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IT Blog Category: Email

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Email Security Advisory from SRJC IT Department

Due to the excessive number of compromised email accounts, our technicians are working to keep our email servers from being used as a launching pad for spam attacks. Recent attacks have shown a pattern in the subject line. In order to block these attacks, our servers are temporarily rejecting all outgoing emails with blank subject lines. Please make sure to add a subject line to all your email communications until further notice.

The SRJC IT Department will never ask you to share your email account information via the web. If you are concerned that you may have given out your information, please change your password immediately.

Email Security Advisory from SRJC IT Department

Due to the excessive number of compromised email accounts, one of our email servers has been blacklisted. We are working to resolve the problem; however, you may experience some issues sending or receiving emails.

The SRJC IT Department will never ask you to share your email account information via the web. If you are concerned that you may have given out your information, please change your password immediately.

Microsoft Office 365 Email Trial Invitation

The Santa Rosa Junior College IT department is currently evaluating the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 product for replacing the district's e-mail system for staff and faculty. The Cloud-based Email Taskforce is accepting a limited number of stakeholders to participate in this trial.

Participation in the trial is restricted to staff, faculty, and management. Trial licenses are limited and sign-ups will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Your feedback will aid in choosing an appropriate cloud-based email solution for the District.

Sign up now at: https://www.santarosa.edu/email/cloud-signup/

Additional information about the Office 365 email trial: http://www.santarosa.edu/it/support/topic/130

If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk at (707) 524-1765 or help@santarosa.edu.

Sincerely,

The Cloud-based Email Taskforce

Email routing issue

Email routing issues are occurring with some SRJC email addresses. Looks like problem is limited to about 20 people involved with with an IT email testing project.

14:15 Update - issue resolved. 

Email Server Maintenance

Hello SRJC Community,

The IT Department is performing maintenance on our email servers and as a result, some users may see popup windows with messages like the one below:

busxis4 message

Please check the box next to “Don’t ask me about this website again”, and then click Allow.

Any message that speaks about busxis4.santarosa.edu, securemail.santarosa.edu or Auto Discover is valid and should be allowed, trusted, or otherwise said “Yes” to.

Again, not all users will see a message like this, but if you do, you can safely acknowledge it.

If you have further questions, feel free to reply or call the help desk at 707-524-1765.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Security (SSL) Warning for securemail.santarosa.edu - Safe to Proceed

Hello SRJC Community,

You may have seen a security (SSL certificate) warning related to securemail.santarosa.edu in the last few minutes. We are aware of the cause of this warning, and it appears that the problem has been resolved.

It is important to note that without this notification to proceed, you would want to exercise caution if you get an SSL Security Warning.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the help desk at 707-524-1765. Thank you.

Email

SRJC has deployed additional spam filtering services for email.
You may notice the following "tags" in the subject lines of some of your email messages.

[SPAM]
[SUSPECTED SPAM]
[MARKETING]
[WARNING: VIRUS REMOVED]
[WARNING: MESSAGE ENCRYPTED]
[WARNING: A/V UNSCANNABLE]

Existing scanning tools remain active and you may see more than one tag in the subject line.
*****SPAM*****[MARKETING] A sample subject line..

These tags will help to identify email types for more efficient deletion.
The change started yesterday, Jan 24th, just before noon and you may have some examples in your inbox by now.

Email

CATE and Moodle email delivery delayed - Wed Jan 16th 15:40 ~ Thu Jan 17th 07:40.

This affected all outbound delivery to those recipients.

The outbound email was queued on our other servers and delivered within a few hours after the disabled service was brought back up.

Further investigation pointed to human error while containing spam generated by a compromised user account.

Email

Outlook email outage - Saturday Jan 12th 16:15 through Sunday Jan 13 09:45.

This affected all Outlook email users. Email could not be sent or received from on or off campus.

All incoming email was queued on our other servers and delivered within a few hours after the crashed server was brought back up.

Further investigation pointed to a problem with the anti-virus/spam software that disabled access to the smtp port.

Warning Regarding Increased Amounts of Spam

Hello All!

With the Holiday season upon us the College is seeing an increase in spam. If an email seems suspicious, it probably is, don’t open it, delete it. We and most legitimate web sites will never ask for your password. Never give your social security or credit card information to anyone unless you are sure you are on a legitimate site. How do you tell if it is legitimate? Look at the web address. If they claim to be bank of America and the URL is not bank of America it is a scam. Identity and credit card theft on-line is a huge problem. Protect yourself by not sharing your personal information, especially your passwords.

This increase has not only lead to our spam filter working harder every day but also a change in spam sender’s tactics. Spammers have gotten smarter with their attempts, and our users have been receiving more spam.Every day the College receives around 62,000 emails which are then filtered to remove spam before ever reaching a user’s mailbox. The first spam filter allows only about 27% of emails through, but on an average day that still leaves about17,000 emails that need additional attention. (Click images for larger versions)

Spam filter graph

Spam is an ever changing and evolving problem, and we work hard to stay on top of it. Even with all of our efforts, some clever spam still slips through. Many of our users have been receiving emails that look like they are from Facebook, Amazon, The Better Business Bureau, The IRS, and many others. Below are screenshots of what these emails can look like. (Click images for larger versions)

While many of the emails may appear to be legitimate, please take a second to look at them before you open any links or attachments. It is advised that you do not use your SRJC email address for any of these types of accounts. For example, here is a fake Amazon email:

Fake Amazon E-mail

While the link within the email appears to be to amazon.com, if you hover over the link with your mouse it will show you that it is really sending you to a fake website.

Below are screenshots of other such spam emails and things to look out for. (Click images for larger versions) As always, if you have any questions regarding the legitimacy of an email feel free to call the Help Desk.

When in doubt if an email is spam or not, hover over any links and do not open attachments, as they may be attempts to gain access to your personal information.

Fake Better Business Bureau E-mail:

Fake Better Business Bureau E-mail

Fake Direct Deposit E-mail:

Fake Direct Deposit E-mail

Fake FaceBook E-mail:

Fake FaceBook E-mail

Fake IRS E-mail:

Fake IRS E-mail

Fake Mailbox Cleanup E-mail:

Fake Mailbox Cleanup E-mail

 

Happy Holidays!

The Help Desk
IT Department
(707)524-1765

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