Vanderbilt warns hospital staff about recent phishing attempts

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's enterprise Cybersecurity unit has identified phishing emails sent to trick hospital staff into fraudulent financial activity, according to a warning posted on MyVUMC.

Phishing emails look like legitimate emails but are usually sent by a fake email addresses designed to look like real ones — the addresses may only be one or two letters off from the ones they are mimicking. VUMC officials said recent phishing attempts at the hospital used stolen or falsified names of their employees.

According to the July 24 alert, a recent phishing attempt used "an employee's name in an email to a colleague to encourage the recipient to quickly purchase and send along check cards."

The cybersecurity unit told employees to be on the lookout for emails that may be phishing attempts. The unit reminded employees not to share their online passwords with anyone, and to only click on links or open attachments in emails after verifying the sender's identity.

Phishing email attacks have grown 33 percent since 2016 in the five most targeted industries, which includes healthcare, the unit stated in its alert.

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