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Four Easy Ways to Spot a Phishing Email–Preventative Security

4 Ways to Spot a Phishing Attempt. More training is coming soon.

Phishing attempts will almost always come with an “urgent” message about your mailbox, or with some security update or cryptic message about upgrades or compromised accounts.  It almost always involves a threat to shut-off your account unless you click the link and enter your credentials.  If you receive a suspicious email ask?

  1. Is the email from a trusted internal IS & T source? IS & T will never send technology or email updates from a Forum.montevallo.edu email address and/or student accounts, outside accounts or 3rd party address.  All communication comes from a member of IS & T or the UM IS&T account. If you are unsure who works in IS & T, here is a handy link (no credentials required). Meet IS&T Staff
  2. Does the email ask you to click a link and enter your credentials to verify your account? This is actually the easiest way to identify a Phishing Email—IS & T will never send an email threatening to shut off your account unless you put in your credentials—If we see a compromised account we just shut it off and wait for the call (you will thank us later).  If we do upgrades you will know about it well in advance, the communication will come from a member of IS & T Operations Team and you will only need to follow the normal, trusted sources to access your email.  We do not need to verify accounts, and if a password reset is needed it happens in person and/or on the phone with some verifying data.
  3. Does the email contain some weird or incorrect grammar such as: “…discovered an irregular updates on your account” Most phishing is automatically generated from robotic programs whose authors do not typically have English as a native language. This is usually a tip-off that it is a phishing email.
  4. Does the link go somewhere other a Montevallo source? Just hover your mouse over the link and see where it goes—as in the latest round hovering the mouse shows the link goes to web-update20188.weebly.com.  All UM IS & T emails, assuming they contain a link should go to trusted UM sources.

Finally, a bonus look—who is the email signed by?  If it is not one of the IS & T Staff or the Solution Center it did not come from us.  Hopefully this helps you, in the long run we will need to continue to work together to reduce this sort of spam. We are trying to continually tweak the Barracuda device to catch these sorts of emails, which is challenging to do without shutting off a lot of legitimate email.

We also try to post all the latest Phishing Scams on the IS & T Page—located at:

https://www.montevallo.edu/about-um/administration/ist/ist-systems/

Again no credentials required.

Happy Wednesday everyone and thanks for your help!

Best,
CRG

Craig R. Gray, M.A., CISA
Chief Information Officer
University of Montevallo
(205)665-6116
Cgray2@montevallo.edu


June 15 Phishing Attempt

June 15, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:


June 14 Phishing Attempt

June 14, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Phishing Screenshot


June 13 Phishing Attempt

June 13, 2018

Below, there are two screenshots of a phishing email:



May 7 Phishing Attempt

May 7, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

May 7th Phishing Email


April 12 Phishing Attempt

April 12, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Picture of the phishing email trying to get your email address


March 23 Phishing Attempt

March 23, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Screenshot of Phishing Email

March 21 Phishing Attempt

March 21, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Copy of Phishing Email

March 20 Phishing Attempt

March 20, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Phishing Email

March 14 Phishing Attempt

March 14, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

March 7 Phishing Attempt

March 7, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

March 5 Phishing Attempt

March 5, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Feb. 23 Phishing Attempt

February 23, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:


Feb. 21 Phishing Attempt

February 21, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

 

Feb. 16 Phishing Attempt

February 16, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Phishing email 20180216


Feb. 13 Phishing Attempts

February 13, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:


The following email has circulated targeting faculty and staff today. This email is not legitimate; if you notice this email in your inbox, please forward it to the Solution Center.

Below is a screenshot from the phishing email:

Spam PDF

Feb. 7 Phishing Attempt

February 7, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Feb. 5 Phishing Attempt

February 5, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Feb. 1 Phishing Attempts

February 1, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Below is the screenshot from an additional email:

Once you click Here on the previous email the following page appears:

 

Jan. 24 Phishing Attempt

January 24, 2018

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Jan. 12 Phishing Attempt

January 12, 2017

Dear Campus Family,

Please be aware of this latest Phishing attempt which says it is from the Service Desk.  This is not legitimate. The link once clicked will take you to a page with spoofed Forum graphics. If you have clicked on it and entered your credentials please contact the Solution Center at ext. 6512. 

