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Proofpoint: URL Defense Tool

This document explains how the the Proofpoint URL Defense tool protects members of the Rice community by blocking malicious web site links within Rice email messages.

Rice security technologies protect faculty, staff, and students from specific threats that are distributed via email, including phishing and targeted attacks. These emails sent to our community try to trick people into disclosing their Rice network credentials. These messages and the websites they link to often look legitimate, even to the discerning eye, including the use of our own logos, valid email or URL addresses, and other contact information.

Proofpoint's URL Defense protects you and Rice’s network resources by blocking access to malicious websites when clicking links from within emails. Links and certain other commonly clickable text in all email messages are evaluated using a variety of sophisticated techniques to determine the likelihood that they lead back to phishing or malware websites.

If links can't be definitively classified as safe when the message is received, the URL is rewritten so that clicking it will cause URL Defense to evaluate the linked website a second time. If the link is safe, you will be directed to the site. If it is malicious, you will be presented with a "Web Site Has Been Blocked" notification in your browser.

Safe Link Example

A URL is examined and evaluated by Proofpoint. For instance this link:

https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp
If Proofpoint deems the link safe, it will rewritten with a preface of https://urldefense.com. This is a normal action for a safe link.

https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp__;!!BuQPrrmRaQ!hQlws0AEAeuJtmspdmb4F7psU4Bnp2dNv0wrPmQH9W3tw9C30Ypb_RpVMYejR7DigpVpHtN7OBhuLbeXhUL06bTP$

Malicious Link Example

When a URL is evaluated by Proofpoint and determined to be unsafe, you will receive this message:

Proofpoint blockpage

You should delete the message.

If you have questions, contact the OIT Help Desk.

See Also:




Keywords:Proofpoint, email protection, URL defense, URL rewrite,   Doc ID:116852
Owner:Ryan M.Group:Rice University
Created:2022-02-17 14:36 CSTUpdated:2023-01-12 00:56 CST
Sites:Rice University
Feedback:  1   0