University of Delaware Hit with Phishing Scam

Information Technologies Department of University of Delaware (UD), on March 11, 2008, warned all computer users at the campus to watch out for a new phishing e-mail that uses the subject title as "Confirm Your UD E-mail Account."

Phishing is a practice that involves hackers who mimic legitimate organizations and companies in e-mails to lure users to give away their passwords, bank account, credit card, or Social Security numbers.

Presently, the UD's IT department reports that the phishing e-mail distributed among many faculty members, students and staff of the university asked for recipients' password so that their e-mail id did not get deactivated. The message pretended to be from the "THE UD EMAIL TEAM."

Scammers in the current phishing scheme told the staff of the university via e-mails that they should complete the details of their UD E-mail account and also immediately respond to the e-mail by entering their account password in a given space. The fraudsters added that anyone who did not comply with the instruction would find his e-mail address deleted from the database of the university.

However, UD's IT User Services advised recipients to ignore the e-mail, not supply any information, and to simply delete it. Also, the Website of the IT-Help Center stressed that UD never requests for information over the Net in order to keep e-mail accounts of its staff active.

Besides, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) reminded that phishing scam victims often became identity theft victims. The commission said that such e-mails generally use the recipient's name to directly address the person and also include his other personal details inside the e-mail. Sometimes the fraudulent messages refer to an attachment that holds a complaint.

Also, the attachment is believed to contain a virus created to steal the recipients' personal information and passwords. Once installed, the virus records the username and password logins and monitors the keystrokes made on the infected computer.

Recently, universities have been favorite targets for phishers as is evident from another phishing scam around March 6, 2008 in which staff and students of Australian universities were targeted with requests to verify their e-mail accounts.

Related article: University Reports Increase in Spam

» SPAMfighter News - 20-03-2008

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