Skip to main content

Unsolicited E-mail Containing Security Advice

body-logo[1] Here’s one for the what-were-they-thinking files.

I recently received an e-mail from a vendor that I’ve never heard of and with whom I’ve never done business:

From: "USA.NET" <news@info.usa.net>

To: <***.***@***.edu>

Date: 3/6/2009 11:28 AM

Subject: Weekly Security Update

Another wave of scam emails are circulating disguised as warnings from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. They lead to a fraudulent website that installs phishing/malware software or a Trojan virus that will send out critical information such as user names, passwords, or file contents of sensitive documents.

Always use best security practices when reviewing your email and do not open any email attachments from unknown senders.

http://info.usa.net/ct.html?rtr=on&s=eanw,***,***,****,*****,***,vn

To unsubscribe, send an email to: unsubscribe-15386@up0.net with the address: ***.***@***.edu in the subject line.

An unsolicited e-mail from an unknown sender advising me not to click on attachments in e-mails from unknown senders? The e-mail contains a link however, which presumably I’m supposed to follow. That’s amusing. According to this vendor, links must be safe, whereas attachments are not. The subject is generic, and there is no indicator that the sender knows who I am.

This really is indistinguishable from a phishing attempt.

Comments

  1. At least they didn't send it as a Word attachment.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That would have been amusing.

    I'm not sure if they think they are a security company, like their logo implies, or SaaS vendor, or a a mass mailer.

    Or perhaps they strive to be all of the above.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Cargo Cult System Administration

“imitate the superficial exterior of a process or system without having any understanding of the underlying substance” --Wikipedia During and after WWII, some native south pacific islanders erroneously associated the presence of war related technology with the delivery of highly desirable cargo. When the war ended and the cargo stopped showing up, they built crude facsimiles of runways, control towers, and airplanes in the belief that the presence of war technology caused the delivery of desirable cargo. From our point of view, it looks pretty amusing to see people build fake airplanes, runways and control towers  and wait for cargo to fall from the sky.The question is, how amusing are we?We have cargo cult science[1], cargo cult management[2], cargo cult programming[3], how about cargo cult system management?Here’s some common system administration failures that might be ‘cargo cult’:Failing to understand the difference between necessary and sufficient. A daily backup is necessary, b…

Ad-Hoc Verses Structured System Management

Structured system management is a concept that covers the fundamentals of building, securing, deploying, monitoring, logging, alerting, and documenting networks, servers and applications. Structured system management implies that you have those fundamentals in place, you execute them consistently, and you know all cases where you are inconsistent. The converse of structured system management is what I call ad hoc system management, where every system has it own plan, undocumented and inconsistent, and you don't know how inconsistent they are, because you've never looked.

In previous posts (here and here) I implied that structured system management was an integral part of improving system availability. Having inherited several platforms that had, at best, ad hoc system management, and having moved the platforms to something resembling structured system management, I've concluded that implementing basic structure around system management will be the best and fastest path to …

The Cloud – Provider Failure Modes

In The Cloud - Outsourcing Moved up the Stack[1] I compared the outsourcing that we do routinely (wide area networks) with the outsourcing of the higher layers of the application stack (processor, memory, storage). Conceptually they are similar:
In both cases you’ve entrusted your bits to someone else, you’ve shared physical and logical resources with others, you’ve disassociated physical devices (circuits or servers) from logical devices (virtual circuits, virtual severs), and in exchange for what is hopefully better, faster, cheaper service, you give up visibility, manageability and control to a provider. There are differences though. In the case of networking, your cloud provider is only entrusted with your bits for the time it takes for those bits to cross the providers network, and the loss of a few bits is not catastrophic. For providers of higher layer services, the bits are entrusted to the provider for the life of the bits, and the loss of a few bits is a major problem. The…