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Hacking and phishing find fertile ground in remote college networks – Marketplace

Ransomware BCyber todaySeptember 3, 2020 46

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More and more colleges and universities are going 100% online as the fall semester starts and COVID-19 cases remain high.

The latest include North Carolina State, Drexel and Oberlin.

Thing is, more virtual communications means more potential hacking. And university IT managers are going all out to warn students and faculty about the biggest vulnerability right now: email phishing scams.

One recent attempt almost duped a cybersecurity professor. At Cedarville University in Ohio, Phoebe Tsai got an email ostensibly from the bookstore.

“That email lists all the courses that I was teaching,” she said. “The correct matching textbooks. So that notification asked us to pass the links to all our students.”

But the links were bogus. And thanks to a warning from the actual bookstore, Tsai stood down.

When faculty and students do click malicious links, fraudsters can steal personal info and sell it. Or hack into databases and pilfer research.

Allie Mellen at the security firm Cybereason said one enticing email going around now offers students money and promisesfinancial aid services, claiming they’ll give them student loan forgiveness or they’ll pay for the scholarship applications.”

With so many students off campus, it’s harder to verify suspicious activity in person. And often, students log on from outside protected campus IT networks.

“When email is going out to folks at home, we just don’t have control over all of those home networks,” said Andrew Korty, chief information security officer at Indiana University.

Analysts say most email hackers going after students want to make a quick buck. But those targeting faculty may be foreign governments.

What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The latest: President Donald Trump signed an executive action directing $400 extra a week in unemployment benefits. But will that aid actually reach people? It’s still unclear. Trump directed federal agencies to send $300 dollars in weekly aid, taken from the federal disaster relief fund, and called on states to provide an additional $100. But states’ budgets are stretched thin as it is.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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This content was originally published here.

Written by: BCyber

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