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MU Students Received Phishing E-mail

A new phishing scam that recently targeted students of Missouri University caused concern to officials as the malicious e-mail entered students' inboxes during the second week of February 2008, as reported by KOMU on February 19, 2008.

The scam attacked MU students by using the Missouri e-mail addresses. Its phishers led their victims to a phony bank Website instead of the real one. When students, during the whole week, accessed their university campus e-mail to communicate with classmates or professors, they found their inboxes were filled with numerous spam mails, posing as university announcements.

Experts say a new type of criminal operation is playing on the Internet. It related to the phishing scam and banks are trying to ensure that they do not get trapped in the loop. A phishing scam involves e-mail that tricks recipients into revealing their personal information, such as pin and credit card numbers.

According to a university official, while students seriously think that anti-spam software was needed for the e-mail system of the university, many might not be aware of that such a filter to block spam at the university's Website was not able to keep pace with the spammers.

Director of MU IT Department, Terry Robb, said that a department giving an opportunity to identity thieves to extort personal information. Attacker can use it for interfering with the victim's financial possession, as reported by KOMU on February 19, 2008.

Since the latest phishing activity could harm thousands of students of the MU, protection had already been provided with filters placed to trap the phishing e-mails, Robb said.

E-mail accounts of the university receive about 3 Million messages every day out of which a good number of 2.7 Million are identified and blocked as fake e-mail or spam. To stay safe from being phished, officials have advised students to protect their information in the same way, as they safeguard their jewelry. The idea is to limit the number of e-mails that students receive from the university daily and to help avoid inadvertent deletions of relevant e-mails.

At the national level, in 2007, nearly 3.6 Million US adults lost their identity or money to online phishers against 2.3 Millions in 2006, as per the IT research and advisory company, Gartner Inc.

Related article: MU & BOV Targets of Phishing Scams

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