Tag Archives: phishing

Efforts to cut down on spam and phishing email

Michigan Tech IT has seen an increase in spam and phishing email enabled by email spoofing—when a user or system sends an email with a forged header so that it appears to be from an @mtu.edu address. We have been working on solutions, and on March 7 a preventative measure will be enabled to help reduce spoofing. After the change is made, email sent from a forged @mtu.edu address will have a much greater chance of being marked as spam.

We recognize there are legitimate tools that include spoofing as a feature (e.g., survey software) and have pre-approved many of the services used on campus that include spoofing as a part of their normal operation. The following will not be impacted by this new tool:

  • Alumni – iModules
  • Qualtrics Surveys
  • Survey Monkey
  • Collegiate Link/Campus Labs
  • EMAS Recruiting software
  • Systems on campus that relay mail through IT-run services

If you use a tool that isn’t listed above, and the email that it sends appears to be from an @mtu.edu address, please contact us so that we can make sure your service isn’t affected. If you have any questions or experience any issues sending legitimate “spoofed” email after March 7, please contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or 7-1111.

Phishing Training Program Starting

Michigan Tech is always looking for new and innovative ways to improve information security and protect the University’s sensitive information. As part of the University’s ongoing Security and Compliance Training initiatives, Information Technology Services (ITS) will be launching a recurring Phishing Training Program. Phishing attacks are becoming more advanced and are a serious threat. The University needs your help in protecting University networks, systems, and data.

Phishing is the act of stealing information such as usernames, passwords, bank account details, credit card numbers and other valuable information by impersonating as a trustworthy sender. Phishing emails may appear to be from popular social media sites, payroll services, or even the University’s IT department to try and “trick” unsuspecting recipients. These emails can be extremely convincing, such as a message from Amazon saying that your credit card has been declined, or from Visa saying that they have detected unauthorized activity on your account. The messages frequently feature logos, coloring schemes, and company motto’s that make the email even more believable.

The goal of this training program is to continually improve end users ability to identify and properly handle phishing emails. You will receive mock phishing emails from time-to-time to help you learn how to avoid the real ones. If you accidentally click on the link in the simulated phishing message, you will be shown a brief training web page that will give you the skills and techniques you need stay “off the hook” in the future.

We thank you for your help and attention to this important security initiative.  If you have any questions or concerns relating to the Phishing Training Program, please contact David Hale (ddh@mtu.edu) or Ashley Sudderth (ashley@mtu.edu).

Recent phishing attacks against Michigan Tech

* REMINDER: NEVER submit your password over email. Michigan Tech will never ask for your credentials over email.

With the holiday season upon us, we are seeing an expected increase in the number of phishing attacks against campus. Hackers tend to take advantage of holidays to launch these attacks for a number of reasons. It’s a time of year when students, faculty, and staff are likely away from campus and do not have any in-person support. It’s also a time when most IT support is running at a lower staffing level. Both of these combine to create lowered awareness of attacks and slower response times to compromised accounts.

These messages will often appear as legitimate messages warning you of some time critical process that requires you to verify you identity. Recently these have mentioned that you email access may be revoked. Other examples of phishing attacks can be found at http://www.security.mtu.edu/email-security/.

We would like to remind our users that Michigan Tech will never ask you to put your password in an email message. We do not ever need to know your password. If we do need to verify your identity we may direct you to a University website ending in .mtu.edu, most likely https://www.login.mtu.edu or https://banweb.mtu.edu.

If you do receive a message asking for your credentials, please be sure to mark it in Gmail as a phishing attempt. This will help Google identify similar messages and will also allow them to remove or flag the message in other users accounts. Instructions on marking the message as a phishing attempt can be found on the IT Blog at:


If you do accidentally reply to a phishing attempt or fill in a form on a non-MTU website you should immediately change your ISO password by visiting https://www.login.mtu.edu and selecting the “Change your MTU ISO password” option. You should also report the potential disclosure to it-help@mtu,edu as we can ensure that any connections that the attacker may have established with your credentials are terminated.

We appreciate your awareness and diligence in dealing with these situations.

-Dave Hale
Sr. Security Officer
IT/Michigan Technological University

Phishing attacks – Keep your information safe

We have recently been the focus of a concentrated “phishing” attack that is trying to impersonate Information Technology Services staff in an effort to collect username and password data via email.

Please be aware that Information Technology Services staff will NEVER ask you for your password. If you receive these messages, please use the “Report phishing” button in Google Mail to report the message to Google so that they can improve spam filtering and reduce the instances of messages like this making it to your inbox.

Found in the email message view, on the right side of the reading pane

It is not necessary to report these messages to ITSS, but if you have any questions about how to block these messages or encounter any other issues relating to them, please do not hesitate to contact us at it-help@mtu.edu, or at 487-1111.