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UW Students Warned of Phishing E-mails Involving WiscMail

Officials of University of Wisconsin's Madison DoIT (Division of Information Technology) are warning students about the phishing e-mails that may involve WiscMail, a utility that offers web-based services to the University's students, faculty and other staff.

The news reports revealed that the experts at DoIT posted a web link on the home page of WiscMail on January 20, 2009 to warn students about avoiding e-mails that ask for login names and passwords. Meanwhile, Brian Rust, Director of the Division, did a little more and issued a formal 'statement of alert' to students.

Rust said that scammers use much more sophisticated methods than before, as reported by Daily Cardinal on January 22, 2009. According to him, the scammers' messages aimed at individuals instead of groups.

Rust also asked students to remain calm. He also informed all WiscMail users that DoIT was constantly monitoring dubious activity that any group or individual doing by using WiscMail.

Meanwhile, DoIT has advised students to avoid clicking on unsolicited links embedded in e-mails, no matter they look legitimate. Often these e-mails are part of online scams that lure recipients to malicious websites.

DoIT also said that the university's e-mail service does not ask students for their password or NetID, or other confidential data over e-mail, or over any other communication means. It further said that the university's students and other members might have to reset or strengthen their passwords.

Moreover, DoIT said it never sends e-mails through commercial ISPs. Thus, if any user of WiscMail receives an e-mail message that seems to arrive from the University and has .com in its sender's address, he/she should delete it right away. In fact, the user should report such e-mails to the DoIT so that the affected accounts could be blocked and more necessary precautions could be taken.

Meanwhile, to further tighten UW's e-mail security, it is reported that DoIT is coordinating with other university departments to find alternative ways to request confidential data instead of through e-mail, so that the deceptive e-mail scams could be stopped.

For concerns or questions, DoIT asks everyone at the University to call at 264-3648, their help-line number. In addition, it asks students to be careful against Facebook viruses.

Related article: U.S. Businesses Lose $712 Per Worker Due to Spam

» SPAMfighter News - 10-02-2009

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