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Beware of fraudulent hurricane-relief Web sites

By Alex Morones
Technical Writer/Editor, Office of Information Technology

(Sept. 9, 2005)--The Multi-state Information Sharing Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) has issued a warning to consumers about fraudulent Web sites that purport to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

According to MS-ISAC, "phishing" Web sites have been created in order to steal credit card and personal information from unsuspecting consumers.

In one form of a phishing attack, unsolicited spam e-mail messages are sent to individuals. The body of the message will contain a link to a legitimate-sounding Web site where the victim is asked to provide financial and personal information such as a Social Security number.

Spam messages also may contain viruses or other malicious software that can damage your computer or the UTSA network.

MS-ISAC urges consumers to:

  • Check with a reputable source, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for legitimate fund-raising organizations
  • Avoid visiting Web sites listed in unsolicited e-mail messages
  • Contact a reputable charitable organization directly by phone or by typing in their Web site address rather than using a link

For more information, contact: Lance Pritchard, UTSA information security, at (210) 458-7218.

Resources:

MS-ISAC: http://www.cscic.state.ny.us/msisac/index.html

The SANS Institute: http://www.sans.org

FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/press/2005/katrinadonations.shtm

Better Business Bureau: http://www.give.org/news/disaster_pr.asp

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