Educational Technology

March 17, 2017

Personalized Scam Emails on the Rise

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Smaller institutions report an increase in sophisticated attempts to gain access to financial and personal information. Hackers are taking the time to get to know smaller colleges. IT departments at smaller institutions are reporting that they are spending increasing amounts of time protecting against the kind of sophisticated, personalized attacks that once plagued mostly large research universities. Gone are the days of typo-ridden emails with questionable grammar addressed to “Dear Sir.” In their place are emails seemingly from legitimate senders — administrators and local businesses among them — that seek to gain access to financial and personal information. The fraudulent emails often asks recipients to double-check a payment, forward copies of tax paperwork or initiate a wire transfer. “You can’t just hide behind your small size,” said Nathan Phillips, chief information officer at Marylhurst University, a private liberal arts university just outside Portland, Ore. “What seems to have changed in the last year or two is that the attacks seem to be more directed. People are clearly doing research on who they’re targeting.”

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