Let's start by the principles, you can find the explanatory comments below:
- When you obtain an e-mail asking on behalf of the system management
for your login name and password (for example to renew or prolong
the account), it is almost certain fraud.
- Don't be trusting and don't let them cheat you by a
seriously-looking mail. Initial attemtps were quite naive, but the
cheaters improve. Decide deeply the mail contents.
- Search for signs an fraud mail (we note some of them below). If
you find some, delete the mail. If the mail is not contained in our
list of fraud e-mails, LIANE management
appreciates a note.
- Investigate the mail. Type the subject of the email into the search engine
and search the web for the mail
subject. Maybe you can find that this fraud is well known.
- If you believe that the e-mail is valid, verify it from other
sources. Look at LIANE pages, T-UNI newsletter or so. Real
large-scale reconstruction influencing user accounts would be
definitely noted here. And we probably would use also other ways
(paper mail, noticeboards,...) to spread the information. You may
also use an off-line channel like a telephone.
- Never click links in the mail, they are bogus. The mail is
usually formatted in HTML and the visual link target differs from
the real one - like this: www.tul.cz. The
target web may look authentic - it is simple to create a copy of any
existing page. Type the address into your browser manually, select
it from the browser bookmarks, search it by Google or follow links
from some trustworthy web.
- Use known addresses only. Does the mail ask for a password
change? Do you trust it? If so, change it by the procedure you used
for the same purpose before. Single-purpose dedicated web pages
created just for the account renewal occur with frequency similar to
- Don't be too shy to ask. If you still think that the request is
real, don't hesitate to contact the LIANE managers to verify it.
Needless query is definitely better than to provide log-in
credentials to some cheater and inflict sanctions against the whole
university network. After reading the previous recommendation, you
definitely would not reply to the doubtful mail. Search the correct
e-mail on the LIANE web or use the phone.
- Don't let them stress you. There will be enough time for
reaction if the request is real. Don't let the mail push you to
- If you got caught try to minimize damages as fast as possible.
Change the password - this
time using the correct form. Inform the LIANE management by e-mail
or phone and consult how to proceed.
How to recognize a fraud mail
Recognition of a fraud mail can not be done by any software. The program
is able to alert you that the target address is contained in some
database of cheaters but not much more. The final decision is your
responisibility. Here are some typical signs of a fraud mail:
- Language problems. Does an institution use a language different
than the native one? Is the author not a native speaker (or even
some software translator)? Then it is a fraud.
- Fake links. Move you mouse cursor over individual links in the
e-mail but don' click. Your mail client shows (usually in the status
line in lower part of the windows) the real target address of the
link. If it is different from the visible address in the mail, then
it is a fraud.
- Asking to send credential by e-mail. E-mail is not encrypted and
nobody serious would not ask to send credentials by e-mail. If the
mail asks to reply by an account name and a password, it is a fraud.
- In our particular case when the mail uses HTML format with
formatting, images etc. LIANE management sends all mail in plain
text without HTML formatting.
If a mail contains some of these attributes, it is certainly a phishing
attempt. Unfortunately, lack of all noted signs does not mean that the
mail is genuine. Use the recommendations above to decide.
What is phishing
Phishing is an activity trying to lure confidential data by faking some
unusual operation. Phising e-mails inform users about some system
reconstruction, renewal of account or (paradoxically) deployment of new
security means and asks for some private information - passwords, credit
card numbers, bank accounts etc. If the user provides the information,
it is misused to distribute spam, steal money or for other illegal
Your brain is your only protection. Think twice before you provide your