LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2012) — A number of fake emails purporting to originate from the "University of Kentucky Technical Assistance Team" have recently been making their way into UK student, faculty and staff in-boxes.
These emails assert that the recipient's account is being shut down and asks the reader to click on an embedded link in order to verify that the account is still needed.
This is an example of a “phishing email,” a type of scam designed to steal usernames and passwords of enterprise computing accounts. Emails such as this one should be forwarded as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org and then deleted.
Phishing e-mails can often be detected and separated from legitimate email by looking for a few clues. Be suspicious of supposedly "official" emails that include any of the following:
- a “sent from” email address that does not end in “uky.edu”;
- a notice that the email is “Urgent”;
- references to organizational units that do not exist within UK;
- inconsistencies (i.e., “University of Kentucky Technical Assistance Team” and then “University of Kentucky webmail Customer service”);
- hyperlinks to Internet addresses that do not end in “uky.edu”;
- a request that you provide your LinkBlue account and password; or
- as in this case, references to something other than LinkBlue accounts.
“The number of phishing emails that the UK community receives will always increase with the start of a semester; unfortunately, the sophistication, quality, and quantity of these bogus emails is increasing as well,” said Vince Kellen, UK chief information officer. “All of us need to be vigilant.”
For additional tips on identifying phishing emails, see the "Security Matters" column in the Aug. 28 edition of The Kentucky Kernel, http://kykernel.com/2012/08/27/66339/.