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Marchons, Marchons! (Soldiers of Spam, pt. 2)

We continue to have people hand out their passwords to phishers as if candy at Halloween. And now our entire mail domain has been blacklisted because the compromised accounts are sending spam faster than you can say “NOOOOOOOO…” I wonder, is there a geographic difference in the efficacy of social engineering techniques? For example, are people in New England (where the stereotype includes being distrusting, independent, and skeptical) less likely to respond to phishing than folks in the Pacific Northwest (where the stereotype involves being laid back, a little passive, and, yes, possibly stoned)?

Soldiers of Spam: click on links and download stuff WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION

A member of the President’s Cabinet forwarded an email to me that asked for her password so the “IT staff” could “unexpire” her account which presumably had been “expired” because she used up too much space on our system. The Cabinet member wanted to know if she could just get more space on our system.  I noted that the mail was a phishing attack and pointed out the various signs, the most obvious being that the sender’s email address was not from our domain and bore no relation (spoofed or otherwise) to our help desk email address. Meanwhile, a bunch … Continue Reading

Ethics, or, yeah, we are reading your email

Yesterday’s “spam-a-lot” (see below) episode led to a system administrator looking into the complainant’s email box to check on the spam filters. While looking in said email box, the sys admin saw an email from yours truly, read it, and noted I was referencing a “how-to” URL on our website which, unfortunately, was giving out wrong instructions. He mentioned this to another staff member who then asked me what she should do. I noted to her, after taking a deep breath and glancing at the SAGE Code of Ethics I put on my white board in honor of the … Continue Reading

From the faculty, with love

Received at our help desk today, from a faculty member:

Subject: spam

Dear everybody in the whole mother fucking world of cyberspace or, put more politely,

to whom it may concern:

I have a PhD already and I didn’t mind attending class toward that end.

I do not … Continue Reading