Email alert: Watch out for new .dot virus in attachments

IT Security has discovered new malicious emails with random file names ending in .dot getting sent to City employees. The message asks users to open the file, which looks harmless but steals data from City systems. The City of Minneapolis is a target for cybercriminals because of the data we hold. Email scams targeting employees happen regularly, which is why employees must serve as the first line of defense.

These new malicious emails follow this format: they come from an external sender with a legitimate-looking name that does not match the email address. The subject of the email is the same as the sender’s name. The body of the message varies but generally instructs the user to open the attached file. The message is signed by the same name as the sender and subject line.

Email scam

All of the attachments have had .dot extensions. The extension means that they are Word template documents, but these malicious versions contain a hidden macro virus.

If you find one of these messages, delete it. If you read the email and clicked on the link, please contact the IT Service Desk immediately at 612-673-2525 so IT can scan your computer.

All employees are encouraged not to enable macros for files they receive from external or unknown parties. Disable macros in Microsoft Office and do not allow them to run, even if prompted to do so.

Published May 17, 2016

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