Students Staff

May 16, 2019

“Are you on campus?” Beware of spear phishing emails asking you to buy something

Filed under: Email, Security — Dan Jolly @ 5:19 pm

We are currently receiving emails from external email accounts, such as Gmail, pretending to come from a Head of Department.

The emails typically are very short and the subject line will be something like “are you on campus?”.

If you reply, the sender will explain that they are your Head of Department , that they are in a meeting and can’t be contacted by phone, but urgently need you to buy some Amazon or iTune vouchers for them for a nephew’s birthday or a student prize.

Although these are quite targeted – which is why they are called “spear phishing” – they have many of the warning signs that ordinary phishing emails have:

  • It’ s an unusual request and it comes out of the blue
  • it tries to instill a sense of urgency
  • the emails often contain poor grammar and spelling mistakes – even misspelling the name of the person they are supposed to be from!

So unless you really do know your HoD well enough to be in the habit of shopping for presents for their family for them, then please delete these emails and make sure that your colleagues know to delete them too.

Sadly, if you do fall for the trick then it’s very difficult indeed to recover the money spent.

For more information on suspicious mail, see Spam and phishing emails.

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Important changes to passwords

Filed under: News — Dan Jolly @ 2:12 pm

How often you change your password and how long your password must be has changed.

How often you need to change your password

After your next password change:

  • Students, you aren’t required to change your password again (unless you choose to).
  • Staff, you must change your password at least once a year.

However there are a couple of things to note:

  • If you’re a student that also works at the University, you are classed as ‘student staff’ and you’ll need to change your password once a year like other staff.
  • If your account ever becomes compromised, you will be asked to change your password for security reasons.

How long your password must be

Everyone must have a password 16 characters or more but it doesn’t need to be as complicated as before.

Simply pick a few random words and separate them with spaces or characters.

For example, “hunger past contain bear”, or “life power nothing”.

If you want to, you can make your password even more secure by including capital letters, numbers or special characters.

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May 1, 2019

Problems affecting External Network Connectivity Colchester Campus 11:03am

Filed under: Network, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Network Manager @ 12:22 pm

There was an issue today Wednesday 1st May at 11:03am which caused the Colchester campus to lose external network connectivity until 11:06am.  The actual service affecting period might have been a lot shorter as redundancies took affect.

Other campuses would likewise have been cut off from Colchester’s services.

This problem was caused by a router developing a memory fault which caused it to reboot.

The should be no further issues and we have put plans in place to replace the unit that has shown signs of a fault.


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