Extortion Email Schemes

The FBI has released a public service announcement regarding extortion attempts via email. From the PSA:

The recipients are told that personal information, such as their name, phone number, address, credit card information, and other personal details, will be released to the recipient’s social media contacts, family, and friends if a ransom is not paid. The recipient is instructed to pay in Bitcoin, a virtual currency that provides a high degree of anonymity to the transactions. The recipients are typically given a short deadline.

With the current exchange rate, 2 to 5 bitcoins is approximately $1,100 to $2,900.

These emails are not much different than ordinary phishing attempts. It’s unlikely that the person on the other end actually has any information. The FBI has provided a few tips to protect yourself from these scams.

  • Do not open e-mail or attachments from unknown individuals.
  • Do not communicate with the subject.
  • Do not store sensitive or embarrassing photos of yourself online or on yourmobile devices.
  • Use strong passwords and do not use the same password for multiplewebsites.
  • Ensure security settings for social media accounts are turned on and set atthe highest level of protection.
  • When providing personally identifiable information, credit cardinformation, or other sensitive information to a website, ensure the transmission is secure by verifying the URL prefix includes https, or the status bar displays a “lock” icon.

If you receive one of these emails, please let us know at security@ua.edu.

Phishing Email: “IT DESK”

Some users may have received an email with the subject “IT DESK” yesterday evening. As always, be on the lookout for any email that may be attempting to steal your information.

Click for a larger version.

Phishing Attack Titled “RE: PASSWORD MANAGER”

Early this afternoon, some faculty and staff received an email titled: “RE: PASSWORD MANAGER”

This is an attempt to steal usernames and passwords and possibly infect your system with malicious code. Keep in mind that The University of Alabama does not send out these types of messages. If you haven’t already, please delete it.

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk (8-5555).

Click for a larger image.
Click for a larger image.

Disaster Recovery Exercise May 15 – 22

The University of Alabama has an off-campus, disaster-recovery data center in a secure facility in Atlanta. On May 15th, the Office of Information Technology will begin a disaster-recovery exercise and transfer enterprise operations from the UA campus to the Atlanta facility where they will remain until May 22. On both May 15 and 22, many applications will be unavailable from 6 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. while systems are transferred. After being transferred to Atlanta, operations will continue as normal.

Affected applications include:

  • Banner and components
  • ePrint
  • eProcurement
  • Research and Finance Dashboard
  • Intellecheck
  • Formfusion
  • Argos
  • DegreeWorks
  • CAS
  • Digital Signage
  • SharePoint*
  • StarRez
  • Learn Adapter

This exercise is critical to ensuring that UA is able to continue operating in the event of a disaster that cripples critical systems and applications. Please contact the IT Service Desk if you have any questions or issues.

*SharePoint will be transferred Saturday night, May 14th from 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.

myBama, Banner, and Services Unavailable April 24

The Office of Information Technology will be installing the quarterly Oracle patch on Sunday, Apr. 24, from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. The following services will not be available during the installation period: Appworx, Astra, Banner, Crystal Report Server, Degree Works, myBama, Pinnacle, and SiteFile.

In case of an emergency, contact the IT Service Desk at 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Banner Unavailable on Sunday, April 17

OIT will be implementing a Banner Bundle upgrade on Sunday, April 17th, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. myBama will be available during the upgrade, but channels that connect to Banner will not be accessible, including self-service and administrative systems.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns by contacting the IT Service Desk at 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.