Cybercrime strikes a sour note in the music department


A word art graphic with the word "cybercrime" centrally placed, surrounded by words like virus, data, adware, theft, spam, denial of service, and fraud.

After being duped by an email that looked valid and university-generated, Acadia music instructor Paula Rockwell is singing the praises of Acadia’s Technology Services team.

“I didn’t think [cybercrime] would happen to me,” says Rockwell. “My first thought was, how did this happen? And then, I just felt violated.”

“As soon as Technology Services discovered the unusual activity, my password was automatically blocked. They helped me change my password and set up multi-factor authentication. It took a while to get back up and running, but I appreciate their help,” she says. “At Acadia, we are fortunate that the Service Desk is there for us.”

The Service Desk team worked with Rockwell to review her emails and files to determine what, if anything, had been compromised, and they guided her to take measures to prevent further damage.

It can happen to you

“Even the most tech-savvy individuals can be a victim of a cybercrime,” explains Lisa Speigel, Business Technology Coordinator in Technology Services. “Hackers are counting on you to be busy, distracted, and trusting.”

In Rockwell’s case, the email looked valid because it was generated by using a compromised University account. It had the hallmarks of a scam – urgency and dire consequences, and a link requesting a username and password.

Fortunately, Technology Services was monitoring logins from unfamiliar IP addresses and locations and noticed the unusual activity and blocked it.

Falling victim to a phishing email can be disastrous for individuals and their organizations, explains Speigel. For individuals, the impact of cybercrime can range from inconvenience to monetary loss as well as criminals accessing personal information. For the workplace, it could lead to systemwide outages, ransom demands, and access to organizational data.  

Cybersecurity training can help

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and to celebrate, the Technology Services team is offering those who complete online training the chance to win prizes!

“It’s a fun way for us to encourage our campus community members to protect themselves, their data, and the University's network through online training,” says Speigel. “The time it takes to complete the training will help you defend your accounts from hackers, saving you time and hassle in the long run.”

Acadia students and employees can access the training online.

Thank you to Cybersecurity Awareness Month sponsors:

  • Athletics (5 x two tickets to an Acadia game of your choice)
  • Chartwells (pass for two at Wheelock Dining Hall)
  • University Club (month pass and drink tickets to the club)
  • Office of the President (swag)
  • Alumni Affairs (two tickets for the Alumni Gala).

Please note that prizes are not transferable, and at least one guest must be a current employee of Acadia University.


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Contact

Sherri Turner
Director, University Communications
media.relations@acadiau.ca
902-585-1705