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College e-mail system problems resolved

The Pulaski Technical College e-mail system was plagued by technical difficulties beginning last weekend and continuing through Wednesday. The problems were due to a security breach in which the PTC exchange server was commandeered by "spammers." Access to the system was gained by several employees replying to and providing user names and passwords requested in a phishing scam. The offending e-mail contained a fraudulent request for personal information that claimed to be from PTC Computing Services.

This fact cannot be over emphasized: the Pulaski Technical College Department of Computing Services will never send an e-mail request for personal information. Any such request should be reported immediately. Do not reply!

At one point the PTC server was sending out 30,000 fraudulent messages per minute. Computing Services and Information Technology staff were forced to shut down and then rebuild the e-mail exchange server. This was a huge task that required very time-consuming efforts. As of Thursday morning, the system was still slower than normal but both internal and external messages were being sent and received consistently and successfully.

At a briefing to faculty and staff Wednesday afternoon, PTC President Dan F. Bakke announced plans to purchase a redundant system that would allow uninterrupted e-mail service should this situation re-occur.

The computing services staff addresses technical problems very proactively to minimize the inconvenience caused by service disruptions. When e-mail is down, faculty and staff can access status updates on the college Web site under the "Faculty and Staff" Web page at the following link: Emergency Communications and Network Outages.

Pulaski Technical College
3000 West Scenic Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118
Phone: (501) 812-2200

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