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CSUN Students & Faculty Receive Phishing E-Mail

A phishing e-mail purporting to be from the networking services of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) was recently sent to at least 400 e-mail accounts that belonged to faculty, students and staff, as reported by DAILY SUNDIAL on May 1, 2008.

The fraudulent e-mail requested users to supply their complete name alongwith address and login details of their accounts. The message informed that the network was encountering problems, so users needed to set their accounts afresh by furnishing their account details.

This type of a fraudulent e-mail also referred as a "phishing" message involves culprits, who send bulk of e-mails to a large number of users with the aim to get the personal information. People who found the e-mail in their inboxes, became suspicious and reported it to the CSUN's IT department.

The e-mail further asked recipients to open a link provided in it to reach its login page. This link, however, didn't appear to match the URL of the login page of the University's e-mail account.

Officials of CSUN's IT helpdesk reported that no sooner did the account holders contact them, they were able to know the affected accounts. They also said that the message likely to originated from outside the campus.

Helpdesk officials warned users via e-mail not to reply to the e-mail, but those who did respond should immediately reset their password alongwith the security question and answer on their university account.

While most of the previous phishing e-mails arrived from oversea, and thus had spelling mistakes, this particular e-mail didn't show any spelling error, making it harder to detect as fake. Meanwhile, e-mail scams referred as phishing have been hitting a number of universities over the recent weeks, targeting numerous computer users, especially those at Washington University.

Similarly, a minimum of 75 students of Temple University became victims of a phishing scam that put their identities at risk. On the whole, however, 5,000 students got the e-mail directing them to verify their personal details, so that their e-mail account would not be terminated. The intention of the message was clearly to steal information from as many people associated with Temple University as possible.

Related article: CSUN Information Technology Personnel Caution Pupils about Fraudulent E-mails

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