Tax Deadline Extension and Phishing Scams

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for filing state and federal tax returns is postponed until July 15, 2020. As the deadline approaches, we want to make you aware of the more common tax fraud scams that our office sees each year. We have also compiled some helpful resources to assist you […]

Better Protection with Encryption

Secure encryption is a frequently discussed and recommended strategy for protecting the information that we send, receive, and store on our devices. Encryption is one of the best defenses against those who seek to gain unauthorized access to your digital information. Federal, state, and industry regulations governing the work we do at WashU require that […]

Profile: Betsy Ball, Information Security Architect

Please join us in welcoming Betsy Ball to the Office of Information Security’s team! Betsy comes to us with more than 30 years of IT experience, including work in user support as well as server, network, and firewall administration. In her role at WashU, she will serve as an Information Security Architect, working with the […]

Avoiding Exposure to Ransomware

adapted from original post by Trisha Clay, EDUCAUSE Ransomware is scary. Such an attack could make it impossible for you to retrieve documents on your computer. So, how do you protect yourself from ransomware? One of the best ways to protect yourself is to create a good backup of your critical data. These backups should […]

Social Engineering and the “Gift-Card Scam”

adapted from original post by Trisha Clay, EDUCAUSE Social engineering begins with research, whereby an attacker reaches out to a target to gain information and resources. When someone you don’t know contacts you and asks you open-ended questions, this may be the first step of a social-engineering attack. After the attacker reaches out to you, […]

UPDATED: Cyber Attackers Exploit Vulnerabilities amid Surge in Remote Work

As we transition to remote work in response to the coronavirus pandemic, cyber attackers seek new opportunities to exploit unsuspecting users. Reports of ransomware attacks, phishing attempts, and scam websites are on the rise around the world, especially targeting those who work at universities and medical institutions. While we take our work to our home […]

COVID-19: Fake Online Coronavirus Map Delivers Malware

A malicious website pretending to be the live map for Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University is circulating on the internet waiting for unwitting internet users to visit the website. Visiting the website infects the user with a Trojan, an information-stealing program. It is likely being spread via infected email attachments, malicious online […]

COVID-19: UPDATED Criminal Scams Seek to Exploit COVID-19 Fears

Multiple organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have issued warnings that scammers are seeking to use the current outbreak of COVID-19 for personal gain. The Office of Information Security has compiled the following resources and information to assist anyone who fears they may fall victim to one of these scams. It is important to […]

POSTPONED: Shred IT, Secure E-Waste Recycling Event

This event has been postponed. We will do our best to reschedule for a later date. Please stay tuned for updates about this event. The Office of Sustainability and the Office of Information Security will be hosting an e-waste recycling and confidential paper shredding event. All are welcome to bring accepted items to the collection […]

VIDEO: Gil the Phish Drops the Bait

Gil is always coming up with new ways to trick unsuspecting users with his phishy emails. You can avoid becoming a victim of one of Gil’s scams by learning the signs of a phishing email and reporting anything suspicious to phishing@wustl.edu. For more information about how to avoid being a victim of phishing, follow the […]

Photo Gallery: Gil and InfoSec at WUSM Heath Happening Fair

The Office of Information Security hosted a table at the WUSM Health Happening Fair on February 21, 2020. We had a great turn out, distributing mic and camera blockers, phone grips, and valuable information to hundreds of our colleagues at the School of Medicine. Gil the Phish made an appearance at the table, to the […]

Tax Time is Open Season for Phishing Scams

Tax season is here again, and with it comes an uptick in scammers using phishing emails designed to steal personal information from their victims in order to commit tax fraud. We encourage you to use extreme caution with any email correspondences requesting personal information. Please refrain from opening any attachments or following any links in […]

Ask The Experts: Password Management

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), strong passwords and multi-factor authentication are key to maintaining information security. The strongest passwords are composed of upper- and lower-case letters, special characters, and numbers. Long and unpredictable passwords are ideal, and according to DHS, these passwords should not include any words that “can be found […]

Get Smart! Mitigating Risks in Connected Devices

original post by Kim Milford, EDUCAUSE   Smart/IoT devices may be the panacea for consumer convenience. Do you want to know and change the temperature of your house or even your fridge remotely? There’s an app for that. Such devices also raise extreme privacy concerns about the data collected about you. Devices can track or […]

