Credit monitoring company Equifax announced on September 7th that they experienced a data breach that exposed credit information for approximately 143 million individuals. This information included the person’s name, social security number, date of birth, current and previous addresses, and potentially their driver’s license number. Approximately 182,000 individual’s credit card numbers were also exposed. The breach is still under investigation, and these numbers may change as more information is discovered.
On Friday, a Michigan Tech email user reported to the Department of Public Safety and Police Services (DPSPS) that they were receiving abusive email from a third party. As part of this investigation, DPSPS and Information Technology worked to redirect email from this third party to the officer’s email account for further investigation.
Unfortunately, due to an error in the redirect rule we created, any email between 9:00 PM Friday and 7:45 AM Saturday was delivered to the DPSPS officer’s account. That officer’s account was locked at 7:45 AM on Saturday, and the officer was not able to read the email. The mis-configured rule was also disabled at 7:45 AM Saturday.
Due to the volume of email that was sent and received, most messages from that time period are now reporting as delayed or undeliverable.
Information Technology is working to retrieve all email that was sent to and/or from @mtu.edu and deliver it to the intended recipient. In other words, any message sent either to a Michigan Tech account or from a Michigan Tech account during this time period was held up in this process. If you attempted to send an important message during this time period, please resend it. A copy of the message should be available in your “Sent” box.
We take privacy seriously and are working to restore the email from this event. We are developing additional controls around this process to prevent future occurrences.
Please contact Information Technology at email@example.com or (906) 487-1111 with questions or concerns.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 7-1111.