Information Security

News: Cyber Attacks Targeting Academia 02 05 2019

The University, in common with other institutions, continues to see cyberattacks specifically targeting Academia.

What is happening?

The Information Security Team have been made aware about a number of overseas organisations currently targeting the academic sector via phishing attacks. These specific attacks are pretending to be from library services or IT support desks and have subject lines such as: ‘library notification’, ‘library services’, ‘library account’, ‘library access renewal’ and ‘library notices’ and are trying to steal log in details

The attackers have also been setting up fake webpages designed to look like legitimate user access portals i.e. fake EASE log in page, again to fool users and get them to fill in their username and password.  Once the attacker has account details, they are either using them to log in to steal academic material or to sell them on to other criminals.

 

 What is the University doing?

Information Services Group have been working with other universities and the National Cyber Security Centre, to identify malicious websites and block access to them from the University where we can.  The University also uses email filtering and where an attack is detected inside the network, the emails are deleted centrally to reduce their impact on users and our services.

How can I protect myself?

  • check all links in emails carefully before you click on them. More information can be found at: https://www.ed.ac.uk/infosec/learning-about-protection/about-phishing
  • be wary of emails that do not come from known group accounts: helpdesk style emails that come from an individual sender etc.
  • do not autoimatically trust any email simply because it comes from a university address, it may be that user's email has been compromised
  • don't reuse your password for other accounts and consider using a password manager

Information Security runs an hour long training session on Phishing, Scams and Social Engineering that can help users spot such attacks, so please attend one if you want more information. Sessions can be requested by contacting the team by email at: informationsecurity@ed.ac.uk

There is also Information Security training available on LEARN in the form of Information Security Essentials (mandatory for staff). 

Information Security Essentials course

What do I do if I receive one of these emails?

If you receive a phishing email pretending to be from the University or believe that your email has been compromised, contact the IS Helpline immediately.

Contact the IS Helpline