Phishing attacks

Barry Salmon made this Freedom of Information request to University of Brighton

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by University of Brighton.

Dear University of Brighton,

1. What is your policy for using personally owned devices accessing IT applications?
• We allow access to both student and staff with personal and corporate devices
• We allow access to staff with personal and corporate devices
• We only allow access to corporate devices

2. Do you have visibility into devices that are used to access University applications?
• Yes
• No

3. Do you use multi-factor authentication (such as a hardware token, software code generated by a mobile phone app, or an SMS code) to access IT applications? Please select one answer only.

• Yes, we use multi-factor authentication for all access by students, faculty and staff onto the devices, apps, intranet or IT network
• Yes, we only use it for access to all sensitive data such as financial payments, grades and personally identifiable data (PII) data held on the network
• No, we just use single factor authentication today
• We just use single factor authentication today but we are planning on implementing multi-factor authentication in the next 12 months.
4. What security risks in personal devices are you most worried about when accessing University applications?
• Out of date software. Ex: Operating systems, browsers
• Physical security of devices. Ex: passcode lock
• Jailbroken / Rooted devices
• Others (Please specify)

5. What is your policy regarding patching and updating digital devices, operating systems and apps which access your corporate network? Please select one answer only.

• We implement all patches/upgrades within 48 hours from notification
• We implement all patches/upgrades within 7 days of notification
• We implement all patches/upgrades within 30 days of notification
• It is impossible for us to maintain all devices, operating systems and apps at the latest version and patches/upgrades typically take longer than 30 days to implement.
• We outsource the patching and upgrade of all our devices and systems to a third party

6. Has your university ever been the victim of a phishing attack (where an individual is duped into disclosing their login, password or credit card details via an email purporting to be from a trusted source)? Please select one answer

• Yes
• No
• Don’t know

6a. If yes, how often have you experienced a phishing attack in the last 12 months? Please select one answer.

• 0-5 times
• 6-10 times
• 11-50 times
• 51+ times
• Don’t know

6b. If yes, which is the most common target of the phishing campaigns? (please select one)

• Students
• Lecturers/faculty staff
• Employees
• Other (please specify)

6c. What type of data was being targeted? (select all that apply)
• Student personally identifiable information (PII) e.g. date of birth. National Insurance Nos.
• Employee PII
• Financial/payroll data
• Research/patents
• Other (please specify)

6d. Did you identify the attackers and, if so, are they? (select all that apply).
• Organised cyber-criminals
• Opportunistic hackers (non-organised)
• Political hacktivists
• Disgruntled employees/former employees
• Disgruntled students/former students
• State sponsored hackers
• Other (please specify)

Yours faithfully,

Barry Salmon

FOI, University of Brighton

Dear Sir

Thank you for your recent FOI request in which you request the following:

1. What is your policy for using personally owned devices accessing IT applications?
• We allow access to both student and staff with personal and corporate devices
• We allow access to staff with personal and corporate devices
• We only allow access to corporate devices

2. Do you have visibility into devices that are used to access University applications?
• Yes
• No

3. Do you use multi-factor authentication (such as a hardware token, software code generated by a mobile phone app, or an SMS code) to access IT applications? Please select one answer only.

• Yes, we use multi-factor authentication for all access by students, faculty and staff onto the devices, apps, intranet or IT network
• Yes, we only use it for access to all sensitive data such as financial payments, grades and personally identifiable data (PII) data held on the network
• No, we just use single factor authentication today
• We just use single factor authentication today but we are planning on implementing multi-factor authentication in the next 12 months.
4. What security risks in personal devices are you most worried about when accessing University applications?
• Out of date software. Ex: Operating systems, browsers
• Physical security of devices. Ex: passcode lock
• Jailbroken / Rooted devices
• Others (Please specify)

5. What is your policy regarding patching and updating digital devices, operating systems and apps which access your corporate network? Please select one answer only.

• We implement all patches/upgrades within 48 hours from notification
• We implement all patches/upgrades within 7 days of notification
• We implement all patches/upgrades within 30 days of notification
• It is impossible for us to maintain all devices, operating systems and apps at the latest version and patches/upgrades typically take longer than 30 days to implement.
• We outsource the patching and upgrade of all our devices and systems to a third party

6. Has your university ever been the victim of a phishing attack (where an individual is duped into disclosing their login, password or credit card details via an email purporting to be from a trusted source)? Please select one answer

• Yes
• No
• Don’t know

6a. If yes, how often have you experienced a phishing attack in the last 12 months? Please select one answer.

• 0-5 times
• 6-10 times
• 11-50 times
• 51+ times
• Don’t know

6b. If yes, which is the most common target of the phishing campaigns? (please select one)

• Students
• Lecturers/faculty staff
• Employees
• Other (please specify)

6c. What type of data was being targeted? (select all that apply)
• Student personally identifiable information (PII) e.g. date of birth. National Insurance Nos.
• Employee PII
• Financial/payroll data
• Research/patents
• Other (please specify)

6d. Did you identify the attackers and, if so, are they? (select all that apply).
• Organised cyber-criminals
• Opportunistic hackers (non-organised)
• Political hacktivists
• Disgruntled employees/former employees
• Disgruntled students/former students
• State sponsored hackers
• Other (please specify)

We have carefully considered your request but have formed the view that it is covered by the exemption under Section 43 (2), that its disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the University by facilitating a phishing or other attack on the University's systems.
Further under section 43(3) the duty to confirm or deny does not arise to the extent that compliance with section 1 (1)(a) would or would be likely to prejudice these interests.

Yours sincerely
Andrew Wilson

Legal Adviser,
University of Brighton,
Mithras House, Lewes Road,
Brighton BN2 4AT
Tel: 01273 642404
[email address]

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