Is Your Computer Under Attack?

By Steven Burke, Director of Administrative Computing, DUE Desktop Support

There has been a recent increase in the number of computers attacked and compromised by malware. (Malware is the term for Malicious-Software.) Malware is usually delivered to a user’s computer as an email attachment, e-cards, links to a website. When the user opens the email, attachment or link, the malware is installed on the computer and can do great harm, including harvesting Personally Identifying Information (PII), passwords or more malicious activity.

The latest culprits appear to be messages directing users to a site to pick up an E-card or a message from another site. The user unknowingly installs the malware application, and the computer is compromised.

Beware of messages such as these:

  • Dear Mit.edu User
  • Dear Webmail user
  • <name> has sent you a message!
  • <name> has sent you an e-card!
  • Reset password request
  • You have a greeting card!
  • Greetings from <name>

Compromised computers need to go to the IS&T Security Team for further investigation. If your computer is compromised, you may be without it for two weeks or more!

In the coming months, you will hear more about protecting Personally Identifying Information (PII). DUE has a project team developing guidelines to protect PII on DUE computers.

Please do not open suspicious emails, attachments or links to unknown websites, especially from unknown senders. If you suspect your computer has been compromised, contact your IT Liaison or send email to compu-squad@mit.edu.

Remember! MIT IT staff will NEVER ask you for your password, nor will MIT send you email requesting your password information. Please ignore any email messages that claim to require you to provide such information.