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Security Alert! Likelihood of Spearphishing Increased

November 26, 2019

This fall, the personal profiles of over 1.2 billion people were exposed to the open internet. The data, aggregated from social media and other sources, provide a 360-view of individuals, including home and cell phone numbers, education and work histories, email addresses, and social media details. Fortunately, the information did not include sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, or social security numbers.

ThreatPost.com article with more information: https://threatpost.com/data-enriched-profiles-1-2b-leak/150560/

In light of this massive leak, UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) reminds you to:

  • Expect more fraudulent emails, text messages or calls using personalized details obtained from this leak. Spear phishing will likely be on the rise following this incident.
  • Be vigilant about the information you publicly share online, especially on social media. Data brokers often harvest this information to build your consumer profile supporting targeted advertising, marketing, and messaging services. Your personal information can also be used more maliciously to impersonate you and steal your identity.
  • Never respond to suspicious emails or other fraudulent requests. Responding may put your information and the university's information and systems at risk. Learn how to spot phishing scams and stay alert online.

Learn more about phishing scams: fraudulent emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media posts:
https://www.umass.edu/it/security/phishing-fraudulent-emails-text-messages-phone-calls

Learn more about how you can protect yourself from phishing and identity theft:
https://www.umass.edu/it/support/security/protect-yourself-against-phishing-scams-identity-theft