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IT Services responds to spam attacks

In the last couple of months, we have seen waves of malicious spam emails arriving in Sussex inboxes. This week you might have had an email that seems to come from Apple, offering you a refund, or you might have seen a fake HMRC tax refund email. 

Both of these are examples of phishing attacks; when criminals try to impersonate somebody you trust, to get information or money from you. These emails often came from Hotmail addresses, but once a member of the University falls for an attack and gives away their password, their account can be used to send more spam emails.

These kinds of attacks are serious security threats to all high-profile institutions in the UK. Several universities have seen data and money stolen from staff and students by phishing, malware and ransomware attacks.

IT Services will soon be launching a new, intelligent email threat protection system. This system will filter our emails in a more sophisticated way, protecting us more effectively. This is a challenging and complex project, but it’s recently been accelerated to meet the growing number of malicious email campaigns directed at the University.

This new security system will go online in the next couple of months. 

Top 10 Security TipsIn the meantime, please read the Top 10 Tips for online security on the ITS website and extra take care in the following situations:

  • The email doesn’t address you by name
  • You are not expecting the email
  • Messages that offer refunds or money
  • Urgent emails that encourage you to act quickly without thinking
  • Any email that contains a login link

If you ever think that you might have given away your Sussex password to a phishing scam, please change it immediately in Sussex Direct. You can forward suspicious emails to itservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk to be checked.

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By: Alexander Butler
Last updated: Thursday, 16 May 2019

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