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More Chapters Targeted by Phishing Attacks

June 2017 - EAA has been notified that more chapters have been the target of new phishing attacks. These phishing attempts have been directed mainly at chapter treasurers whose e-mail addresses are posted on their chapter’s webpage.

The phishing e-mails appear to have come from the chapter’s president by name, but when looking at the return address, it is clear the e-mails are being sent from an unfamiliar address. In these phishing attempts, the sender is requesting a transfer of money to be used for “hangar and craft” maintenance.

To keep from falling victim to these attacks, many chapters have put policies into place that prevent the chapter from taking part in wire transfers.

Brian Lutze, EAA’s IT infrastructure architect, shared this message back in January, but it warrants sharing a second time:

Chapter leaders, please be on the lookout for any suspicious e-mails that appear to come from legitimate senders you have associated with. We have received several recent cases of e-mails that appear to come from a legitimate sender but weren’t actually sent by that individual (a method known as spoofing). Crafty hackers are leveraging configuration weaknesses on some external mail systems, thus making it more difficult for filtering systems to catch all situations.

If you receive a message that requests any sensitive information or directs you to a site to log in or submit any form of information that you find questionable, please proceed with caution and work with your chapter leaders to verify the sender.

Most e-mail systems are getting better at filtering to better pick up on these new phishing techniques. (Phishing is the practice of staging a message to look as though it is coming from a sender it didn’t in an attempt to collect sensitive information, such as personal info, credit card numbers, passwords, etc.) However, some of these techniques are difficult to filter out entirely without creating issues with legitimate e-mails.

A good security practice is to view all messages with caution regardless of the sender. If ever in doubt about the validity of a message or request, consult with your chapter leaders or contact the sender via phone to validate whether he or she sent the message and requested such information. Sensitive information will almost never be requested by a legitimate sender through an inquiry via e-mail, and any such requests should be treated as potentially fraudulent by default.

The big thing to remember is that users should always be cautious when prompted to provide any type of sensitive information, especially if it isn’t in regard to anything that was requested or initiated.

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