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Students of Oswego State Were Hit by Phishing Email Campaign

Oswegonian.com reported on 10th April, 2014 stating that students of Oswego State University, based in Oswego (New York, US) were struck in an online phishing email scam early this semester. The fraudsters posed as employees of CTS (Campus Technology Services) and sent phishing messages to a large number of students.

The phishing email stated that a third-party had gained access to the Lakernet account of the recipient and hence they were instructed to give their Lakernet login details by clicking on a link contained in the email so as to restore their account's access. The message cautioned that if they did not reply within 48 hours then their account would be suspended or deactivated.

The email was influential and the message-format looked authentic. But, the stress and spontaneity of the email provoked many doubtful students to contact the CTS.

CTS confirmed the email as a phishing scam after analyzing it.

Phishing stings are usually fake email messages which appear to arrive from legitimate enterprises (e.g., the Oswego State in the above case) and these messages normally direct recipients to a fake website or otherwise make recipients to disclose their personal information (like Lakernet account details in the above case). CTS explained that the infiltrators then use this information to conduct identity theft.

CTS noted that the latest scam was not the first of its kind as such scams have been reported in the past as well.

To reduce the chances of being victimized by such phishing campaigns CTS officials highlighted some security tips. They include: firstly, never disclose login information in response to an unsolicited email or phone inquiry like in abovementioned case. Secondly, never click on the link provided in an unsolicited email as in the above case and always access the website by manually typing the Web address in a browser.

Finally, Oswego State is not the only University to be attacked by spammers in recent time as during January, 2014, the University of Alabama, located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA warned its students to be cautious of a phishing email entitled "New Year Upgrading" which was an attempt by cybercriminals to steal their usernames and passwords.

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