Phishing scam targets Kent State e-mail users

Glennis Siegfried

READ a copy of the phishing e-mail.

A phishing scam is currently circulating Kent State inboxes.

The e-mail was sent out sometime around midnight Sept. 7. It has been sent to 235 students, faculty and staff, said Tom Beitl, executive director of Infrastructure and Operations.

The message claims it is working with Kent State University. It requests that recipients send in their surname and password to prevent their webmail account from being deleted.

“We never ask for your password,” Beitl said. Requesting a password was the first indicator that the e-mail Copy editor was a phishing scam.

Phishing e-mails are sent out using an existing e-mail or Web page address, and they usually ask recipients to send out personal information such as full name, social security number or account passwords.

The e-mail’s origin hasn’t been determined yet, but Beitl said Information Services is currently checking with its vendor.

Information Services receives about 5 million e-mails a day, and 4.5 million of those are spam. Normally, Information Services filters out these e-mails, but the current e-mail managed to slip through probably because “it’s so simple,” said Ben Marquis, Information Technology User Support Analyst for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

One out of 5 million is pretty good, Beitl said.

Beitl reminded students that if they receive an e-mail from an unrecognized sender, they should not open it or any attachments and should delete it. And again, Information Services does not ask for the recipient’s ID or password.

&mdash Glennis Siegfried