Educause Security Discussion
mailing list archives
Re: [Possible Spam] Re: [SECURITY] Mitigating Phishing Attacks
From: Justin Bennett <jbennett () MSJC EDU>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 06:36:50 -0800
Some of the tactics we have deployed are at our institution are the following:
1. Education - Communicating to the users is crucial to keep them informed to what potential threats are out
there and what kind of business impacts occur when accounts are compromised. SPAM is the less of the worries, data
breaches is the bigger concern.
2. Attack surface - by default, all users must request remote access prior to getting web or mobile access. This
limits our attack surface as not all staff needs those remote capabilities.
3. Policy and Procedure - A policy for password complexity, history, expiration, and absolutely no sharing of
passwords is crucial. Our support staff is only allowed to reset user's accounts passwords and set them to expire. It
may take longer for the user password reset process, but ingrains a "no sharing of passwords" policy to the
organization and hopefully setting off red flags when they are requested to "reset" their password.
4. Spam Protection - Maintaining a SPAM firewall dramatically increases your visibility of incoming messages and
the ability to create custom content filtering rules.
Hope this helps my apologies if my reply is in anyway redundant. I've just joined Educause's listserv.
Supervisor of Network Technology
jbennett () msjc edu <mailto:jbennett () msjc edu>
Mt. San Jacinto College
P Save a Tree - Please don't print this unless you really need to.
Security Notice: MSJC Information Technology Staff will never ask for your password. Keep your passwords private to
protect yourself and the security of our network.
From: The EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE EDU] On Behalf Of Bateman,
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 6:22 AM
To: SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE EDU
Subject: [Possible Spam] Re: [SECURITY] Mitigating Phishing Attacks
We use similar procedures in our Service Desk as some of the others here who have commented. Additionally, we do the
1. Insert a warning message in red at the top of incoming emails that have certain keywords used to collect login
credentials. Users get an NDR if they try to reply to an email that has the warning message inserted, unless they first
remove the warning text. This used to be fairly effective, but now spammers use URL’s and entice users to click on
them, rendering this control less effective.
2. We use outbound spam filtering to block much of the spam that results from compromised accounts.
3. We have a procedure for repeat “victims” of phishing attacks.
We have considered requiring 2nd factor authentication for OWA, required when a user logs in from a new computer and/or
IP address. The 2nd factor would be the user’s secret question or a code sent to the user’s mobile phone. This would be
a large undertaking to implement, but it would have other security benefits. I welcome any comments from this group on
the effectiveness of this proposed strategy.
Also, if anyone out there has a network-based DLP solution in place, does it effectively detect and block entry of
local user credentials to a foreign host?
Assistant Vice President for IT and ISO
Office of the Chief Information Officer
Information Technology Division
Texas Tech University
From: The EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE EDU] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 2:04 PM
To: SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE EDU
Subject: [SECURITY] Mitigating Phishing Attacks
We have experienced a number of targeted phishing attacks recently. Because the most recent phish led its victims to
provide their network credentials via a realistic looking OWA logon page, we took the following steps to deal with some
resultant compromised accounts:
· immediately reset the passwords for the affected accounts,
· restarted, the IIS service to stop any active webmail sessions
· alerted the user community
It got me to wondering how other institutions deal with similar situations where user accounts have been compromised.
If anyone would care to share, I would be interested how you have handled similar situations. It would be useful to
know your top 3 strategies for preventing and mitigating such occurrences. Thanks.
IT Security Analyst
University of the Fraser Valley
Christopher.Jones () ufv ca
- Re: [Possible Spam] Re: [SECURITY] Mitigating Phishing Attacks Justin Bennett (Nov 16)