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UNM Online Community Targeted by Phishing Scams

Webmail users of the University of New Mexico (UNM), located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, have been targeted by a phishing email scam.

The phishing email (in this case, addressed to the University of New Mexico) tells the recipients that their mailbox limit set by the IT service have been exceeded. Due to which, the user will face difficulty in sending and receiving emails.

To solve this problem, the phishing email asks the recipients to produce their personal information like email ID, password, date of birth. The email also advises the users that if they don't provide this information, they will have a limited entry to their mailbox.

The phishing email has a formal ending, which includes regards addressed by the Email Maintenance Center IT Service.

The phishing email also advises the recipient to contact the IT Support Center for any queries, which make it look authentic. A support number in text is also being flashed by the phishing email.

While commenting on the threats of phishing emails (which began circulating on July 12, 2010), Vanessa Baca, IT Communication Specialist, stated that if people responded to the phishing e-mail, the most usual information they revealed to the hackers included Net IDs, Social Security numbers, passwords, or other personal information that could be used to commit identity thefts , as per the report published by dailylobo on July 12, 2010.

She also added that e-mail users needed to remember that IT never asked for passwords or Social Security numbers via emails as it is an unsafe means of communication.

Mike Carr, IT Chief Information Security Officer, also commented on the same phishing mails, and stated that Internet scammers selected University e-mails as easy targets because the information could be easily collected from Internet databases, according to the report published by dailylobo on July 12, 2010.

He added that most of the universities were more open compared to the private industries and consequently, most of the spammers will target e-mails that end with the domain.edu. There had been many incidents wherein students e-mail addresses accessed through Social Networking websites like Facebook and Myspace and there exists an industry of selling and purchasing e-mail addresses.

Related article: UNH Launches Cyber Threat Calculator

» SPAMfighter News - 8/2/2010

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