Editorial: Universities must educate about phishing scams

When living in a world with sophisticated technology and intricate software, online scams have become more sophisticated and difficult to recognize. It can be hard  to discern if the email or phone call from your bank or the Canadian Revenue Agency are real or fake. However, it is also important to educate people on how to detect when they are being scammed. Recently, MacEwan University in Edmonton fell victim to a phishing scam amounting to $11.8 million. While universities are filled with smart and educated people, phishing and scamming have proven to become highly calculated and designed to slip the minds of smart individuals like students and university employees. It  is important to raise awareness about the frequency of scams […]

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MacEwan University victim of $11.8 million phishing scam

An Edmonton university is working with authorities to recover the $11.8 million they lost in a phishing attack this August. The RCMP qualifies phishing as fraudulent communications where scammers impersonate well-known institutions to dupe victims into offering up personal, sensitive, and financial information. According to Global News, the scammers sent emails to MacEwan University claiming to be Clark Builders, a local construction company with which the university holds contracts. The emails asked to have banking information changed so that payments could be made to new accounts. Three payments—$1.9 million, $22,000, and $9.9 million—were made, but when Clark Builders called to say they hadn’t received them, the university realized it had been defrauded, according to CBC. In a statement, the university said […]

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University of Calgary to send phishing emails to staff and faculty

Faculty and staff at the University of Calgary (U of C) are about to put their online vigilance to the test. The university is planning to send out a series of fake phishing emails to educate employees about the convincing appearance and dangers of online scams. Linda Dalgetty, the university’s vice-president of finance and services, said the school has been openly discussing phishing since 2010 and wanted to add a practical component. “Phishing is becoming so prevalent and so regular at the university that we just felt this was a logical next step,” Dalgetty said. Last year, the U of C was victimized by a ransomware attack that resulted in the university paying $20,000 to a hacker to regain access to computer files. According to Dalgetty, the new phishing education program aims to protect the university and its employees’ […]

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