Phishing Alert: Fake Email Entices Users to Verify Account Information Via Harmful Web Link

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) has received reports of another email phishing scam being received by members of the University community. The email mentions that unspecified scheduled maintenance is to be performed on users' Webmail accounts, but in reality is a phishing scam designed to entice users to click on a harmful link.

If you receive this message (or any message similar to it), delete it without replying, opening any attachments, or clicking on any links within the emails. The following is a sample of the recent fraudulent email:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * SAMPLE * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We would like to inform you that we are currently carrying out scheduled maintenance and upgrade of our webmail service and as a result of this; our client has been changed and your original password will reset. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

You are to Verify your webmail Account by clicking the link below;

http://mypitteduportalserver.harmfulURL.url/

If you cant click the above link, copy and paste on your browser address.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * END SAMPLE* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

CSSD strongly recommends that you do not reply to unsolicited emails or emails from unverifiable sources. Avoid clicking on links contained in such emails, as these may lead to sites that contain harmful software. If a link looks suspicious, you can hover over the link with your mouse to preview the URL without clicking on it.

In addition, CSSD recommends that all users install Symantec Endpoint Protection software and use the LiveUpdate feature to get the latest virus definitions. Symantec Endpoint Protection can be downloaded at no cost through the Software Download Service at My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).


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