Author Archives: Ian Burke

Security Notice: Middleburry.org Typosquatting

Middlebury Information Security received information that fraudulent emails are being sent from a malicious domain, “middleburry.org”, to businesses that might provide equipment and supplies to Middlebury College.

The suspicious emails are crafted such that they appear to come from actual Middlebury College employees, though the contact information provided includes incorrect telephone numbers and email addresses.

Note that suspected bad actors are using a typosquatting technique – there are two R’s in “middleburry.org”, and Middlebury’s domain name ends in .edu, rather than .org.   Those details, however, are perhaps an easy thing to miss, especially at a quick glance.     ​

Efforts are underway to takedown the middleburry.org domain, and to suspend the domain holder’s email service.

Please contact InfoSec@middlebury.edu with questions.

Security Notification: Ransomware Delivered Through Phishing Attacks

A year ago the Internet saw a rash of malware known as ransomware. This malicious form of cyber attack is known for infecting a computer and encrypting a drive. The victim is then unable to recover their data until paying a ransom to the attacker. Middlebury, like many other institutions was not immune to this form of attack.

A week ago the FBI announced a new variant on a common form of these attacks known as CryptoWall. This form of ransomware is known to have four methods of infecting a computer.

  • Phishing: the attacker may lure a victim into downloading an infected attachment through a phishing campaign and thereby compromising the drive on their system.
  • Phishing: the attacker lures the victim into clicking on a link to a malicious web site where the victim unknowingly downloads the malicious software onto their system and compromises their drive.
  • Infected ad: the attacker posts and infected ad on a website which a user might click thereby causing the download of malicious software.
  • Compromised website: the attacker compromises a website so when a user visits the website they unknowingly download malicious software and compromise their system.

According to the FBI, by far the most common method of attack is phishing, particularly with attachments in the message.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • Never open attachments or click links in emails that you do not recognize or trust.
  • Know what a phishing attack is and how to spot one. visit http://go.middlebury.edu/phish or http://phishing.org
  • If you think you have fallen for a phish change your password. then call x2200
  • If you believe you system is compromised, unplug it from the power and the network. Shut it down immediately. Do not worry about saving your work. then call x2200.
  • Backup your data routinely. If you save your data to Middfiles or your home directory it will be backed up automatically.
  • Never disable your antivirus software.
  • Send any suspect emails to phishing@middlebury.edu
  • Only download software from known vendor sites.
  • Don’t click on ads in web sites. Visit vendor websites directly.

Sources:

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Come listen to experts from across the State speak on new technologies and security topics that impact all of us in our daily lives. Learn how you can fall victim to identity theft. Hear how Google Glass could be the next great technology wave and the next great technology threat. This full day event in Middlebury’s McCullough Social Space will run from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on October 9th. For more information please visit http://go.middlebury.edu/CSAM.

Open RoadShow on Information Security

LIS Information Security and the LIS Security Team will be hosting a lunch time RoadShow on information security and basic ways to protect yourself while working on Internet connected computers. This discussion is open to the full College community. Please join us Aug. 28th at noon in Davis Family Library room 145. For more information please visit: http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/technology/infosec/education/CBT/RoadShow

FakeAV a leading threat in 2013

What is FakeAV: FakeAV is a virus designed to look like real anti-virus software in the hopes that the victim will click a link and download a malicious package. The malware often does not stop there. Many FakeAV packages continue the con by disabling true anti-virus packages claiming that they are harming the system they are intended to protect. These viruses come in many forms but are well crafted to present like a trusted virus prevention source.

Read more about FakeAV at: http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/technology/security/InfosecArticle. 

Learn more about security threats and awareness at http://go.middlebury.edu/infosec

 

Phishing on campus!

Over the last week Middlebury experienced a dramatic increase in the number of successful phishing attacks that resulted in Middlebury user accounts being compromised. A phishing attack is the effort of maliciously using email or a web site to try to unwittingly gain information about another individual. These recent attacks resulted in two distinct outcomes. The first was that many of these accounts were leveraged to generate large amounts of spam. The second result from these compromised accounts is that the attackers attempted to connect to the Middlebury network with the exposed user’s credentials.

This past week many individuals across our campus received an email that looked similar to the one below:

————————————–

Message with “Middlebury” as the display name

 

Dear Member,

You Have 1 New Message

Click here to read

Sincerely,
Middlebury Webmail Service

————————————

The link in this message redirected people to copy of the Middlebury CAS Logon page. Two important things to know about email from Middlebury IT Services. First, Library and Information Services will never ask for your user credentials in an email. Second, if you find yourself on any web page that is asking for credentials, always verify the address in your web browser’s address bar, to ensure that the web page is where you really want to be. Just because a web page has the Middlebury logo does not mean it is always a Middlebury web site.

To protect against phishing remember the following rules:

  1. Never click on any links in a suspicious email.
  2. If you ever receive an unsolicited email  and you do not recognize the sender delete the message.
  3. If you receive an email that requests your credentials or asks you to click a link which takes you to a web site that requests your credentials, do not click the link but rather go to the web site through the institution home page, Middlebury.edu for example.
  4. If you suspect an email is fraudulent delete the message.
  5. If you ever have questions regarding phishing or the content of an email call the Helpdesk.

The Helpdesk will help you determine if the email is legitimate. Please do NOT click on any links in a suspect email message.

If you suspect that you may have recently provided your Middlebury credentials to a fraudulent web site or email address, you should immediately reset your password at go/activate and then contact the Helpdesk.

If you become aware that your Middlebury account has been disabled, you must contact the Helpdesk to resolve.

More information is available at the Middlebury College Information Security web site at go/infoSec or contact the InfoSec office at infosec@middlebury.edu.

 

Ian Burke

Network Security Administrator

Middlebury College

infosec@middlebury.edu