UK students left open to university phishing attacks

Many of the best universities in the United Kingdom could put students at risk of cyber attack by not implementing adequate online security, new research warned.

It was discovered that only one of the 20 top-ranked universities in the United Kingdom had adequate protection against phishing attacks, which could allow hackers to falsify internal communications to trick victims into handing over their personal data.

According to a report by security firm Proofpoint, he discovered that two-thirds of the top 20 universities were not adequately protected against such attacks, which could affect new applicants who expect their A-level results later this month.


Proofpoint research found that 65 percent of the institutions surveyed did not have a DMARC (Authentication of messages, reports and domain-based compliance) record published, making them more susceptible to Cybercriminals falsify their identity and increase the risk of email fraud for students.

And with 235,000 prosp. Ectiver students waiting for their acceptance letters in the coming weeks, this could lead to criminals taking advantage.

Proofpoint added that its researchers also recently discovered that the education sector saw the biggest increase year after year in email fraud attacks of any industry in 2018, with an increase of 192 percent in 12 months for about 40 attacks. by organization on average.

"Email is still the vector chosen by cybercriminals," says Kevin Epstein, vice president of threat operations at Proofpoint. "By not implementing the best, simple but effective email authentication practices, universities can expose themselves and their students to cybercriminals in search of personal data."

"Institutions and organizations in all sectors should seek to implement authentication protocols, such as DMARC to shore up their defenses against email fraud. Cybercriminals will always take advantage of key events to drive targeted attacks using social engineering techniques such as phishing and universities are no exception to this. "

"Before A Level results day, applicants must be vigilant to verify the validity of all emails, especially on a day when the guards are down and the attention is focused on their future."

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