Cyber Security - Information Security at the University of Central Oklahoma

Eww... Phishing!

The Office of Information Technology is aware of an increase in "phishing" activities.  We are working diligently to protect you and are asking for your assistance in protecting yourself. 

What is phishing?  In computing, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. (Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing)

What can I do?  Please do not respond to any email asking for your UCO account information such as your UCONNECT login and password.  Technology Support at UCO will never ask for your password via an email.  If you have questions or want to report a phishing attempt, please contact Technology Support at 405-974-2255 or support@uco.edu.

You can take additional steps to avoid phishing attempts by slightly modifying your browsing habits. When contacted about an account needing to be "verified" (or any other topic used by phishers), it is a sensible precaution to contact the company from which the e-mail apparently originates to check that the e-mail is legitimate. Alternatively, the address that you know is the company's genuine website can be typed into the address bar of the browser, rather than trusting any hyperlinks in the suspected phishing message.

Are all phishing emails an attempt to gain account information?  No, some emails may attempt to lure you into opening a hyperlink that will then install malware or malicious code on your computer.  Some of the most recent examples of this type of attack have subject lines similar to "CNN-Top 10 News Items", "MSNBC.com Breaking News Alert" or something referencing the Olympics. 

What is OIT doing to combat these attacks?  Behind the scenes, we have configured our email gateway and implemented safe guards to block offending addresses.  On campus, we have implemented best-practice security controls for workstations which includes antivirus software and firewalls.



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