Another of our periodic email cautionary notes

From time to time, we have provided reminders about email problems.  One problem – which we have noted – is that at a public university, your emails may be subject to public documents requests.

Another problem is that hackers may try to get into your email account through “phishing,” probably to use it to send out scam messages to your contacts.  Such an event seems to have occurred at UC-Davis:

Hackers compromised the email accounts of three UC Davis doctors last month, potentially gaining access to personal or medical information on as many as 1,800 patients, the university announced Monday…  UC Davis said the attack was a phishing scam, in which someone is sent an email that looks legitimate. According to a statement on the health system’s website, data security experts were unable to determine the exact nature of the breach or whether any email messages were specifically read. However, it said, “the automated nature of typical phishing scams makes it unlikely that content from individual messages was viewed. The content of patient information in the emails consisted primarily of name, medical record number and limited information associated with a clinic visit or hospital admission.”…

Full story at

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