Security Alert: New Scam Sends Harmful USB Drives through the Mail | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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Security Alert: New Scam Sends Harmful USB Drives through the Mail

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 09:43


Pitt Information Technology is aware of a new scam in which hackers mail harmful USB devices to potential victims through the United States Postal Service or other delivery services.

The USB devices contain malicious software that can allow the hackers to gain control of a computer once the USB device is connected to it.

In one recent example of the scam, the USB device arrived as part of a package that claimed to be from an electronics retailer. The package included a $50 “loyalty reward” gift card and a note on company letterhead explaining that the USB drive contained a list of products that could be purchased with the gift card. In other examples of the scam, the USB device is sent with no explanation or letter at all.

Pitt IT reminds you never to connect an unknown USB device to your computer. If you receive any unsolicited mail containing a USB device, please report this to the Technology Help Desk. In addition, we recommend all students, faculty, and staff install Antivirus (Symantec Endpoint) and Anti-Malware (Malwarebytes) Protection. Both are available at no cost through the Software Download Service. Departments can submit a help request to obtain Malwarebytes for multiple machines.

Please contact the Technology Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357) if you have any questions regarding this announcement.