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Thousands of Cov students hit by scam.

Byline: ENDA MULLEN News Reporter

THOUSANDS of students and staff at Coventry University were victims of an email phishing attack which locked them out of their university accounts.

The hack happened earlier this week and saw students and staff unable to access their emails or the university's Moodle system, meaning they were unable to complete or submit assignments.

The aftermath was reported by student website The Tab, which also covered the incident on its social media channels, on Tuesday afternoon.

The Tab said that as many as 36,000 staff and students were affected but the university said the number affected was much lower - around 2,000.

The student publication said the IT support tech bar on the ground floor of the Lanchester Library was inundated with students who had been affected on Tuesday.

The Tab said that a notification warning of a 'Blue Box' phishing email had been sent out toward the end of December but it had only started to affect students recently.

It warned students and staff not to click on a blue box in an email saying 'Open Message.'.

The warning said: "Please be aware of the following phishing email that the university is experiencing, if you receive an email containing the below, or similar, DO NOT click on 'Open Message' and delete the email."

The Tab also quoted a message from the university's IT service desk on February 18, warning people not to open suspicious looking emails. It said: "Have you received an email that looks suspicious? "Avoid opening it and contact our IT service desk team for advice."

It added that any emails could be forwarded to the service desk and they would be investigated.

In a statement Coventry University said: "This particular phishing attack affected a minority of students, and for all of those we took the precaution of changing their passwords and asking them to come in to have their laptops checked for viruses.

"During this time they were also reminded of the advice to always be vigilant to scam emails.

"As a large organisation we are subject to phishing attacks.

"We have robust measures in place for dealing with these and we would reiterate advice to students not to click on email links in cases where suspicion is raised, and to contact the IT services desk for advice."

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 23, 2019
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