From the ISO: September cybersecurity smorgasbord

by Elizabeth Parsons, IT Services

This week has IT Services singing the cybersecurity blues. We have several new issues to report on and a couple of the same old, same old.

If you take away anything, it should be: Don’t click on links in emails you didn’t expect from people you don’t know (or even if you do know the person, if the request is out of the blue, check it and then check again before clicking anything, sending money, or providing personal information); and always, always update your technology.

Phishing: Student research assistant scam

Phishing thumbnail

The information security team has received numerous reports that a fraudulent email message (or a "phishing" message) about student research assistants has been circulating. There are several, similar versions of the message being sent.

This email notes there is a pressing need for student research assistants at Miami, and asks students to send some personal information to the sender. For an example of the email, please visit the full notice in the IT News.

This is a great reminder that if you receive an email that you suspect to be phishing, forward it to Even if it’s not a scam or something you need to be worried about, it’s better to be safe than sorry! The fine folks in the Information Security Office investigate every suspicious-looking email they get, so you can rest easy knowing they are on the case.

Apple users: Update your products

A masked student on a Mac laptop with a dog in their lap

Here’s a story we’ve also told before. Any users of Apple products (including Watches, iPhones, Apple computers, and iPads) should immediately update their software to the latest version, as Apple has pushed out a necessary security update that fixes a zero-day flaw found in the code.

The security flaws allow malicious actors to exploit Apple Wallet.

For your devices, please make sure you have updated them to the latest versions:

  • iPhone: iOS 16.6.1
  • iPad: iPadOS 16.6.1
  • Apple Watch: watchOS 9.6.2
  • Computer: macOS 13.5.2

Installing upgrades and patches for your various operating systems is always a good idea. Not only do these updates usually include new cool features and capabilities, but they also regularly contain security patches that keep you and your devices safe.

New: Unexpected IT Help ticket scam

We have also received several reports of a new scam targeting the Miami community. This one is a little more circuitous, so please read carefully.

Scammers have been contacting IT Help and impersonating folks they know to be associated with Miami, in order to get personal information. They do this by using the live chat option. In these cases, folks at IT Help put in a ticket on behalf of the person calling (or, really, on behalf of the person whose identity they have assumed).

If you have been targeted, you may receive an unexpected email about a ticket from IT Help (which will state that you have opened a ticket with IT Help and that someone will contact you to provide support).

If you receive an unexpected ticket email or other message that you suspect to be a phishing message, please forward the message to Again, this will prompt the information security team to open an investigation. Please be assured that IT Help advisors have been notified of this scam and are being vigilant with your personal information.

Stay tuned…

Malicious actors never sleep, but neither does the ISO. We have some really exciting things planned for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which takes place every October. Be on the lookout for more information about next month’s activities, and remember: Stay vigilant! The best defense we have against cybercrime is knowledge – your knowledge.

Members of the Information Security Team stand next to a table set up for the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month booth

 Last year's booth was a fun time... stay tuned for this year's schedule!