Phishing attacks

Barry Salmon made this Freedom of Information request to University of Abertay Dundee

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Dear University of Abertay Dundee,

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• Out of date software.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

Freedom of Information, University of Abertay Dundee

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Freedom of Information, University of Abertay Dundee

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Dear Mr Salmon


Please find attached the response to your request.


Yours sincerely


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