What are spam messages?
Spam messages are email messages sent to thousands or hundreds of thousands of email addresses harvested from various lists across the internet. Many of these recipients never requested nor agreed to receive such messages. The majority of spam messages are simple advertisements, but a certain type have malicious intent.
These spam messages pose as legitimate messages from popular sources such as Blackboard, Google, Microsoft, or even someone from your address book. These messages typically include one or more hyperlinks or attachments with a few paragraphs of text. The attachment(s) or website(s) may attempt to install malware or prompt you to enter personal details such as usernames and passwords, credit or debit cards, or social security numbers.
GRCC and Spam Messages
GRCC has been the target of several campaigns of the more malicious spam email messages. These campaigns seek to route users to a website prompting the user for their GRCC credentials. If entered, the individual responsible for the spam will use them to take control of GroupWise email accounts or other resources to harvest data and send out more messages. All in the hopes of collecting more victims and continuing the vicious cycle.
What is Information Technology doing?
Information Technology is dedicated to preventing as much Spam as we can, and we deploy a significant number of tools and people to do so.
Some are preventative like the FuseMail Spam Filter which prevents the majority of spam from reaching the College. This filter scans all incoming messages for keywords popular in many of the today’s more common spam. Any messages meeting its criterion are blocked and flagged for your review. This is why you don’t often see advertisements for low cost prescriptions, requests for money from princes, or any of the other most common spam.
Some messages, however, still make it through. When they do Information Technology responds quickly to block offending websites and senders, and watching to ensure no resources were comprised.
What can you do?
Spam messages are tricky so some still make it through our defenses. So Information Technology relies on the College’s dedicated Faculty, Staff, and Students to alert us to potential threats and to take necessary precautions in their day to day operations.
We’ve included a number of these precautions below for your review.
- Above all else, Information Technology will never ask you for your password. Information technology will never need to know your password to resolve incidents or fulfill services requests. Your password is yours alone.
- Don’t open unexpected messages or messages from unknown senders. Is the first email from Aunt Margaret in twelve years? Give her a call to make sure she actually sent one.
- Don’t click any links or download any attachments from any suspect messages.
- Don’t use your work address for mailing lists. Kohl’s coupons are awesome, but its one more place for hackers to get your work email address.
- Finally, if you’re not sure – ask. Information Technology is here to serve the campus community and our dedicated staff will help you determine the nature of suspicious email.