Also, we try to keep our website updated with the latest Phishing attempts—that link can be found here:  IS & T Systems Status (and will not ask for credentials).

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

 

Nov. 22 Phishing Attempt

November 22, 2017

On Wednesday November 22st, many UM students, faculty and staff began receiving an email with the subject “E-mail User”.
This email is a “phishing” attack, an attempt to trick individuals into revealing private information, such as their UM usernames and passwords. If you received this email, please delete it. If you replied to the email or clicked the embedded links, please contact the IS&T Solution Center at 205-665-6512.

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

 

Nov. 21 Phishing Attempt

All,

There have been several spam/fake emails being delivered lately. Most of these appear to be coming from an IT Department and are asking users to validate their Email Address. The current email actually claims to be from Montevallo’s IT department. For example:

The IS&T Department will never send out emails like these:

Please take some time to re-visit how to identify viruses in emails to avoid possibly opening and getting infected with the virus.

1. Look at the sender’s email address – These email addresses can be spoofed to look like someone you know, but also, they could be one that has a different country’s domain on it (example.com.ru, or support@microsoft.com.ru<mailto:support@microsoft.com.ru>)

2. Look at the Subject line – Does it create a sense of urgency? These are typically viruses. Does it have 1 word in it but appears to be a response like “Re: Document”? – This is also a tell tell sign of a virus.

3. Look at the body of the message – If the sender is a recognized sender, does it follow their normal emailing criteria – Does it have a salutation – is it directed to you specifically, or is it generic (Hi, vs Hi Adam,). Does it have a signature for the person who sent it? Does it match the name of the person you identified in the email address above? Does it have the company’s contact information and/or graphics that you’ve been accustomed to seeing if you’ve received mail from them before?

4. Look at the content of the body – Is it just asking you to open a file or go to a website link? Does it create a sense of urgency? With viruses, the purpose of the body is to entice you to open the attachment or link. A common method is by fear and urgency.

If you have any questions about the validity an email, please contact the Solution Center.

Nov. 21 Phishing Attempt

November 21, 2017

On Tuesday November 21st, many UM students, faculty and staff began receiving an email with the subject “The Academic Advancement Program Scholarship 2017”.

This email is a “phishing” attack, an attempt to trick individuals into revealing private information, such as their UM usernames and passwords. If you received this email, please delete it. If you replied to the email or clicked the embedded links, please contact the IS&T Solution Center at 205-665-6512.

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

 

Nov. 14 Phishing Attempt

   November 14th, 2017

On Tuesday November 14th, many UM students, faculty and staff began receiving an email with the subject “Employee Benefits”.  The email was sent to “Local Members” and appeared to be from a sender called “Local Members”.

This email is a “phishing” attack, an attempt to trick individuals into revealing private information, such as their UM usernames and passwords. If you received this email, please delete it.  If you replied to the email or clicked the embedded links, please contact the IS&T Solution Center at 205-665-6512.

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

 

 

Nov. 10 Phishing Attempt

November 10, 2017

Beginning Friday November 10th, many UM students, faculty and staff began receiving an email with the subject “Migrating”.
This email is a “phishing” attack, an attempt to trick individuals into revealing private information, such as their UM usernames and passwords. If you received this email, please delete it.  If you replied to the email or clicked the embedded link, please contact the IS&T Solution Center at 205-665-6512.

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

 

Nov. 6 Phishing Attempt

November 6, 2017

Beginning Saturday November 4th, many UM students, faculty and staff began receiving an email with the subject “Mail Update,”.
This email is a “phishing” attack, an attempt to trick individuals into revealing private information, such as their UM usernames and passwords. If you received this email, please delete it.  If you replied to the email or clicked the embedded link, please contact the IS&T Solution Center at 205-665-6512.

This specific phishing attack is particularly concerning, due to its use of our University of Montevallo logo and school colors.

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

PDF of phishing

 

 

 

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

Oct. 9 Phishing Attempt

October 12th, 2017

Beginning Monday October 9th, many UM students, faculty and staff began receiving an email with the subject “Account User”. This email is a “phishing” attack, an attempt to trick individuals into revealing private information, such as their UM usernames and passwords. If you received this email, please delete it.  If you replied to the email, please contact the IS&T Solution Center at 205-665-6512.

Below is a screenshot of the phishing email:

a picture of the Phishing email from 10/9/2017