Category Archives: Midd Blogosphere

Information Security Alert: New Phishing Technique Being Exploited


What you need to know

A new highly effective phishing technique targeting Gmail and other services has been gaining popularity during the past year among attackers. Over the past few weeks there have been reports of experienced technical users being hit by this. This attack is currently being used to target Gmail customers and is also targeting other online services.

[Basically, the location bar of your web browser is used to trick you into disclosing your account credentials by displaying an actual login page’s URL that is prefaced by something sneaky.]

How to protect yourself against this type of phishing attack

You have always been told: “Check the location bar in your browser to make sure you are on the correct website before signing in.” To protect yourself against this new phishing technique, you need to change what you are checking in the location bar. Read more…

[Please read the article posted on for the complete story. Also note that while Middlebury has a Google Apps for Education (or G-Suite) instance, our sign-in page is a Middlebury-branded and not a Google-branded. Still, this is important info for protecting your personal Gmail account and other services that this technique may try to exploit.]


Noah Graham named Cottrell Scholar

Noah Graham (Physics), a 2005 recipient of the Cottrell College Science Award, has been named a Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation, a private foundation that aids basic research in the physical sciences. This program is highly selective–only 5% of Cottrell College Science Award recipients since 1994 have been invited to join this stellar group. This honor places Noah in a national community of outstanding scholar-educators who produce significant research and educational outcomes and makes him eligible for unique grant opportunities. Congratulations Noah!

InfoSec Alert: Fake “Microsoft Tech Support” Telephone Calls

Please note,

Several members of the Middlebury community have recently reported receiving fake “Microsoft Tech Support” telephone calls. These calls are scams. Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from “Microsoft Technical Support” (or a similar sounding organization), hang up. The con artists on the other end of the line are trying to trick you into installing unwanted and potentially malicious software on your computer or disclosing your account credentials.

Again, Microsoft’s support organization does not initiate contact with customers. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Windows Support or Microsoft Tech support, just hang up on the call.

For more information on how to avoid telephone support scams, please see
Microsoft Safety & Security Center: Avoiding technical support scams.

Frank Winkler receives a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute

Frank Winkler (Emeritus Professor, Physics) has been awarded funding from the NASA-funded Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) for his role in a collaborative research project titled What Makes Radio-detected and Optically-detected Supernova Remnants in NGC6946 Different? The project, carried out in collaboration with colleagues from STScI, Johns Hopkins University, and Hofstra University, will use new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, in conjunction with existing data from Hubble, from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, from optical telescopes at Kitt Peak in Arizona and Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and  from the Jansky Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico. The study will focus on understanding the remnants of exploded stars in the “Fireworks Galaxy,” so named because it has produced more supernovae (9) in the past century than any other known galaxy. The researchers hope that their work will shed new light on the cycle through which stars are born, live, die spectacularly as supernovae, and disperse matter that will eventually become the raw material for new stars.

@MiddInfoSec Phishing Alert: don’t fall for “FW: VERIFY” scam email

Be on the alert for a suspicious email purportedly sent from an internal sender with the subject line “FW: VERIFY”. This is a confirmed phishing message, designed to trick you into divulging your username and password. Do not click on the links in the message or reply to the message. If you find a copy of the message in your inbox, please delete it. If you find a copy of this message in your spam quarantine, please ignore it and do not release it. The message will be deleted from your quarantine automatically in the next few days.

For more information about phishing attacks, please visit

For more information about the spam quarantine, please visit

CCE Mini Grant Reflection by Rebecca Duras: Letter drop at Congressman Welch’s and Senator Leahy’s offices, Burlington

On Veteran’s Day, 2016, the Middlebury chapter of Young Progressives Demanding Action (YPDA) organized a trip to the Burlington offices of Congressman Peter Welch and Senator Patrick Leahy to deliver letters calling for them to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which not only threatens the environment but desecrates Native American land protected by a treaty. The letter drop was planned before the election results, but the election of Donald Trump, who not only promised he will support the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline but stated that he will overturn President Obama’s executive order blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline, made the day of action even more pressing. Of all the things that could happen under a Trump administration, the damage done to the environment is one of the most powerful because we are at a turning point environmentally and if swift action is not taken now, our environment will become permanently damaged beyond repair.

After the letter drop was completed, the members of MiddYPDA attended the Burlington “Love Trumps Hate” rally  to show our support for those who are most vulnerable by Trump’s administration. The rally in Burlington’s City Hall Park was peaceful, with many speakers sharing their fears of what might come as well as their hopes for a future America that is vigilant in the face of injustice and many shared tips for helping the most vulnerable.