Community College of Rhode Island

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Alert: Phishing scams hitting CCRI inboxes

phishing scam illustrationCCRI employees may have noticed a recent increase in phishing attacks and e-mail accounts being compromised. The IT department at CCRI is taking several steps in response to these situations.

A phishing attack is a malicious e-mail impersonating some type of service provider. In this scenario, the e-mail sender asks you to follow a link and verify your e-mail address and password. The attacker will then use your account to relay spam messages to the general population on the Internet.

We also have seen situations where the attacker deletes messages from the victim’s mailbox. We have had several people in the last two weeks respond to these attacks and this has resulted in an interruption in mail flow. It has generated an influx of calls to the Service Desk making this a very costly ordeal as it has affected communication channels and productivity workflows for many areas within the college.

In response to the above, IT will set new controls for e-mail. These include mail quotas and policies relating to the flow of e-mail as well as best practices in e-mail management.

As always, we remind you that CCRI will NEVER ask you for your user name and password via e-mail. Any e-mail that asks for helpdesk and password or contains links to external websites should always be suspect.

If you receive e-mail that is a phishing attack, please forward the message to postmaster@ccri.edu, an address we have created to become more efficient in the reporting of and response to e-mail abuse. Please do not contact the Service Desk. We have more than 2,300 users on the system and the calls to the Service Desk can be overwhelming.

Thank you for assistance and cooperation.

See examples of phishing scams »

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Last Updated: 9/16/13