A phishing scam has recently affected Newcastle University, potentially duping many prospective students out of their money. The scam orientates around a mysterious individual or group of people operating under the deceptive title of “Newcastle International University” with a very realistic-looking website, URL and email address.
One expert described the spoofing attack as an “effective scam” and admitted that the culprit(s) of the phishing scam have put in substantial time into creating a seemingly authentic but fake website: “It is well designed, well executed, and it highlights the very real danger of modern spoofing attacks”.
The timing of the publication of the website has also been particularly timely, given the publication of exam results in a few weeks, and anxious students wanting to secure their place as soon as possible.
Newcastle University published a tweet warning people that “Newcastle International University” are in no way associated with Newcastle University. The tweet can be read here.
The very cunning phishing scam comes at a time when a growing number of universities are finding themselves being spoofed. A Freedom of Information request by Duo Security showed that 70% of universities, nearly three-quarters, had fallen victim to phishing scams in the previous 12 months.