Record cyber-attacks hit Brunel


Photo: Alex Milsom

Students and staff at Brunel University London have been hit by more cyber-attacks in the first half of 2018 than the total in any other year, according to official figures.

Andrew Clarke, the Cyber and Information Security Manager at Brunel, has said that there has been an “exponential growth” in attacks during the last few months. He told IKB Insider that “it is so important to protect your authentication details and not give them up in emails which malicious web links.

“Most simple phishing attacks have some obvious attributes, poor grammar and spelling, generic greetings, an unusual sender email address, or an email you weren’t expecting email with offers or threats. The best defence is common-sense: why would I receive this email about X from that email address?”

To combat the risk and educate users, staff from the Cyber365 team at the University have launched a new series of weekly 30-minute “cyber savvy” sessions to stay safe online and find out more about what is being done to prevent attacks. Briefings and a chance to ask questions take place every Wednesday at 10:30 and 11:00am (except the 7thNovember) in ESGW 103.

These numbers have appeared as the Government’s National Cyber Security Centre have renewed their warning of a “Tier 1” risk to national infrastructure from an attack, which means there could be a “threat to life”.

GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence agency responsible for cyber security through the NCSC, launched a new “Be Cyber Aware” series of adverts on TV and social media to educate users about the dangers of out-of-date software and other internet risks.

If you’re worried about an email, you can forward it to cyber365@brunel.ac.uk and ask them to check it out. And if you’re worried about your account or if you’ve given away your password, Andrew Clarke has some simple tips.

“First, change your password immediately and then tell us immediately on 01895 265888. We can watch out for any malicious activity, where it comes from and provide advice on keeping your account secure. And don’t use the same password on multiple accounts as criminals will scan all the obvious accounts using the compromised password.”

For more information, head to takefive and ActionFraud.

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