MacEwan University has revealed that they have been defrauded of close to 12 million dollars because of a sophisticated online phishing scam that took place almost two weeks ago.
MacEwan University, located in Edmonton Alberta, confirmed yesterday that on August 23rd their team discovered they had been the victim of a devastating email phishing attack.
“On Wednesday, August 23, MacEwan University discovered it had been the victim of a phishing attack. A series of fraudulent emails convinced university staff to change electronic banking information for one of the university’s major vendors. The fraud resulted in the transfer of $11.8 million to a bank account that staff believed belonged to the vendor,” read part of the school’s official statement.
At the current moment it is difficult to tell how much financial impact this will have on MacEwanU, as the incident is still under investigation. However with that being said, authorities have confirmed they were able to pinpoint a majority of the funds to accounts in Canada and Hong Kong.
“More than $11.4 million of the funds has been traced to accounts in Canada and Hong Kong. These funds have been frozen and the university is working with legal counsel in Montreal, London and Hong Kong to pursue civil action to recover the money.”
The university is now implementing new precautionary measures and processes to prevent this from happening again in the future. They also noted that their IT systems have not compromised by incident.
EverydayElectronics is currently monitoring the situation and will release an update when additional information becomes available.
Phishing scams like these have been greatly increasing lately and this case shows just how far thieves are willing to go.
EverydayElectronics recommends taking extra precautions when opening texts or emails asking you to submit information. In our opinion, you should never text or email personal or financial information, even if you are close with whoever is receiving it.
Looking for additional information? Find out more on phishing scams as well as how to protect yourself here. To ensure your private information remains completely safe online, find out how to remain completely anonymous here.