School ICT News Bulletin No. 231 - 22/11/2013
Published by ICT Shared Services
IMPORTANT INFORMATION - Malware and SPAM emails
We have recently become aware of an increase in SPAM emails being received by schools. Below is some key information to assist you with managing such emails should you receive them.
What is it?
This is a variety of malware that, once it infects the host-machine, says it’s encrypted the data on or locked its victim’s machine in another way. The malware then informs the infected user that they must pay a ransom in order to unlock their files. Even if the user pays the ransom they rarely receive the decryption key.
What if I have a machine that is affected?
Do NOT connect it to your school network. Contact your IT support for assistance.
Please ensure that you are using Industry Standard Anti-Virus Protection and that Windows Updates are kept up to date to prevent such attacks from potentially happening.
As Christmas approaches we have seen an increase in the amount of SPAM being sent to schools, often pertaining to be from companies such as Amazon, Tiffany the jewellers, Paypal, UPS and Wells Fargo, amongst others. Whilst some of these emails are easily distinguished and are blocked to prevent future ones, emails from companies such as Amazon and UPS are slightly harder to deal with because there are legitimate emails which schools receive from them.
The anti-SPAM application identifies emails which have been detected as potential SPAM and they are marked as Potential SPAM in the subject line with the attachment removed which contains the virus. You may wish to consider setting up rules when receiving emails to move any of those emails marked with Potential SPAM to your deleted items folder. This allows your inbox to remain clear of potential SPAM and gives you the option to check the email to ensure that it is not a legitimate one within your deleted items folder.
Details of reporting SPAM emails can be found on our website at the following URL - http://ict.norfolk.gov.uk/page.aspx?id=177
The above two items are a reminder to remain diligent when receiving suspicious emails and requests for information. If you are unsure please do not under any circumstances open any attachments or give personal details.
Author: Richard Cornelius