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November 2009

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November 18, 2009

"Webmail" phishing scam targeting NYU community

There are new reports about a sophisticated phishing message that purports to come from "New York University District Information technology Service ( ITS )". The message claims that ITS is "undertaking some essential, but extensive, maintenance to improve our webmail this week" and requests your password, name, and other personal information to avoid shutting down your NYU email account. The fraudulent message requests that the recipient reply back to non-NYU email accounts, and in this case, a "@upgrade.com" and "@yahoo.com" email addresses.

NYU community members should NEVER REPLY TO ANY email that requests the recipient's email login name and password. Instead, forward phishing messages as an attachment to our email filtering account phishing@nyu.edu. Doing so trains our email filters to prevent such types of spam from arriving into inboxes.

Please note: It is very important to forward the message as an attachment, otherwise our email filters will not be able to parse through the message correctly.

As a reminder of better security practices, always remember that:

  • No NYU community member will ever ask for your account password, especially not over email.
  • Do not reply back to emails from unidentified, untrusted sources.
  • Forward all phishing messages as an attachment to phishing@nyu.edu. This helps train our email filters to block such messages in the future.
  • Messages that request personal information over plaintext email should be regarded as being suspicious. If it is spam, forward it to is.spam@nyu.edu. When in doubt, do not reply and contact security@nyu.edu.
  • If a message informs you of an impending "account closure" unless you comply with its demands, it is often a sign that the message is a phishing scam. Do not comply with its requests.

The following sites also provide several useful tips on defending against these types of phishing attacks:


Example


Attention,

New York University District Information technology Service ( ITS )wishes to inform you that we are undertaking some essential, but extensive, maintenance to improve our webmail this weekend. The maintenance is part of our ongoing efforts to give you the best Mail service we can.The need to be updated as part of our continuing commitment is to protect your account and to reduce the instance of spam mails on our webmail stream.

Beginning the end of Monday 17th November (PDT) you may experience problems accessing your webmail account.To avoid your account been affected,Due to this, to ensure that your service is not interrupted, we request you to confirm and update your webmail details as required below..Username(__________)Password(_________) Date of Birth(_____) to prevent poor performance, it should be available again by midday Wednesday 28th November (PDT).

We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.

::::New York University::::
Mail Technical Services
https://mail.nyu.edu/

NB: We request your user name and password for Identification purpose only.Thanks for confirming your Webmail details as Upgrade process is been carried out by the ITS web team.....