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Many students of the Central Michigan University were hacked after opening phishing scam emails


Many students of the Central Michigan University were hacked after they opened emails having the bright blue button which says "click here to read message", and then inevitably clicks them. The emails look like being sent by somebody already known to the student, as the subject line was already exchanged previously with that person.


"One of the interesting things is that because the subject line is always different, it was hard to identify, but if you saw enough samples of it, the button didn't always say the same thing and the timestamp was always rearranged in different ways so it was hard to even look for," said Office of Information Technology (OIT) communications and enablement manager, Kole Taylor.


On February 19, 2019, the OIT sent an email to warn about the phishing scam, as well as instructed the students who replied to these emails or clicks the blue button link to immediately change their password. The email said that "there's a very prolific scam email circulating campus. This particular message contains a blue button asking
you to click to read the message. This is a phishing message, and you should not click this button".


A few of these phishing emails have been sent from the spoof emails. However, when the hackers were able to get hold of genuine or actual @cmich.edu Outlook accounts, then those accounts have been used for compromising more accounts.


Taylor also said that it was actually very sophisticated as instead of using the compromised accounts to send spam phishing messages everywhere, the hackers used software to go through inbox of the compromised accounts and then send phishing emails to people by using the subject lines that was already exchanged previously for communicating via email with those people. By doing this, the hackers raised the level of legitimacy of those phishing emails.


Students receiving similar kind of emails with blue button link must hover over that link to check whether it leads towards an untrustworthy location.


The students not having control over their accounts are advised to contact Help Desk by mailing helpdesk@cmich.edu or by calling 989-774-3662.


» SPAMfighter News - 3/13/2019

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