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Be on the alert for phishing and malware emails

last modified Aug 10, 2020 04:19 PM
University email accounts are currently receiving a high number of convincing phishing emails that contain attached files – typically Word documents – or a link to a website prompting the viewer to download a file. If opened, these files lead to a malware infection.

Once it has infected a machine, this malware spreads by sending out fictitious replies to genuine emails it finds on that machine. Therefore, if you receive an unexpected reply to an old email conversation from a colleague or friend containing a suspicious attachment or link, be aware that it may not be genuine.

Recommended advice

  • Be wary of suspicious emails from external sources and even those that appear to come from a University colleague. Check the sender's email address is correct (press 'Reply' and check in the 'To' field). UIS provides advice on how to spot phishing emails. If in doubt, delete the email and do not open attachments or download files from website links.

  • Don't run macros when opening a Word document sent to you as an email attachment or downloaded from a website. Malware requires macros to infect your computer.

  • Please ensure that all anti-virus software is patched and up to date on all your machines. McAfee anti-virus software is available free of charge to all University staff and students, and you can use it on work and home computers.

  • If you have downloaded and opened a file that you believe may have caused a malware infection, contact your local IT support team or the  (01223 332999) for advice.

IT staff: UIS offers a managed endpoint protection service that gives you an overview of all of your machines on the service, and automatically keeps the machines up-to-date and protected.

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