If you get an e-mail message from your college’s help desk asking for your username and password, don’t reply — it was most likely sent from a hacker trying to get access to your account.
An e-mail scam has hit thousands of users at dozens of colleges over the past few weeks, leaving network administrators scrambling to respond before campus computer accounts are taken over by spammers, as reported in a free article in The Chronicle today.
Several student newspaper reports in recent days highlight the reach of the phishing attacks:
Some 50,000 students, alumni, and professors at San Francisco State University received the scam e-mail messages last month, according to an article in Golden Gate Express.
At least 35 students, professors, and staff members at Kansas State University replied and gave the attackers their username and password, says an article in the Kansas State Collegian.
And at least four students at Portland State University fell for the scam, according to a report in the Daily Vangard.
Officials say the attack seems to be spreading to more colleges and universities. —Jeffrey R. Young