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E-mail scam with subject: “morning”

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

It seems that scammers are now attempting to use student e-mail addresses to send out spam. 

If you get mail with the subject of “morning”, supposedly coming from a student account (studentnumber@sun.ac.za) with the following content, please ignore and delete it.

We are conducting a  standard process investigation involving a late client who  shares the same surname with you and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client.Are you aware of  any relative/relation having the same surname? Send email to: scammer@scam.com

This is a typical Nigerian 419 Advance Fee scam. Do not respond to this mail. The scammers just want to see who will respond so they can con you out of some money.

A reminder again of how to correctly report spam and phishing scams:

Send the spam/phishing mail to the following addresses: 

help@sun.ac.za and sysadm@sun.ac.za.

 Attach the phishing or suspicious mail on to the message if possible. There is a good tutorial on how to do this at the following link (which is safe): http://stbsp01.stb.sun.ac.za/innov/it/it-help/Wiki%20Pages/Spam%20sysadmin%20Eng.aspx

  1. Start up a new mail addressed to sysadm@sun.ac.za (CC: help@sun.ac.za)
  2. Use the Title “SPAM” (without quotes) in the Subject.
  3. With this New Mail window open, drag the suspicious spam/phishing mail from your Inbox into the New Mail Window. It will attach the mail as an enclosure and a small icon with a light yellow envelope will appear in the attachments section of the New Mail.
  4. Send the mail.

IF YOU HAVE FALLEN FOR THE SCAM:

If you did click on the link of this phishing spam and unwittingly give the scammers your username, e-mail address and password you should immediately go to http://www.sun.ac.za/useradm and change the passwords on ALL your university accounts (making sure the new password is completely different, and is a strong password that will not be easily guessed.) as well as changing the passwords on your social media and private e-mail accounts (especially if you use the same passwords on these accounts.)

IT has set up a website page with useful information on how to report and combat phishing and spam. The address is: http://blogs.sun.ac.za/it/en/2017/11/reporting-spam-malware-and-phishing/

As you can see the address has a sun.ac.za at the end of the domain name, so it is legitimate. We suggest bookmarking this.

[Article by David Wiles]

Nigerian 419 Advance Fee scam

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

A scam in the form of a well-known “Nigerian 419 Advance Fee” mail is appearing in some of our colleagues and students mailboxes this morning.

The mail is rather simple:

Subject is: “Kindly view attach and forward your reply to <a gmail address>”

The mail’s content simply states the same and the attachment is an image of a letter and states that the sender has a large amount of money that they would like to send you.

This is a typical “Nigerian 411 Advance Fee” scam.

Here is how it works:

You receive an unsolicited message that masquerades as some manner of business proposition, request for assistance, notice of a potential inheritance, or opportunity to help a charity but all of the scam messages share a common theme.

The messages all claim that your help is needed to access a very large sum of money and promise that you will receive a significant portion of this money in exchange for your help.

The scammers use a variety of stories to explain why they need your help to access the funds.

  • They may claim that political climate or legal issues preclude them from accessing funds in a foreign bank account and request your help to gain such access.
  • They may claim that your last name is the same as that of the deceased person who owned an account and suggests that you act as the next of kin of this person in order to gain access to the account’s funds.
  • They may claim that a rich businessman, who has a terminal illness, needs your help to distribute his wealth to charity.
  • They may claim that a soldier stationed overseas has discovered a cache of hidden cash left by a fleeing dictator and needs your help to get the money out of the country.

All these scams promise to let you keep a significant percentage of the funds in exchange for your assistance. This is the bait that is used to pull potential victims deeper into the scam. Once a recipient has taken the bait, and initiated a dialogue with the scammers, he or she will soon receive requests for “fees” that the scammer claims are necessary for processing costs, tax and legal fees, bribes to local officials, or other – totally imaginary – fees.

In reality, the supposed funds do not exist and the main purpose of these scam messages is to trick recipients into parting with their money in the form of these advance fees. Fraudulent requests for fees will usually continue until the victim realises he or she is being conned and stops sending money. In some cases, the scammers may gather enough information to access the victim’s bank account directly or steal the victim’s identity.

Typically, advance fee scammers will send many thousands of identical scam messages to recipients all around the world. (as is today’s example) It only takes a few recipients to fall for the claims in the messages to make the operation pay off for the criminals.

What to do if you receive such an Advance Fee email:

It is important that you do not respond to it in any way. The scammers are likely to act upon any response from those they see as potential victims. The best thing to do with these scam messages is to simply delete them.

Send the spam/phishing mail to the following addresses

help@sun.ac.za and sysadm@sun.ac.za.

 Attach the phishing or suspicious mail on to the message if possible. There is a good tutorial on how to do this at the following link (Which is safe) : http://stbsp01.stb.sun.ac.za/innov/it/it-help/Wiki%20Pages/Spam%20sysadmin%20Eng.aspx

  1. Start up a new mail addressed to sysadm@sun.ac.za (CC: help@sun.ac.za)
  2. Use the Title “SPAM” (without quotes) in the Subject.
  3. With this New Mail window open, drag the suspicious spam/phishing mail from your Inbox into the New Mail Window. It will attach the mail as an enclosure and a small icon with a light yellow envelope will appear in the attachments section of the New Mail.
  4. Send the mail.

If you have fallen for the scam:

If you did click on the link of this phishing spam and unwittingly give the scammers your username, e-mail address and password you should immediately go to http://www.sun.ac.za/useradm and change the passwords on ALL your university accounts (making sure the new password is completely different, and is a strong password that will not be easily guessed.) as well as changing the passwords on your social media and private e-mail accounts (especially if you use the same passwords on these accounts.)

