Email subscribers in rural Vermont were starting to get spam messages reading, “Free Download Child Porn Videos, Free Child Sex Video.” Fortunately, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) identified and remedied problem by calling NRTC Managed Services.
“The NRTC team … were able to determine that these were phishing email that redirected to online gambling websites and did not contain any illegal/inappropriate images, but did contain a very disturbing subject line,” Kurt Gruendling, VP, WCVT Marketing and Business Development, told local publication, The Valley Reporter. “They ran a script that proactively removed any of these emails from customers’ email boxes.”
The telco’s email service, Green Mountain Access, was running email security software from EdgeWave, a North Carolina company. It learned of the problem and called NRTC on March 7.
“We were able to determine quickly that the emails did not contain actual child-pornography content,” said NRTC Managed Services’ Chris Beatson. “Upon further investigation, [NRTC’s] Matt Thompson was able to determine that the users that did receive the messages had the ‘.gmail’ domain added to their allow list.” It turned out that the EdgeWave filters worked exactly as designed, but that the system did not catch the problem because the spammers were using valid email addresses and domains.
Beatson’s advice: “Users should be careful when putting entire domains [particularly gmail.com] in their ‘allowed’ lists.” Running a script allowed WCVT to remove the offending messages from other Green Mountain Access users’ inboxes. “We kept Kurt in the loop throughout the process,” Beatson said.
NRTC Managed Services offers cybersecurity tools that allow members to fight spam, phishing, ransomware, malware and other online attacks. It also has offered training on non-tech, everyday practices online workers can use to avoid hackers. Members can learn more by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
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