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One Step Ahead
May 22, 2007, Volume 53, No. 34

One Step Ahead

Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.

Spoofed PennKey Sites Can Steal Your Password

A shadowy website in Chicago might have collected passwords from thousands of universities and businesses earlier this year. The site has been taken down, and there is no evidence that PennKey passwords were compromised, but similar rogue websites could pop up elsewhere in the future, so it’s important to be alert for this scam.

 The rogue Chicago website spoofed login webpages. The spoofed PennKey site looked and functioned almost exactly like authentic PennKey login pages, with only two exceptions:

• The web browser was clearly pointed at a non-Penn website,  with  following URL appearing in the browser’s address field: https://c67176154155.hsd1.il.comcast.net...

• Anyone using the spoofed Chicago site was presented with, and had to have acknowledged, a warning about a possible security problem.

To protect your PennKey password, be alert:

1. Only enter your PennKey and password when your web browser is pointed at Penn websites such as rosetta.upenn.edu, library.upenn.edu, galaxy.isc-seo.upenn.edu. If you have any doubt about the authenticity of the site, contact your Local Support Provider before entering your password.

2. Never enter your PennKey and password if your web browser displays warning messages about the site certificate. Example warning messages include:

“Website certified by an unknown authority.”

“There is a problem with the site’s security certificate.”

“It is possible, though unlikely, that someone may be trying to intercept communication with this website.”

3. Be alert for email scams that try to trick you into visiting spoofed PennKey sites. They could come in the form of an official-looking announcement forged from a Penn office, warning you of a problem with your account. Such a scam would instruct you to click on a weblink to correct the alleged problem, but the link would take your web browser to a spoofed PennKey website and your password, if you entered it, would be stolen.


For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: www.upenn.edu/computing/security/.

Almanac - May 22, 2007, Volume 53, No. 34