwestern.edu.

Topics: University News