IT have set up a website page with useful information on how to report and combat phishing and spam. The address is:

http://blogs.sun.ac.za/it/en/2017/11/reporting-spam-malware-and-phishing/

As you can see the address has a sun.ac.za at the end of the domain name, so it is legitimate. I suggest bookmarking this.

[ARTICLE BY DAVID WILES]

 

 

Reporting Spam, Malware and Phishing    

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

At Stellenbosch University, we encourage our customers to submit potential spam, malware and phishing examples for review. Using these submissions, the CSIRT team can learn from the analysis of these messages. This collectively helps to improve the level of virus and spam detection.

Identifying types of unwanted mail

1.    Malware

Malware or “malicious software” is software designed to damage or execute unwanted actions on a computer system or device.  It can also infect and take over a person’s device turning it into a botnet. This means the cybercriminal gains control over the device and utilises it to distribute malware to other people’s devices and profiles users. Common examples of malware include viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware.

2.    Phishing

Phishing attacks are designed to steal a person’s login and password details so that the cybercriminal can assume control of the victim’s social network, email, and online bank accounts. Seventy percent of internet users choose the same password for almost every web service they use. This is why phishing is so effective, as the criminal, by using the same login details, can access multiple private accounts and manipulate them for their own good. 

3.    Spamming

Spamming is when a cybercriminal sends emails designed to lure a victim into spending money on counterfeit or fake goods. Botnets, such as Rustock, send the majority of spam messages, often advertising pharmaceutical products or security software, which people believe they need to solve security issues which don’t actually exist. 

Submitting Examples

1.    Submitting Spam Examples

 Spam examples must be sent in either.EML or .MSG format as an attachment and must not be forwarded. This ensures the original email can be analysed with its full Internet message headers intact.

 The best way to manually submit a spam example is to:

  1. Create a new message.
  2. Drag and drop the spam email into the new message, so it is added as an attachment.
  3. Send to sysadm@sun.ac.za.

 Alternatively, use the mail application to save the email (usually located under File | Save As) as an .EML or .MSG format to a folder location, and attach the saved file to a new email.

 

2.    Submitting Malware Examples

Files suspected to contain a malicious payload, or have wrongly been identified as a malware can be submitted to csirt@sun.ac.za for analysis. All virus submissions must be compressed (or zipped) into an archive file, and password protected. The CSIRT team will conduct analysis on submitted examples in a sandbox environment to determine whether any malicious payload is present.

 

3.    Submitting Phishing Examples

Phishing examples must be sent in either .EML or .MSG format as an attachment, and should not be forwarded. This ensures that the original email can be analysed with its full Internet message headers intact.

 The best way to manually submit a phishing example is to:

  1. Create a new message.
  2. Drag and drop the spam email into the new message, so it is added as an attachment.
  3. Send the email and attachment to help@sun.ac.za or csirt@sun.ac.za

 Alternatively, use the mail application to save the email (usually located under File | Save As) as an .EML or .MSG format to a folder location, and attach the saved file to a new email.

Fake FNB e-mail being circulated

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Our week starts off with the latest spam e-mail, one from FNB requesting that you activate your card. Of course this isn’t legitimate, even if it looks fairly convincing. Note the :-) in the subject line. This alone should be a dead giveaway. No bank will (we hope) communicate with emoticons.

The link in the e-mail will lead you to a temporary file in your browser where you have to fill in your details.  Please ignore and delete this e-mail if you receive it. If you are a FNB customer and at any time, receive any e-mails you are not sure about, rather phone your bank directly and confirm.

If you receive any similar phishing e-mails, please forward then to sysadm@sun.ac.za as an attachment. This way we can add it to our spam filter and ensure no-one else receives them. 

See the example of the FNB e-mail below. (Malicious links were deactivated)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2017 23:41:08 +0000
From: inContact <fakeaddress@fnb.co.za>
To: Recipients <fakeaddress@fnb.co.za>
Subject: FNB :-) Account Card Activation Request   16Jun 00:00
x-spam-score: -89.7 (—————————————————)

[– Attachment #1 –]
[– Type: text/plain, Encoding: base64, Size: 0.7K –]

Dear  Valued Card Holder,

As Directed by South African Credit Card Authorities, All card holders as advised to register their FNB cards on the new security platform to avoid your account from being compromised and also
+deactivated.

To reactivate your Credit / debit Card Kindly click on the below ATTACHED and follow instructions.

SEE ATTACHED TO REACTIVATE / REGISTER YOUR FNB CARD

*NOTE: Failure to do this will lead to suspension of your ATM Card.*

Copyright c 2017 Inter-Switch Limited

Thank you.
Administrator

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

Compromised student account used for phishing

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Just because mail seems to come from a university address, doesn’t mean to say that it is legitimate.

The latest phishing scam making its rounds at the university is being sent from a compromised student account. The subject line is all in capital letters and is meant to frighten you into clicking on a link and filling in your details. This is probably how the student account that is now sending it was originally compromised.

This is a typical phishing scam. Do not respond or click on any of the links. Many thanks to all the observant students who picked it up and pointed it out to us.

Below is an example of the mail (with the dangerous bits removed)


 

From: Compromised, Student account <12345678@sun.ac.za>
Sent: Monday, 17 April 2017 12:19 PM
To: fake@email.address
Subject: YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNT HAS BEEN COMPROMISED

 

Certify Your email HERE


[ARTICLE BY DAVID WILES]

 

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