November 1, 2004
Google Desktop Search, e-mail frauds prompt
Information Technology Services (ITS) is issuing security advisories
warning about a new Google search and about bogus e-mails claiming
to be from reputable financial institutions.
Google has recently released a system-indexing tool called
"Google Desktop Search." This tool allows for full
text search over one's email, computer files, chats, and web
The Google Desktop Search is intended for single-user systems.
Although the program does not make your computer's content
accessible to Google or anyone else, there is a risk that unauthorized
users can access other user's data if used on multi-user systems,
such as in a lab environment or public system.
The Google cache feature allows for all users on the system
that the Desktop Search tool is installed on to browse the contents
of messages and files it has indexed, irrespective of who is
currently logged in.
ITS is also warning of more e-mail frauds.
Computer users are now receiving e-mail that purports to be
from financial institutions such as Citibank, Wells Fargo, and
PayPal, requesting users to follow a link and submit personal
Users who have an account with any of these companies might
be tempted to click on the link provided within the e-mails.
By doing so and entering the information sought, such as your
name, address, birthdate, account numbers, Social Security numbers,
and PIN numbers, you will be putting yourself at risk that may
result in the draining of your account and/or the start of an
identity fraud problem.
Additional details on these problems and other advice on security
measures is available on the Information
Security web page.
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