Brown University

Phishing Alerts: Several emails, various senders & subjects

Several different phishing emails have been spotted at Brown over the last few weeks: "I.T HELP-DESK" with a subject line "Re-Validate", more reports with the subject lines "Account Information!", "View Return Status" and "​Review Your Tax Return Status."  Most are being sent from compromised Brown accounts, so may be more likely to fool the recipient.

Here are some of subject lines of those reported since May 1. Some had CLICK HERE links, others had attachments, most were sent from Brown addresses but not all. Read Anatomy of a Phish for tips on commonalities and how to spot a phish. Full examples are included at the end of this post.

  • Account Information! (from various addresses, including Brown University)
  • Attention ::: View Return Status (IRS.gov)
  • From IRS.gov (IRS)
  • IRS e-file: Update Now (from Brown University and others)
  • Message from Brown Information Security: Your email account has been compromised
  • Re-Validate (from I.T Help Desk)
  • Re-Validate Your School Mail Box (from I.T HELP-DESK)
  • Review Your Tax Return Status (Brown.edu) (from INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE )
  • Verify Project Proposal! (various addresses) 

If you receive one, report it as phishing to the Gmail team (from within the message, click on the down arrow to the right of the REPLY button and select "Report phishing") or simply delete it. More about phishing at www.brown.edu/go/phishing and What to do When You Spot a Phish.

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From: Brown University < baldwbw0@sewanee.edu>
Date: June 3, 2014 at 18:37:42 EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Message from Brown Information Security: Your email account has been compromised
Reply-To: desk101@att.net

Dear User,

You have almost exceeded your mailbox storage quota. To avoid
deactivation and update of your mailbox account please *click here*

***********************

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From: I.T HELP-DESK
Date: Fri, May 2, 2014 at 10:22 PM
Subject: Re-Validate
To:

Re-Validate- < Click Here>>

NOTE: That Failure to comply may result in the loss of your account within the next 24 hours.

Signed By Webmaster.
Maintained by the Technology Department. Copyright 2014

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Date: Mon, May 5, 2014 at 1:00 PM
Subject: Account Information!
To:

Your Mailbox has exceeded Its storage limit as Set By Your Administrator, and you will not be able to receive new emails until you Re-Validate it.

To Re-Validate- < Click Here >

Signed By Webmaster.
Maintained by the Technology Department. Copyright 2014

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From: INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE <IRS.gov.helpdesk1@outlook.com>
Date: Tue, May 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Review Your Tax Return Status (Brown.edu)
To:

Internal Revenue Service. Verify and Update your IRS e-file immediately, To Update - < Click Here > Ignore only if recently updated. If you have any difficulty updating, reply our help-desk.

USA . gov is the U.S. government's official web portal.
***************************
IRS e-file. Since 1990
This U.S GOVERNMENT SYSTEM IS FOR AUTHORIZED USE ONLY!
Copyright 2014.
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