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K-State Today

February 6, 2017



Phishing scams jeopardize university access to the Libraries' electronic resources

By Sarah McGreer Hoyt

K-State Libraries subscribe to hundreds of electronic resources for academic use by faculty, staff and students. Unfortunately, universities like K-State are targeted by phishing scams that capture K-Staters' credentials in order to fraudulently obtain access to licensed, copyrighted material from those resources.

Too many of these breaches mean K-State could lose access permanently to valuable electronic research.

"When we subscribe to electronic resources, vendors require the Libraries to agree to certain terms, as stated in license agreements, for proper use of their content," said Mira Greene, head of content development and acquisitions. "These vendors monitor for excessive or systematic downloading that violates these agreements. If excessive downloading occurs, the vendor immediately suspends access to the content and notifies us so we can identify the eID causing the breach."

"We have to be diligent to avoid falling prey to these phishing scams," said Lori Goetsch, dean of K-State Libraries. "ITAC assures us that K-State will never ask for your password in an email."

Faculty, staff and students can help the Libraries avoid these breach-of-license agreements by deleting any email that asks for a password, even if it's from a K-State email address.

For more information, review the Responsible Use of Library-provided Electronic Content (.060) and Sanctions (.080) of the Information Technology Usage Policy (Chapter 3420) of the university's Policy and Procedure Manual.

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