We experienced another credentials-guessing attack overnight (10 – 11th January), resulting in several accounts being temporarily locked for 30min (which they do to protect themselves against brute-forced attacks like this). The attack tailed off just as working hours started, which is a common attempt to avoid detection, however we now have systems to monitor and alert us to such attacks.
Obviously this can be extremely annoying and inconvenient if you are on the receiving end (which I happen to be on this occasion) as it can prevent you from logging onto computers, accessing email or other services that require authentication, and we are working hard to identify the culprit and block their access. Accounts do unlock automatically after 30 minutes, or our Service Desk can do this for you immediately. There is usually no need to change your password as the lockout is an indication that your account has NOT been compromised, just that someone tried.
If you are affected , please do contact us for assistance.
Unfortunately this kind of malicious attack will only increase as criminals look for access to valuable networks and their resources, although usually it is for the simple purpose of our emails systems as a relay to send SPAM mail. Both CSCS and UIS are continuously improving our ability to identify and respond to these types of attacks to safeguard University staff and IP.
For the latest on this security incident, please see our Twitter account: https://twitter.com/Cambridge_CSCS