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Thread: No wonder phishing does so well...

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Redondo Beach, CA

    No wonder phishing does so well...

    I frequent many cycling websites and when some cyclists have problems with school or with computers, I try to help them. Today, one cyclist was having a problem with getting some financial aid sorted out with this school. He wanted me to verify that his email was working since he had emailed them many times and had no luck in getting a response (he's 300 miles and has no access to long distance).

    As a reply to my test, he forward me the email. I did a search through the headers and discovered the school was Texas Tech University. I go and check the Financial Aid office and what do I see:

    Email Questions to: finaid.advisor@ttu.edu
    (please include name and ssn)
    UH. Excuse me!? Maybe it's me but doesn't this strike you as just plain silly? Wouldn't it have made more sense to setup a secure website to have students and potential students log in (obviously once they start the process with paper forms they should be assigned a user number and user pass to log into the site with) to check or ask questions.

    So now people are used to, and think it's ok, to send personal critical information via email. And expect to be asked for it.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  2. #2
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX

    No doubt...

    I'm a student/employee of UT Permian Basin - about an hour and a half south of College Station where Texas Tech is located...

    I've been going here for five years now - up until last year, the student's SSN *was* their student ID... and you're still required to submit your SSN online to check your transcript, register online, check your account balances, etc. etc.
    It's not uncommon for your academic advisor to request your SSN via e-mail in order to lift flags from your account, etc., either... I've bitched and moaned, but in the end I wind up giving them my SSN just to get things over with... Sheesh...

    - Going off on another tangent -

    This reminds me - the other day, I called to have my electricity turned on to an apartment - one of the first things they asked me for was my SSN... reluctantly, I gave it to them... Then, about a week ago, I ordered a pizza, and the woman asked for my credit card number... - that's where I draw the line...

    I don't know about you folks, but back in high school me and my buddy had a lot of fun kicking back w/ a 30 pack and a good old fashioned police scanner, laughing our asses off at people's cordless and cell phone calls - now, being the good guy that I am ( ), *I'd* never record someone's personal information as it flys through the airwaves (or through cyberspace, for that matter) - but there are plenty out there that would - and do. But we've gotten so use to giving out our personal information over the phone and the web, that it's almost become routine...

    It's no wonder, indeed, MsM


    [EDIT] BTW, does anyone else's college use SSN as an ID over the web, etc.??? Or is this strictly a West Texas thing???
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I'm from Viriginia and until recently your drivers license number your SSN. When you write checks to places they write down your drivers license number (SSN) on your check. Now atleast they've gone to a T-number instead.

    Back in college they started by posting grades with your SSN as an identifier so that people wouldn't know who got what grade, but then found out people were stealing others SSNs from the list. The professors would swap names with SSN, but still leave the list in alpha order of the last name. You could easily find out whose name came first and last based on their last name and instantly know all their info. They eventually decided to only use the last four of your SSN, but they still haven't decided to put the entries in numeric order based on those last 4 digits.

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