The University of Edinburgh has warned all University email account users of an attempted phishing attack made through the University’s email service.
According to an emailed statement to all staff and students by the University’s Chief Information Security Officer, Alistair Fenmore on February 6, the phishing emails in question masqueraded as emails from LinkedIn.
No further information about the phishing attack is known, including what the aims of the phishing attack were.
In recent months, several societies at the University have been victims of attempted internal phishing attacks. The Student was also apparently targeted by a phishing attack in September 2021.
Phishing is a type of confidence trick, where a scammer will try and build up trust with a target over a short period of time using fraudulent emails or other web services in order to get the mark to do something – for example, open a malicious email link.
University students are often targeted for phishing attacks, as many are unfamiliar with identifying suspicious email communications and understanding what banks and tax authorities will and will not ask of them.
HMRC has warned of an uptick in tax scams targeting students during the past year, with the revenue collecting body warning in a September 2021 press statement of a 35% increase in tax scam communications to students from a year prior.
International students are even more vulnerable to phishing attacks, as many are unfamiliar with what legitimate communications from the UK government and private bodies should look like. Further, targeted phishing attacks that falsely threaten an international student’s immigration status or financial security can lead them to not recognize an attempted phish due to momentary fear and uncertainty.
The University of Edinburgh press office and the University’s Information Security department have both been reached for comment.
More information on avoiding scams can be found at the University of Edinburgh here.
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