Fordham Information Technology - Secure IT

Friday, May 22, 2015

Article - Your Secret Questions Are Just as Terrible As Your Passwords

A recent article from PC Magazine highlights research from Google surrounding the limited effectiveness of secret questions for account recovery:

"Not being able to remember your secret question responses is annoying, but Google said the bigger concern is hackers who try to hijack accounts using "mass guessing attacks." With weak answers, it's not that difficult: a 2009 report from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers said that researchers guessed about 10 percent of people's answers by using common responses.

In an era of openness, meanwhile, where your every move is chronicled online, it's not hard to find things like place of birth, mother's maiden name, or high school mascot by trolling a Facebook or Twitter account. This type of scenario is potentially how hackers gained access to celebrity iCloud accounts last year. "Certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords, and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet," Apple said in a September statement"

Tips for Safe Password Sharing


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ALERT: Phishing Emails From Valid Fordham Accounts

Photo by Jamal Kurshed

Phishing emails are being sent from valid Fordham email accounts. These emails may appear to come from people you know. In some cases, their names are used to sign the emails. A list below shows the types of subjects commonly used in the phishing emails.

These emails are NOT legitimate. They request recipients to "Click here" or "View Document Here"  If you click on the link, you are directed to a site asking you to log into your Google Gmail, or even your Yahoo and AOL accounts.  

These sites are NOT legitimate. They are used to capture your usernames (AccessIT IDs) and passwords. An attacker with this information can log into your account and send phishing emails to everyone in your contact list.

We have seen phishing emails with the following subjects:

  • Update
  • New Doc
  • Important
  • Important Message
  • Important!!!
  • Yahoo Security Update
  • Your Yahoo Account Safety Is Our Top Priority
If you believe you have received this phishing message, please do the following: 
  • Do not respond to the message.
  • Do not click any links within the message.
  • Do not provide any information such as a username (AccessIT ID) and password.
If you responded to the email and provided confidential information:
  • Contact Fordham IT Customer Care ASAP at 718-817-3999.
  • Manually reset your password and disconnect any active login sessions to your Gmail account.
  • Delete the message. 
Email Security Tips:
  • NEVER give out your password to anyone, especially in an email. Fordham IT and any other reputable service provider will NEVER ask for your password or personal information via email.
  • NEVER provide personal or sensitive information in an email.
  • Do not click on links in emails. Enter valid website addresses into a browser manually.
  • Do not respond to suspicious emails. If you receive questionable or suspicious emails, contact IT Customer Care and allow the University Information Security Office (UISO) to validate the legitimacy of these emails.
  • Be wary of attachments, especially any you weren't expecting. Send them to IT Customer Care and let the UISO scan them for you.
  • If an email looks fishy, it probably is a phishing email.
  • Do not be fooled by scare tactics threatening to cut off your email, expire your accounts, and so on. Go to the source (my.fordham, your bank, HR, etc.) and validate the claim, but do not rely on the information provided in the email.
Find out more about phishing and online security:
  • Search our SecureIT blog to see if we have already identified a suspected email as a scam or a legitimate email: 
  • IT security topics are available on our IT Security website: 
  • Remember, Fordham IT and Fordham University will NEVER ask you for your password. If you believe you have received a suspicious email or phone call, please contact IT Customer Care for help at (718) 817-3999 or

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Article - Email Phishing Attacks Take Just Minutes to Hook Recipients

A recent article highlights how users and organizations respond to phishing messages and breaches.

"Verizon noted that 23 percent of recipients open phishing messages. But simply opening an email won’t necessarily install malware on a machine. More dangerous are the 11 percent of recipients who go so far as to click on malicious attachments."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Important Message - Phishing Email Sent to the Fordham Community on 3/23/2015

This is a Phishing email that has been reported. This message was received on or about March 23rd, 2015. Please DO NOT respond to this message or anything that looks like it. You may disregard and delete this message. If you have any questions about the validity of this email please contact IT Customer Care at 718-817-3999 or via email:

--------------------Begin Message ------------------------------

Date: March 23, 2015 at 10:44:16 AM EDT
Subject: Important Message

I've uploaded this document for you using Google docs.Please Click here to access it


-----------------------------End Message -----------------------

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Emergency Travel - Scam Email Sent to the Fordham Community on 2/19/2015

This is Scam email that has been reported. This message was received on or about February 19th, 2015. Please DO NOT respond to this message or anything that looks like it. You may disregard and delete this message. If you have any questions about the validity of this email please contact IT Customer Care at 718-817-3999 or via email:

--------------------Begin Message ------------------------------

From: Barbara ONeill <>
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 4:25 AM
Subject: This Is An Emergency...Barbara ONeill


How are you doing? I do hope this finds you well, and really sorry to be mailing at such short notice. I traveled to the ISTANBUL SURGERY HOSPITAL in (Istanbul,TURKEY)to see my cousin who is critically sick.He was diagnosed with (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). I was advised by the doctor that the only way he can survive is by undergoing a BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) surgery.

Please I really don't know how to say this,but i really need your financial assistance as this is a matter of Urgency. I hope you get back to me as soon as you get this mail.

Hope to read from you soon
Best Regards
Barbara ONeill 

-----------------------------End Message -----------------------

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Legitimate Email: Important Tax Return Document Available For Fordham

Please be advised the below email is from a legitimate sender that does business with the University. No personal or account information was stolen or compromised.

