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Phishing Email and Spam Circulated Pace


ITS (Information Technology Services) Helpdesk of Pace sent out email to universities alerting the community about a spam and phishing email on 26th January, Thursday.

The Pace Chronicle posted on 30th January, 2017 stating that the ITS department sent two emails at 1:18 and 1:44 PM respectively, posing as Pace President Stephen Friedman, alerting students about two existing spam and phishing scams designed to trick the recipient in disclosing personal information.

The first email, claimed to be from Friedman, described that a spam email was circulating and contained a photo of the first phishing email which asked the recipient to open the attachment for an important notification.

The ITS email contained their contact information, other information regarding phishing and other guidelines about fake web forms, in case of any emergency when any recipient opened the attachments. Similarly, the second email contained the same guidelines and details but the email claimed to be coming from Friedman.

An image of second phishing email was provided and described a "new development" which will help everyone and an attachment to read for more information. Both the phishing emails contained attachments, but the contents of the attachments are not known at this time. It is not clear that if there will be an investigation to find the origin of the email.

Vincent Beatty, Director of Campus Safety and Security, said that security will not lead to any investigation. Beatty said that generally no (we don't deal with these types of things), but IT has a staff which is better suited to deal with these kinds of scams.

Helpdesk of ITS was not available for comment; and Lawrence Robcke, Information Security Analyst, refused to comment also because of security reasons.

An Arizona man was arrested on 2nd November, 2016, for hacking more than 1,000 Pace emails and social media accounts looking for vulgar and embarrassing content.

Pace informed the FBI in August and an investigation revealed that Jonathan Powell, 29, used a password -reset tool to gain access to emails and changed passwords. The investigation revealed that he tried to do the same to 75 other universities and faced imprisonment for maximum five years for this fraud.

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