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Phishers Once Again After Brown University

A large number of scam e-mails are bombarding inboxes of users at Brown University who have subscribed to Brown.edu, asking them to validate their accounts, the university warned.

The scam e-mail purporting to be from the 'Brown University Webmail Team' shows the sender's address at 'support@brown.edu'. The e-mail that addresses the reader as 'Dear Brown.edu subscriber" says that the recipient must immediately reply to the e-mail by providing his/her password to update his Brown.edu account. It also threatens to deactivate the user's e-mail address if the recipient fails to follow the instructions.

IT security Director at Computing and Information Services, Connie Sadler, remarked that scam e-mails of this kind are increasing day-by-day making their existence common. The Brown Daily Herald reported on November 30, 2007.

However, Sadler said that she has no knowledge of any student of the university falling for the latest scam. Rather, there have been other more dangerous phishing schemes targeting the university, one of which attacked a student during the springtime.

That e-mail claimed to be from the fraud detection group of Bank of America, which said that the recipient's account might have been hacked, Sadler recalled. The e-mail then asked the person to verify his/her information by clicking on a given link.

Another e-mail that many Brown account owners reported to Sadler pretended to arrive from a man who said he was hired to take the recipient's life, but would not carry out the action if the recipient pay him $4,000.

Sadler said that phishing attacks target students every year, particularly during the start of a semester. Many phishers send flawless replica of e-mails that major online retailers or banks send out. The fake e-mails are crafted to trick users into accessing fraudulent websites where they are asked to give their personal information.

According to Secretary-General Peter Cassidy of the Anti phishing Working Group, phishers are applying improved techniques to better target potential victims. With the series of phishing attacks on Brown students coming down the time, it seems the perpetrators are specifically after this university, Cassidy added, as reported by The Brown Daily Herald.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

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