Penn State To Launch Educational Self-Phishing Campaign

Feb 5, 2018

Penn State is launching its first self-phishing campaign as part of its cybersecurity efforts.
Credit AP

Penn State is launching its first “self-phishing” campaign today as part of its cybersecurity efforts. University faculty and staff across the state should expect to get emails testing their ability to avoid being scammed.

Holly Swires, chief privacy officer at Penn State, said the university wants to educate faculty and staff about malicious cyber-tactics.

“It’s really important for the Penn State community to remember that most organizations, including Penn State, would never ask for a password, a Social Security number, a credit card or any kind of highly sensitive information in an email,” Swires said.

“Phishing” emails try to fool people into giving valuable personal information.

The university blocked 40,000 emails a day in December, out of 1.3 million daily messages.

With this self-phishing campaign, the university will send fake phishing emails to full-time faculty and staff. People who take the bait will be sent to a website with information about protecting themselves.

The emails are part of the university’s beefed up cybersecurity. The College of Engineering had been the target of cyberattacks.

The phishing campaign will run through Wednesday. Future campaigns may include students too.