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Hostile email campaigns

© 2018 EPFL

© 2018 EPFL

As you may have noticed, the EPFL is currently being targeted by a large (and increasing) number of hostile email “campaigns”, carrying dangerous office documents (.doc(x), xls(x) and ppt(x))

Opening them using Microsoft Office under Windows could trigger the installation of a vicious malware (a ransomware, whose main goal is to encrypt all the documents accessible by the currently logged on user. When done, it asks for a hefty ransom to recover the files) on your machine.

Even if we took drastic technical measures to stop the fraudulent messages from reaching the users’ mailboxes, some of them might still bypass our protections and end up in your inbox. You are the last line of defense against these threats and we urge you to proceed with the utmost caution when dealing with emails having office documents as attachments.

Before opening them, please take a few seconds to check if the email:

  • Looks legitimate (as a whole)?
  • Comes from a company or person you’re working with?
  • Is expected?
  • Is written in the same language and shows the same structure as usual?

If no, please be so kind as to forward the email to [email protected] for analysis and refrain from opening the document until you get an answer. You may also submit the suspicious attachment to VirusTotal for a quick and reliable assessment.

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