[unisog] Phishing targeting University Admissions

Martin Radford Martin.Radford at bristol.ac.uk
Thu Jun 17 16:53:00 GMT 2004


On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu wrote:

> On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 00:30:39 CDT, Keith Schoenefeld <schoenk at utulsa.edu>
said:
>
> > All that said, there are all sorts of arguments as to whether one should
> > really support attachments at all.  I personally would rather have some
> > sort of automated repository where all outgoing and incoming attachments
> > are stored on a server and unique http:// links are sent in place of the
> > attachments.  Maybe using something like hardlink periodically to save
> > space.  I believe such a product is a pipe dream at the moment... maybe
> > someone can correct me?
>
> It's a pipe dream mostly because this basically means that your mail ends
> up as:
> ----
> Dear Fred:
>
> The info you wanted is at
http://www.your.site/outbound-attachments/long-random-string
> ----
>
> which is going to trigger so many spam and malware filters it isn't funny.

We have a service called "fluff" which allows a user to upload a file
via a web form, and receive back a URL from which it can be downloaded.
They can forward that URL to the file's intended recipient(s).

So far I've had no reports of the URL we provide triggering spam/malware
filters.  (The service was launched in October 2002.)

> Also, you get into all the mess of actually putting the file on a web server -
> until such time as "copy the file to the server, set an expiration date, get
> the URL, put that URL into the mail" is as easy as "CLick to attach a file",
> users will NOT use it.

Our users cope just fine with this.

If anyone wants to take a look at what we've got, the service
documentation (such as it is) is accessible via
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/fluff/

I don't claim that "fluff" is the solution to all the issues; it means
that the data stays at the sender's end rather than being routed closer
to the recipient, for example.  But it's a handy solution to other
problems and may help with some email issues.

Martin
-- 
Martin Radford  (Martin.Radford at bristol.ac.uk)
Personal Computer Systems Team
Information Systems & Computing
University of Bristol Information Services
PGP keyID:       5D2D92E9
PGP fingerprint: 137E 0277 9D78 7447 71D0 BB3D C20D BB9A 5D2D 92E9

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