Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Record Update First

Computer experts: Protect e-mail accounts from phishing scams

Hackers have targeted the University community with a new round of phishing attacks, University officials say. And the latest schemes look even more official than some of the previous attempts.

One case involves e-mails claiming to be from an official “web mail support team” asking the user to send his or her username and password in order to fix a problem related to Web mail access.

A second situation involves e-mails that include links that will carry the user to a hacked/compromised site that will install a program that allows access to private information on the person’s computer.

“These e-mails often look and sound like they are coming from official agencies,” says Ricardo Rodriguiz, director of computing support at Population Studies Center.

“Scams of this nature have become very common,” adds Steven Beebe, manager office information systems for Information Systems Shared Support.

Computer experts suggest e-mails users protect themselves using the following guidelines:

• Learn about current phishing scams

• Do not reply to or download anything from unsolicited sources

• Do not disclose passwords or other sensitive information via e-mail

To learn more about known phishing scams, go to safecomputing.umich.edu/main/phishing_alerts or safecomputing.umich.edu.