We’ve seen a recent increase in UD email messages containing infected MS Office attachments. Some of these messages may be spear phishing attacks, email scams targeting a recipient based on his or her affiliation with the University. Some are random attacks hoping you’ll open the attachment and infect your computer with malware that could allow scammers to steal personal information and computer accounts.

Bottom line:
If you get email that includes an unexpected attachment, do not open it. If the message appears to come from someone you know, check with them to see if they sent you the attachment. If the message appears to be from someone you don’t know, delete it.

Recent example:

Don't download unexpected attachments.

Lots of signs that this is email you should not trust.

This message has several clues that it is not trustworthy:

  • Sent to you at 3:09 a.m.?
  • Sent from a fake UD email address? (All UDelNet IDs consist of two to eight lowercase letters.)
  • No context for receiving the message?
  • Why are the only references to Xerox devices and Xerox.com?

Other versions of this kind of scam have been reported recently. For example, one staff member reported receiving a message that addressed him by name, then said, “Here’s the spreadsheet you requested.” The spreadsheet contained malware written in MS Excel’s macro language that was set to run as soon as the file was opened.

Macro viruses like these are a method of spreading malware that has been popular with criminals since the late 1990s. The modern twist is that current macro viruses are being used to steal personal or University information, financial data, or network accounts from your computer.

Think B4 U Click!