Reporting suspicious emails – new tool
As part of our commitment to improve cyber security at Cardiff Met, we have invested in a simple tool that allows staff to report suspicious emails.
The Report Message button should now appear on the ribbon in both the desktop and web app versions of Outlook.
You should click the Report Message button to report any suspicious email. This will notify the IT Helpdesk who will investigate. Remember, do not click any links within suspicious emails.
Paranoia is the best position, if you are not sure, report it.
What is a suspicious email?
A suspicious email is often a phishing attack. A phishing attack is a form of social engineering that aims to trick people into disclosing sensitive information or gain access to systems by stealing log-on credentials.
Phishing is by far the most prominent type of cybercrime (FBI report, 2020 p19) and is the number one cause of data breaches (Data Breach Investigations Report, 2020 p.13).
The most common form of phishing attack is email. Attackers will craft an email that will try to get you to click on malicious links or ask for personal information, such as credit card numbers.
What are the characteristics of a phishing email?
Characteristics of phishing emails include:
- An urgent call to action. For example, “you must update your credit card details to prevent your card from being locked”.
- Suspicious links or attachments. Hover your mouse over links to check the address that is actually being used. Do not open suspicious file attachments.
- Poor spelling and grammar.
- Mismatched email domains. Phishing messages will often come from domains that are similar to legitimate companies, e.g. @paypal.services.sy instead of paypal.com
What is spear phishing?
Spear phishing is targeted phishing; attackers use characteristics of the organisation to appear more legitimate. A spear phishing attack might include references to Cardiff Met and even address you by name.
Spear phishing can be difficult to detect, so be cautious and use the Report Message button and let the Helpdesk investigate.