Subject: Important Tax Return Document Available For Fordham University
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:00:23 -0500

Fordham University has partnered with Educational Computer Systems Inc. (ECSI) to provide you with your 2014 1098-T Tax Form. To access, view, and/or print your 2014 1098-T Tax Form, Please login to and enter the following Information:
School Code: BF
Account: Your Social Security Number or Student Id Number, no hyphens
If you have any general questions, please visit for information regarding your tax documents and to obtain contact information for ECSI. If you have any questions regarding the financial information on your 1098-T, please contact your school directly. If you experience trouble with your web login, please feel free to contact ECSI at
Neither your school nor ECSI can answer tax questions, you must contact your tax professional.
Thank you, Fordham University c/o ECSI's Tax Season ECSI: Service Never Rests 181 Montour Run Road | Coraopolis, PA 15108


Faculty/Staff Webmail for 2015 - Phishing Email Sent to the Fordham Community on 01/19/2015

This is a phishing email that has been reported. This message was received on or about January 19th, 2015. Please DO NOT respond to this message or anything that looks like it. You may disregard and delete this message. If you have any questions about the validity of this email please contact IT Customer Care at 718-817-3999 or via email:

---------------Begin Message-----------------------

Sent: Monday, January 19, 2015 9:40 AM
Subject: Faculty/staff webmail for 2015.

Dear user,
As of the beginning of 2015, we have decided to upgraded our email to 50GB inbox space.
Please log-in to your account to validate email account.
Your emails won't be delivered by our server, unless email account is confirmed.
Click on Outlook Web Access to confirm details of your user account.
Note that password should not be change once email account has been confirmed.

Protecting your email account is our primary concern

Copyright ©2015 Help Desk​.

--------------End Message------------------------------------

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Alert: University Employee Payroll Scam

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued an alert addressing a spear phishing scam targeting university employees and their payroll accounts. Scam operators use fraudulent e-mails and websites to entice employees to reveal login credentials.

Users are encouraged to review the IC3 Alert for details and refer to Security Tip ST04-014 for information on social engineering and phishing attacks.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Legitimate Email: UnitedHealthcare Medical Insurance ID Cards

Please be advised the below message was sent in error from a legitimate vendor. No personal or account information was stolen or compromised.

------------Begin Message--------------

From: Fordham benefits <>
Date: Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Subject: UnitedHealthcare Medical Insurance ID Cards

Dear Colleagues,
As you know, we are coming to the end of the transition period to our new health care insurance provider. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your input, and for your patience with the process.
If you have not received your ID card from UnitedHealthcare and need to get one before the end of the year, a system has been set up to send out temporary UnitedHealthcare ID cards by secure email. The email address is:

To get your ID card emailed to you, you can send an email, from any email address, to and include the employee’s Fordham ID and name. A temporary ID card will be emailed only to the employee who requested the card by the end of the business day. The temporary ID card will be sent by secure email to the employee’s Fordham email address. For security reasons, you will need to create a password to open the secure email.
This email will be monitored Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be closed on Thursday, December 25, 2014, Friday, December 26, 2014, and Thursday, January 1, 2015.
You can also call the Member Services line for UnitedHealthcare at (866) 633-2446 to order an ID card to be mailed to your home. When you call UnitedHealthcare at the number above, ask for a representative and be prepared to provide the employee’s Social Security Number for identification.
Beginning on January 4, 2015, you can register on and find tools and information to help you manage your benefits. The member ID card will also be available on beginning January 4, 2015. For added convenience, you can also download the Health4Me mobile app, available for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. The app will help you find doctors and facilities, check the status of a claim, and estimate the costs of common procedures. The app will also let you view your ID card, which you can use at any doctor’s office or other provider.
Please accept our sincere wishes for a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy new year.

Donald L. Perretti
Director of Benefits

 ----------------End Message---------------

Friday, December 12, 2014

Have a Happy Holiday... Securely

Best wishes for a happy and safe holiday from Fordham IT’s University Information Security Office (UISO). 

Follow these tips and protect yourself from spam and phishing!

Before clicking on links or opening attachments in an email, verify the sender. An email from friends or family might contain malicious content, if their account has been hacked. If you don’t think the email sounds like something they would send, they probably didn’t send it.

Credit Cards
Use a credit card for online purchases. Debit and ATM card numbers can be stolen and more easily used without your authorization.

Secure Websites
Always look for https (as opposed to http) on a website’s URL when making a purchase. The “s” indicates the site provides a layer of security for transmitting your personal information over the Internet.

Browsers and Security Software
Keep your browser, browser plug-ins (such as video players), and security software up to date. Use Fordham's free Symantec Antivirus Protection.

Too Good to be True?
Avoid clicking on links on websites, online ads, and emails with offers on popular gifts and gadgets that sound too good to be true. Those links might contain viruses that will instantly download onto your computer. 

If a free or discounted offer requests a bank account, social security, or credit card number, it’s most likely a scam. 

Get Help If you receive an email request personal information or are concerned about an email, contact IT Customer Care to assess the email's validity. Subscribe to the Fordham SecureIT blog for updated information about phishing and spam, including current known activity at Fordham University.

Contact IT Customer Care at 718-817-3999 or Follow @FordhamIT on Twitter, where we post news and service alerts. If you don't have a Twitter account, use the URL

US-CERT Technical Cyber Security Alerts

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