U.S. Strategic Command officials are urging servicemembers to be extra careful when opening emails as they could be part of a phishing scam that lure individuals to expose personal information, making them vulnerable to identity theft.
Recipients of the fraudulent emails are asked to give out or verify personal information such as name and rank, account numbers, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, address and phone numbers, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers.
“While these emails may appear to be legitimate, it’s important to remember USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union will never ask for [personal identification] or to verify financial institution data via e-mail,” the STRATCOM release says.
In March, Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, STRATCOM commander, told the House Armed Services Committee that every commander needs to focus on keeping networks secure.
“It should be the focus of every commander in the field, the health and status of their networks, just as they’re focused on the health and status of their people, their tanks, their airplanes, their ships, because the networks are so critical,” he said. “So, changing their conduct, training them and then holding people accountable for their behavior on the network is important.”
According to STRATCOM officials, the Department of Defense has some 7 million computers and more than 15,000 local and regional area networks. The networks are scanned millions of times per day and probed thousands of times per day, with a frequency and sophistication that is increasing exponentially, they said.
The intrusions come from different sources with different intentions, from individual hackers intent on theft and vandalism, to espionage by foreign governments and adversaries, officials said.