Phishing attacks continue to rise with hundreds of millions of emails sent out daily, resulting in stolen identities, institutional financial loss, intellectual property theft and other types of fraud. The sophistication of these attacks is constantly improving, with elaborately cloned sites, and hackers leveraging anything they can to lure in their prey. Preparing for such attacks throughout the University of Wisconsin System is critical to addressing this threat, and strengthening the overall information security posture of the university.
The University of Wisconsin System is implementing an institution-wide phishing awareness education program, similar to programs taking place at other large universities around the country. In this program, simulated phishing emails will be periodically sent to all UW faculty and staff. The exercises will be ongoing throughout the year. These exercises will resemble an actual phishing threat. The message will appear to come from a trusted source and may ask for you to click on a link to provide additional information. When it comes to spotting malicious emails and phishing attacks, there are a few tips you can use to keep yourself and the University safe, these details are provided in our Phishing Awareness section found on ICIT's IT Security Web Page, http://www.uww.edu/icit/services/it-security#tab_ITSecurityTrainingInitiatives. Some of the most important tips are:
As vital as it is to spot potential phishing attacks, it is also important to report such attacks to ICIT. If you ever receive a suspicious email or message, please send that email as an attachment to: email@example.com. If you have any questions, you may always contact the Help Desk; firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 472-4357.
To report a IT security incident or concern, contact the Help Desk at 262-472-HELP(4357) or via email at email@example.com.
Phishing scams are designed to trick recipients into sharing login credentials in order to gain access to the recipients account. Another common method of gaining access to sensitive information is to send the recipient an attachment containing a virus that infects the computer. The viruses can be designed to:
The senders of these malicious emails typically go to great lengths to make the malicious email look like a legitimate email. Often this is accomplished by using a logo or branding from a legitimate company or entity, or by "spoofing" a trusted email address to make it the email appear legitimate. Once an email account is compromised, it is often used to bombard other email users with the same malicious email.
This phishing message attempts to mimic a common automated message.
This phishing email attempts to mimic a message from a real company by utilizing the company's logo in the email header. Users who click the link are rerouted to a legitimate-looking webpage asking them to login. Rather than logging into the company's portal, the user is inadvertently providing their login credentials (e.g. - NetID and password).
This malicious email spoofs a UWW.edu email address in an attempt to make it appear like it was sent from a campus email account. The file attached to this email contained a virus.
This phishing email attempts to leverage an existing company's brand in order to appear legitimate. Notice how another compromised account was used to send this malicious email
If you receive an unsolicited job offer via email, there is a good chance it may be phony. Especially if it is too good to be true.
Here is how employment scams work:
If you receive a suspicious email - DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS, CLICK LINKS OR REPLY TO THE EMAIL. The best way to combat malicious emails is to report them so they can be blocked from the campus email server and reported to appropriate watchdog agencies.
Using the method below helps retain forensic information used to combat phishing and other types of malicious emails. If you are unable report suspicious emails using the methods described below, you can also forward the message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For assistance with reporting suspicious emails, please contact the Help Desk at email@example.com or Ext. HELP (4357).
Security awareness training is a required course for any UW-Whitewater employee. The training can be accessed through D2L:
General Security Awareness Training contains information that is relevant to all users, including NetID and password security, email security, and information about how to stay safe on the web and while using social media. The remaining modules deal with information security issues that are particular to the various types of records that we handle as a campus.
Please review the training materials in the course content and select those that are most relevant to your work or activities on campus. Thank you for taking the time to review these materials and please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for improving our information security awareness program.
To help maintain the highest levels of network security, ICIT employs multiple methods of educating and warning members of the campus community of new and potential threats.
Malicious Email Warning System: UW-Whitewater utilizes an automated system that scans incoming mails for words, phrases, and file types associated with malicious emails and scams. If something triggers the warning system - such as the phrase "you've won" or "network administrator" - then an automated warning message will be inserted into the email warning the user that the message may be a scam or malicious. The email message will not be modified other than to having the warning inserted, so if you see this warning, watch out!
Phishing Email Awareness Campaigns: While ICIT maintains an anti-spam service that blocks thousands of spam messages each week, however, the tactics being used to disseminate phishing scams and malicious email attachments are becoming increasingly complex, allowing some messages that evade the anti-spam filters. For that reason, ICIT will occasionally perform phishing assessments that involve sending out mock phishing and scam emails to the campus community, similar to those targeting the campus in the past. The intent of this effort is to assess campus vulnerabilities to these types of attacks, and so the campus community can better prepared to spot fraudulent messages. These messages will not be harmful in any way, and if you fall victim to one of these mock phishing messages you will be notified immediately and will be taken through a brief training exercise to help you learn how to identify fraudulent messages. For some quick tips on Phishing, check out our "Click Wisely" PDF.
Think you are a Phishing expert? Try some interactive games and see how your knowledge stacks up!
Cisco Umbrella: Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-delivered security service. Cisco Umbrella uses the internet's infrastructure to block malicious destinations before a connection is ever established. It offers the simplest, fastest way to protect every device on a network. The software acts as a filter in order to stop users from visiting any malicious, vulnerable or compromised websites.
NEVER SHARE YOUR PASSWORD! (ICIT will never ask for your password)
It is very important that all computers be installed, configured, and disposed of in a safe manner. Improper installation, configuration, or disposal of computers can lead to serious security problems and data breaches, some of which may lead to violations of federal or local regulations.
ICIT will facilitate the setup and configuration for all campus computers, please contact the Help Desk.
Storage of your important data on your local (or C:) drive does not protect you from data corruption or loss! In order to protect your important data, use your network drive. Your network drive is backed up regularly and can be recovered in the event of data loss, your local drive, in many cases, cannot. UW-Whitewater provides network storage for all students, faculty and staff.
If you are, or have been using your local drive to store your data, then please copy your important documents and data to your network drive and start using your network drive to store and retrieve this data. More information about your network storage options is available on the File Storage Options page.
If you have any questions about using your network drive, please contact the Help Desk at 472-4357 or email@example.com.