UBE (unsolicited bulk email) is a formal term for spam. The most common type of UBE is unsolicited commercial email (UCE): bulk email that is trying to get the recipient to buy some product or service. However, UBE encompasses not only unsolicited bulk commercial mailings but also email chain letters, personal campaign mailings, messages with virus-laden attachments, and messages containing virus hoaxes, among other possibilities.
The defining characteristics of UBE are:
- It is sent as a mass mailing to huge numbers of recipients at a time.
- At least some of the intended recipients have not agreed to receive messages from the sender.