New Phish Tank website exposes malicious messages

To help protect the University of Oregon from email phishing and other cybersecurity threats, UO's Information Security Office has launched a new website that staff are encouraging people to visit as part of a broader awareness campaign this month.

The UO Phish Tank website displays suspicious email messages that have been reported to the office, providing a resource for distinguishing legitimate messages from malicious ones. A phishing email is an attempt to trick a user into giving a username and password to cybercriminals, who then use those credentials to steal information, money or identities.

Logging in to the Phish Tank this October can earn UO students an entry in a drawing for a Duck Store gift card. Students can earn one entry each time they participate in a National Cyber Security Awareness Month activity, such as visiting the information security table at the ASUO Street Faire Oct. 16 to 18 or attending the Ducks After Dark screening of “Toy Story 4” on Oct. 17.

Staff and faculty members are encouraged to visit the site, too.

"We want to empower UO community members to protect themselves and the university, and show that we can also have fun along the way," said Leo Howell, chief information security officer. "Launching the Phish Tank is just one part of our campaign for National Cyber Security Awareness Month this year."

Visitors to the Phish Tank site can view confirmed phishing messages without logging in. If a message is already posted there, people can simply delete that message from their email inboxes without reporting it to the Information Security Office.

To view suspicious messages that UO security analysts ultimately deemed legitimate, UO students, staff and faculty members can log in to the Phish Tank with their Duck IDs and passwords.

Members of the UO community who have received suspicious messages that aren't posted in the Phish Tank should forward them to Staff in the Information Security Office will review each report and consider posting new messages in the Phish Tank.

The new site complements the URL link protection service that Information Services activated in August.

A full schedule of UO events for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is available on the Information Security Office website.

Anyone with questions about cybersecurity can contact the Technology Service Desk by phone at 541-346-4357, in person in Room 68, Prince Lucien Campbell Hall or through the UO Service Portal.

—By Nancy Novitski, University Communications