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NIU Warns of Phishing E-Mail Trying to Steal Personal Information

A new e-mail scam is circulating the inboxes of Northern Illinois University (NIU), asking for personal details from e-mail account holders at NIU.

Using the subject line "Confirm Your E-mail", the phishing e-mail pretends to come from NIU Support and says that NIU is trying to confirm the recipient's GroupWise account information. Therefore, the recipient needs to click on an included link to fulfill the requirement. However, security specialists say that the e-mail is SPAM that attempts to capture information.

The security specialists also revealed that such scam or phishing e-mails had turned into a big problem on NIU e-mail accounts over the past few years. As a result, the NIU has set up an "E-mail Information Security Notice" on its official site to caution users against the frauds. To interpret it and a similar alert ever issued via e-mail, NIU would never solicit any kind of personal information.

Jim Fatz, Director of Security, Operations and Information, NIU, in spite of warnings as well as knowledge of such types of scams, around 30-40 owners of NIU accounts have been victimized in the scam. And once the accounts are hijacked, it starts a rescue process for securing users' online identity against the con artists, with the rescue process taking considerable time, as reported by NorthernStar on September 15, 2008.

Moreover, security professionals state that this problem is likely to stay at least in the near future and that is very unfortunate. phishing fraudsters are skilled in covering their traces, and as most of them are stationed in foreign countries, it is much more difficult to identify them. Also, it is hard to determine those domains that need to be blocked.

Meanwhile, the NIU authorities have cautioned everyone against giving out information in reply to the fraudulent e-mail. They have also confirmed that no NIU system in relation to the e-mail has been compromised.

The authorities further said that in case anyone replied to the scam e-mail and divulged his/her account information, he/she should change his/her GroupWise password immediately. Furthermore, help was available to anyone who needed it from the NIU authorities.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

» SPAMfighter News - 9/24/2008

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