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E-mail Accounts of NAU Targeted with Phishing Scam

Phishing e-mails targeting accounts of Flagstaff, Arizona (USA)-situated Northern Arizona University prompted security alerts by the Information Technology Services of the University, published nau.edu dated December 14, 2014.

The ITS officials explain phishing as the process of fraudulently trying for obtaining sensitive information like payment card numbers, usernames, alternatively other protected data through e-mail. These electronic mails are potentially sourced from a seemingly authorized, trusted NAU account while lead onto certain website which appears genuine.

According to Lanita Collette, Information Security Officer at NAU, phishing scams keep occurring. A trend observed is when a semester starts there is rapid increase in the fake e-mails. Azdailysun.com reported this, December 17, 2014.

The phishing attempts pose an enormous problem to institutions similar as NAU that has over 30,000 e-mail accounts of faculty, pupils as well as staff. There are also erstwhile students of the university and the number keeps growing who still maintain their nau.edu A/Cs.

That certainly means NAU can be one huge target, according to Collette.

She tells, e-mail fraudsters send variedly themed e-mails, from generic electronic mails notifying potential victims that too many messages have filled their e-mail A/Cs or electronic mails directing pupils to follow a given web-link for knowing the details regarding their educational allowances to e-mails that are sent to the University's workers which look like messages about enrollment of their benefits.

Collette cites another instance where when a given URL was clicked it actually led onto one login page which appeared quite similar to an authentic one used at the campus.

NAU's 'ITS' reminds it won't ever dispatch e-mail having web-link asking user to provide his/her username and password.

It cautions that incase an attacker acquires admission into a campus inmate's NAU account, his/her personal identification as well as financial details like payroll maybe endangered. Such illegitimate admission into the account may as well let attackers know more NAU secret data while cause additional damage.

The 'ITS' has given the Student Technology Center phone number viz. (928)523-9294 for students wanting to know regarding an e-mail's authenticity, while for workforce it's the Solution Center they can call at (928)523-1511.

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