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New Wave of Phishing Email Messages at MSU

Good Morning,

This week faculty and staff have been the recipients of a new wave of Phishing messages.  Because of this spike, University Information Technology (UIT) would like to remind the MSU community to be especially cautious opening and acting upon unexpected or odd looking emails.

The Phishing messages received this week took two different formats, however the goal of both, as with most Phishing attemps, was to trick the recipient into giving information or access to the attacker under false pretenses.

The first message claims to be securely sent from the MSU IT Help Desk and asks users to upgrade their email addresses by clicking a link and entering their credentials.

VERY IMPORTANT:  If you, or somebody that you know, followed the link in the upgrade email message and entered account information, please call the UIT Service Desk at 994-1777 immediately.

The second message is disguised as being a shared link to a Google Doc. While it looks legitimate, clicking the link takes you to a page where you are then prompted to enter your account information in order to open the "Google Docs" app.  Doing so grants the attacker access to your email account and contacts.

VERY IMPORTANT:  If you received the Google Doc email, navigate to https://myaccount.google.com, click on Connected apps & sites and then Manage Apps, and if you see Google Docs, click Remove.

While UIT does have processes and systems in place to filter such messages and reduce their impact, your continued diligence is required to help protect MSU from these ever-changing attacks.

Please remember to always be suspicious of emails if:

  • sender is unknown
  • email is not expected
  • anything seems out of the ordinary, like format, grammar, reply to address…

Contact the UIT Service Desk at 994-1777 if you ever have questions about the legitimacy of an email claiming to be sent by MSU. Send any message that you believe is a phishing attempt to phishing@montana.edu.

Thank you,

University Information Technology

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University Information Technology
P.O. Box 173245 | Bozeman, MT 59717-3245
www.montana.edu/uit | helpdesk@montana.edu | 406-994-1777