External Email Notification Helps Identify Phishes

In the coming weeks, we will introduce a new feature in our email system that will notify users of emails originating from outside of the university. This change is being made to make it easier for everyone at our institution to identify phishing emails. Phishing attacks are on the rise, and often employ multiple methods […]

NCSAM Retrospective

The Office of Information Security recently wrapped up a month of exciting activities and events across Washington University campuses for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to participate in this year’s events, and we are already looking forward to next year’s program. During October 2019, the Office of […]

How Can Higher Ed Better Prepare Cybersecurity Students for a Hot Job Market?

original post by Tom Humbarger, EDUCAUSE   Behind every new report of a data breach, data leak, or computer hack is a company scrambling to put out the fire, which is great news for job seekers or soon-to-graduate students with cybersecurity skills. Unfortunately, this is bad news for most companies because there is currently an […]

The IT Team Can’t Do It Alone—Cybersecurity Is Everyone’s Responsibility

original post by Chad Tracy, EDUCAUSE   Did you know? In 2017 the education industry (which includes K–12 and higher education institutions) had 7,837,781 records breached in 35 events. To put that into perspective, the healthcare industry had 6,058,989 records breached in 428 events, and the retail industry had 123,652,526 records beached across 33 events. (See Privacy […]

Phishing for a Physician – A Spreading Concern

Cybercriminals have been diligently working these days to obtain personal information from unsuspecting physicians as they go about the business of practicing medicine. Physicians and other medical staff are prime targets of these attacks due to their compensation and the wealth of information publicly available on them. Cybercriminals work hard to know who you are […]

Information Security To Go!

original post by Ben Woelk and Joanna Grama, EDUCAUSE   Many people love the adventure that traveling provides: meeting new people, seeing new places, and having new experiences are part of the allure. Technology makes it easier than ever to satisfy our wanderlust. We can use our connected devices to discover the exotic locales we […]

Understanding the Basics of Online Safety and Security

original post by Christina Bonds, EDUCAUSE   Shopping, surfing, banking, gaming, and connecting Internet of Things devices such as toasters and refrigerators are some of the many actions performed each minute in cyberspace. These common everyday activities carry the cyber threats of social engineering to gain unauthorized access to data, identity theft, bullying, location tracking, […]

Keeping Tabs on Mobile Devices

original post by Linda Ludwig, EDUCAUSE   With an increasing amount of sensitive data being stored on personal devices, the value and mobility of smartphones, tablets, and laptops make them appealing and easy targets. These simple tips will help you be prepared in case your mobile device is stolen or misplaced. Encrypt sensitive information. Add a […]

Cryptocurrencies—Look Before You Leap!

original post by Eric Weakland, EDUCAUSE   Cryptocurrency comes under many names. You have probably read about some of the most popular types of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Cryptocurrencies are increasingly popular alternatives for online payments. Before converting real dollars, euros, pounds, or other traditional currencies into ₿ (the symbol for Bitcoin, […]

2FA—Control in the Palm of Your Hand

original post by Sandy Silk, EDUCAUSE   Wouldn’t it be nice if your accounts could let you know when someone new is trying to get into them? Even better, wouldn’t it be terrific to make a stolen password useless to others? Were you tricked into revealing your password through a phishing scam? Rest easy, your […]

Whaling, SMiShing, and Vishing…Oh My!

original post by Eric Weakland, EDUCAUSE   Cybercriminals use types of social engineering—manipulating people into doing what they want—as the most common way to steal information and money. Social engineering is at the heart of all types of phishing attacks—those conducted via email, SMS, and phone calls. Technology makes these sorts of attacks easy and […]

Take Control of Your Personal Info to Help Prevent Identity Theft

original post by Mark Napier, EDUCAUSE   The first full week of March is National Consumer Protection Week. The week is designed to help people make good financial decisions and understand their rights as consumers. Understanding your rights as a consumer can help you recover from identity theft. Identity theft has become a fact of life […]

Should You Reboot Your Home Router?

VPNFilter is malware that targets home routers and NAS devices in order to steal files, information, and examine network traffic as it flows through the device. The FBI recently took control of this botnet and has asked the public to reboot their home routers.  Rebooting will help disrupt the malware in case a home router […]