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Tag: malicious attachment

Reminder: IT security roundtable this Friday on recognizing e-mail scams

The roundtable will be 9-10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in Union 213. This session is designed for the general user, so you do not have to be a technical wizard to benefit. If you use e-mail, this event is for you.

Malicious e-mail attachments wreaked havoc on K-State computers a few weeks ago, while spear phishing scams that steal eID passwords have been a persistent plague. As hackers continue to find new, more clever ways to trick people, it is important for all users to educate themselves about e-mail scams and be constantly on the alert for new scams that arrive daily in people’s K-State e-mail. Consequently, December’s monthly IT security roundtable discussion will provide tips to help people recognize e-mail scams and thus protect themselves from identity theft, financial fraud, compromised computers, and more.

Topics covered include: Continue reading “Reminder: IT security roundtable this Friday on recognizing e-mail scams”

Malicious e-mails strike again; 130+ computers compromised

One thing I’ll say about hackers is they are persistent, and I guess that fact shouldn’t surprise me since the same ol’ tricks reap dividends. Last Thursday, Nov. 5, K-State was hit with a cyberattack nearly identical to one that wreaked havoc on campus last July and, like last summer, it succeeded in compromising more than 130 campus computers.

The attack consisted of four different e-mails that tried to trick people into opening a malicious .zip attachment. Users who opened the attachment instantly infected their computer with a new variant of malware that antivirus software did not detect. The compromised computers were then used to try to infect other computers by sending the same malicious e-mails to addresses harvested from local addressbooks on the infected computers.

Once again, the best solution for preventing these types of attacks is for you, the user, to be suspicious of any unexpected e-mail from unknown sources and do not open an attachment until you confirm its legitimacy. One troubling thing is the four e-mails were virtually identical to the ones from last summer, with the following four subject lines:

Continue reading “Malicious e-mails strike again; 130+ computers compromised”

Submitting malware samples for analysis helps improve Trend Micro

In order to escape detection by antivirus software, hackers are constantly altering the malware they proliferate through malicious e-mail attachments, web links, USB flash drives, and a variety of other means. Estimates of new malware produced every day are as high as 50,000, which makes it impossible for pattern-based antivirus software to keep up and detect every single one.

That is not to say antivirus has no value — Trend Micro antivirus has detected more than 73,000 instances of malware since Jan. 1. In fact, in one recent report, Trend Micro security software was rated the most effective tool for catching malware among evaluated consumer-grade antivirus products, so Trend Micro OfficeScan is doing its job. The point is antivirus software cannot catch all malware, so K-Staters are potentially vulnerable to new malware when it first arrives.

One way  K-Staters can help is to submit new malware to Trend Micro for analysis, so those characteristics can be added to the pattern files used by OfficeScan to detect and delete malware. To make this easier for K-Staters, the IT security team developed the “Malicious Software Reporting Tool” where suspicious file(s) can be uploaded and described.

Continue reading “Submitting malware samples for analysis helps improve Trend Micro”

Malicious e-mail attachments infect numerous K-State computers

On Monday afternoon (July 13), thousands of K-Staters received malicious e-mail messages with .zip attachments. DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENTS IN THESE E-MAILS, nor click on any links in these messages. Opening the attachment will result in your computer becoming infected and then being used to try to infect other computers by sending the malicious e-mails to accounts both on and off campus.

The malicious e-mails have subjects like:

  • Your friend invited you to twitter!
  • You have received A Hallmark E-Card!
  • Shipping update for your Amazon.com order 254-78546325-658742
  • Jessica would like to be your friend on hi5!

and the attachments have names like:

  • Invitation Card.zip
  • Postcard.zip
  • Shipping documents.zip

Nearly 100 K-State computers became infected on Monday when people opened the malicious attachments. Continue reading “Malicious e-mail attachments infect numerous K-State computers”