Coast Guard Mandates e-mail Phishing Training

A couple days ago, Peter over at Tidewater Musings had a story from Federal Computer Week reporting that the Coast Guard and the DOD has banned html-based email and the use of Outlook Web Access e-mail applications.

In a likely followup, Bob Brewin of FCW is now reporting that”

The Coast Guard is ordering all personnel connected to its network to take mandatory training on how to avoid fake e-mail messages that try to acquire sensitive data in a technique known as phishing and even more highly targeted attacks known as spear phishing.

Last month, the Defense Department mandated that all its personnel take spear phishing awareness training by Jan. 17. The Coast Guard is requiring the same of all Coast Guard personnel who connect to the service’s network over Standard Work Station III (SW III) computers, according to a Dec. 21 message sent to all personnel by Rear Adm. R.T. Hewitt, assistant commandant for command, control, communications, computers and information technology.

The message said all active-duty, reserve and auxiliary personnel and those who use SW II terminals are required to take the mandatory phishing training, which can be done online via the Coast Guard’s e-learning Web portal. Contractors who use SW III workstations are also required to take the training.

The Coast Guard’s requirement stems from directives by the U.S. Strategic Command regarding DOD Information Operations Condition (Infocon) procedures and Homeland Security Department policy directives on sensitive systems, Hewitt’s message said.

With so many attacks lately on DOD computer systems, it’s good to see that they, and the Coast Guard, are starting to take more aggressive steps to protect them.

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