Phishing scam triggers campus-wide education

Katie Sipos

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Pacific experienced a phishing attack at 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, which was noticed and dealt with by the Technology Information Center the following morning at 8 a.m.

According to TIC Manager Brian King, there have been 12 scams intrusive enough in the last three years for the center to deem it necessary to notify and warn users.

An informational video, which was distributed via email on Sept. 19 and linked in Boxer Briefs, was produced as a warning to explain what phishers do, how they work and how to combat the growing problem.

Phishers have been able to imitate the university’s network sites and have caused trouble with community members, more heavily with faculty than with students, said King. Phishers have been able to create email accounts ending in “@pacificu.edu” to appear as part of the network.

King said, “We’ve known for a while that we needed to educate users but it wasn’t until the recent attack that we came up with the video idea.”

As an incentive, those who viewed the video were given a link to enter a drawing for $25 gift cards, which were awarded to three members of faculty/staff and three students on Oct. 5. The TIC reports that 89 staff and faculty members and 222 students entered.

The TIC urges users to never open an email if the sender is unknown. Never reply to an email asking for personal information or click any of the links directing away from emails.

Those with concerns about being victimized by phishing scams can contact the TIC during normal business hours or visit antiphishing.org.

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