The UTC Information Technology organizations across the campus would like to make you aware that this holiday season is bringing about a new wave of malicious activity from a wide variety of “evil-doers.”   Some examples:

  • Over this past Thanksgiving Holiday hundreds of people in the area were hit with banking debit/credit card scams;
  • UTC is constantly receiving email phishing attempting to collect username, passwords, or other personal information;
  • Today the UTC network is being hit frequently with “Delivery-Tracking-Notifications” from DHL Express.  This is just one of the “Delivery-Tracking” examples and it could be from UPS, FedEx or any other.  Also today UTC received several email for an “Adobe update” email with an attached .zip file containing malicious code;
  • The common theme of most phishing/malware schemes is some sort of scare tactic — your mail account is full, your bank account is overdrawn, your package delivery is delayed, your computer is infected with a virus [not coming from UTC], or other similar scenarios.  Others may use some reward tactic — someone has sent you a greeting card (just click here), you’ve just won a lottery, you’re due a refund, you have been selected to be a “bonus shopper”, etc.
  •  And, at the end of this holiday season there will be a new round of Income Tax schemes trying to phish personal information;

UTC IT departments and systems administrators are monitoring and taking steps to lessen the impact of these threats, but the IT administrators can only do so much.  The most effective protective measures begin with UTC’s “human firewall.”  YOU are the most important factor in UTC’s effort to protect your personal information, your UTC credentials and the UTC network from these attacks.  You can help us help you by following some simple guidelines:

  •  Always make sure your computer has the latest operating system updates and application security patches applied.  This includes Microsoft Office, and browser and application add-ons.  If you are not sure about your security patch status, contact your departmental IT Support or the IT Help Desk at 425-4000 for guidance;
  • Be vigilant, and be suspicious.  – When you receive email from someone you don’t know or if you believe it is a phishing attempt the best action is to delete the email.
  • Never respond to a request for user name, password, social security number, etc.  UTC will never ask you for your UTCID and password or personal information in an email.  Again, if you are unsure contact the Help Desk;
  • If your email contains a web link don’t click on it unless you are absolutely sure of the destination.  Open up your browser and manually enter (type in or copy) the destination into the browser address bar.  That way you know you are visiting the correct website.
  • Learn to recognize email from within UTC.
  • Be wary of attachments from people you know

If you believe you have been the victim of a Phishing or malicious attack you can report it to abuse@utc.edu.

For more information visit:
·        http://security.tennessee.edu/phishing.shtml
·        http://www.hoax-slayer.com/
·        http://www.mozilla.com/plugincheck (visit here to run a plug-in checker for your browser)