Network Notices

"Campus E-mail"

posted 6-16-08


Several days ago I sent out a notice indicating that a variety of spammers are hacking their way around the world and causing some serious discomfort for those that are providing quality e-mail systems. 
If you get a request from what anyone other than my office that your e-mail account is being updated and they want specific information regarding that account please ignore and delete the e-mail.  Please, no exceptions.  If you feel you absolutely have to do something just contact the Help Desk at 7107.
Last week we were notified by the University of Michigan people in their biological science department that it is possible one of our faculty accounts might possibly be compromised.  After some basic preliminary investigation it became clear that they were correct.  We took corrective action, but not until after the following had taken place:

It all started on Wed Jun 11 22:22:32 2008 -0500 and ended around 8:15am this
morning when the Help Desk forwarded a reply from 'an individual at the University of Michigan stating that it appeared one of our faculty were sending out spam and we looked into the situation.
All told, these SPAMMER's used us to send out to 369,127 unique email
addresses.  What's worse is they did it multiple times for some of
these unique address for a potential of 451,583 deliveries.  Josh Samuelson of NATS did
these calculations by extracting the 'Bcc:' entries from the sent-mail
folder that willymail wrote to for each of these mailings, this
doesn't mean there were actually this many mailings, just the potential
for such.  It would take us round the clock script filtering for probably
two weeks to assess the damage more thoroughly with that many email
addresses, which we obviously don't have the time to do.
Perhaps the faculty member just had a weak password that was easy to guess, but we fear
he may have been a victim of one of these "Your Email account administrator
wants to verify your account" phishing emails and he sent on his username
and password.  Hmmm....
Dennis Linster
Chief Information Officer
Wayne State College
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