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University E- mail Fraud Risks Student Safety

In an e-mail sent to every student accounts, DoIT cautioned against e-mails which seems to have come from IT support or a system administrator and tries to deceive the user into disclosing their private details.

Terry Robb, DoIT Director stated that the e-mail was sent in reply to a latest phishing scam attacking several students, as reported by the maneater on August 27, 2010.

Robb added that some of the users fell prey to the scam and revealed their private information. The University could not do anything to stop it.

Tracy Perkins, Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force detective, claimed that new students creating their university e-mail accounts were more susceptible as a stream of IT e-mails covering University technology was received. With the new school year beginning, more users would be vulnerable to these kinds of scams, as reported by maneater on August 27, 2010.

Though phishing scams are hard to detect and curb, the end result of the incident depends on the user who gets fake e-mails. DoIT is not exclusively responsible for providing Web security against hackers.

The IT sector of MU has advised users to abide by some rules to stay protected from Internet security concerns. They also suggested the users not to disclose any private details without ensuring the authenticity of the source.

Robb said that if any user gets any uninvited mail, particularly asking for private details, it should not be trusted and the users should not respond to it. He added that e-mail could prove to be a harmful tool.

Owing to the latest phishing scam, DoIT is working to battle against the hackers, by making students aware and informed about web security tips.

Phishing has become a frequent issue, which is heavily costing to Universities, consumers, and companies each year. Remarkably, this is not the first time when DoIT has been attacked by hackers. In May 2008, also the University had cautioned its users of Webmail accounts about a phishing mail scam that asked users for their personal details.

Related article: University Reports Increase in Spam

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