The Northerner

Did you click on the ‘Account Report’ spam email?

Tiffany Mayse's, among others', email accounts were used to send spam.  They themselves did not send the emails.

Screenshot courtesy of Richard Cracchiolo

Tiffany Mayse's, among others', email accounts were used to send spam. They themselves did not send the emails.

Tori Lentz and Richard Cracchiolo

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Students, staff and faculty across campus received spam emails linked to malware Monday afternoon.

The emails spread through attachments titled ‘Account Report’ and spread through people’s address book if opened, according to Chief Information Officer Tim Ferguson.

“Whoever received those emails, if they opened up the attachment, that attachment had a virus on it and it would go through your distribution list and email anybody that’s in your distribution list the same email,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson added the virus was targeted towards PC users and did not affect those using Apple or Android products.

“If a student did open it on a Windows PC and actually opened the attachment, then what would happen is the virus started a background task,” Ferguson said. “It read all the email addresses in your distribution list and then it started sending that email to all of the people that you had sent emails to before.”

Ferguson said a mass email was sent to warn the NKU community about the virus.

“We started blocking those emails so we could bring the spam emails under control,” Ferguson said.

If a student opened the attachment, Ferguson said rebooting will eliminate the virus.

“The first thing to do when you think you have a virus is to reboot because that may clean up the virus,” Ferguson said. “If some type of issue continues, you’ll have to run a virus scan. Fortunately today’s wasn’t that complicated, it was simply a reboot to fix it.”

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Did you click on the ‘Account Report’ spam email?