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National Spam storm event – 25/07/17 – Be vigilant with your email

Following what our email security partner described as a “national spam storm” this morning, we are advising our customers and followers to be extra vigilant when actioning emails.

We were advised that following an influx of spam detections on its servers, a global policy was deployed to all customers of our mailsweep product at approximately 10.15 this morning. This meant that emails matching the global rule that had been set-up would be marked “Fusemail Global Block” and would not be automatically delivered.

Hopefully the event has now passed and no one will have been caught unawares. But, our advice as ever, is to be extremely vigilant with all email communication.

Unfortunately, as brilliant as email can be as a means of communication, there are increasingly those out there that are trying to use it for malicious purposes. And, as our anti-virus and email security products get more and more adept at keeping us safe, those that wish to do us harm use increasingly sophisticated methods in order to trick us.

So what can you do to mitigate the risks? Vigilance is key, a lot of the phishing attacks, particularly by email, usually have some tell-tale signs:

  • From and Subject – if you don’t recognise the sender’s email address, or if the email address is from a suspicious looking domain (for example faceebook.com – see “spoofing” for more info), or the subject has little relevance to the body text. Be wary of opening it. (Take a look at Mailsweep, our hosted email service which protects your network from viruses, spam, advanced email threats and accidental malicious data leakage via email, in the office or on the road, no matter what device you are using.)
  • Spelling and bad grammar – a lot of phishing emails usually have poor spelling and grammar within them. It is always worth having a good read through if you are slightly suspicious.
  • Links – if you are suspicious of an email then you definitely shouldn’t click on any links within it. Hover over the link with your mouse (but don’t click) to see if the address matches the link that was typed in the message. You will often find that the actual link is going somewhere else entirely. If you are concerned about links have a look at our clicksweep product, as this may be something you may be interested in adding to your email client.
  • Threats – a lot of phishing emails will contain threats in the hope that the receiver will be more likely to take action. The most common threats are that your account will be suspended or closed down if you don’t take action within a set time. Other popular threats are that your PC has a virus and you should click a specific link in order to remove it. Whereas the reality is, in clicking that link you may well be activating a virus.
  • Spoofing – this is where a ‘phisher’ will use the name, and usually the logo, of popular websites or companies. The email appears to be connected to a legitimate website or company but were you to actually click on a link, you would be taken to a fake site or pop-up window. Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are favourites often used by attackers as they are the sites most recipients are likely to use. Remember, an email from a legitimate company or website will almost certainly include your name and / or your username. Again, if you have suspicions use the things above to assess whether it is a legitimate email or not.
  • Attachments – be wary of attachments, especially .zip and .exe files as these could potentially contain code and programs that could automatically execute on your computer and network if you open them.

If you have any concerns please call us on 01905 758900 or email security@integratech.co.uk

For more information on our email security product, mailsweep, please head to our website.

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