Yesterday our classmates and colleagues were among hundreds of thousands of Google mail users worldwide targeted by a Phishing attempt. Phishing is an attempt to convince a user to click a link or open a file that, in turn, gives another party permission to access their account.
Google and many institutional IT departments (including Colgate’s ITS) worked quickly to block this fraudulent e-mail message, but not quickly enough to prevent the early spread. At Colgate alone more than 400 people (including more than 300 students) were impacted by this problem. We were able to run a report to identify those community members affected and took steps administratively to remove any unauthorized access. ITS Support Team members are currently reaching out to every affected individual by phone or e-mail to offer assistance with changing your password, which serves as an additional precaution.
If you received the email, which purported to share a Google Doc with you, and clicked the links, it’s important that you reach out to the ITS Service Desk team (315.228.7111 or firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can work with you to ensure your account is secure. Keep in mind that this may have also impacted your personal Gmail account as well. More information, including Google’s response and how to access Google’s Security Checkup can also be found in the ITS Blog at blogs.colgate.edu/its.
Year End Reminder
At this time of year we normally write to you to remind you to backup your most important work. As we prepare to finish our semester’s work, and finalize assignments and projects, be sure to follow one simple rule: It doesn’t exist unless it exists in three places. For your most important work, be sure to keep a backup copy either in the cloud and/or on external media like a thumb drive. For the most important work you might also occasionally print a copy at each major revision.
Thanks very much for your attention and collaboration as we work through this issue. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to reach out to our Service Desk team any time.