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Education not spared: attempted cyberattacks at Erasmus+ beneficiaries

According to Politico, the European Commission (EC) has confirmed it recently become aware of fraudulent activities against the recipients of Erasmus+ grants: the attempted cyberattacks on beneficiaries were made via phishing emails as cybercriminals tried to con grant recipients into making money transfers and providing false bank details to do so. The EC has told Politico they have informed the beneficiaries of the situation.

Such attacks are not the first of its kind in the education field, knowing that there has recently been a wave of cyberattacks at universities across Europe (but also in Australia, US and Canada), the latest of which at ULB (Free University of Brussels) in February 2020 (for more information see ACA Newsletter - Education Europe March 2020 edition).

Although the EU became an observer organisation to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime Committee already in 2001, it has augmented its activities and efforts at tackling the issue since 2013 in light of an increasing number of major cyberattacks and incidents (e.g. see the 2013 Cybersecurity Strategy). Since then, the EU has developed a number of frameworks and strategies to improve EU-wide cyber resilience. The overview of  these initiatives can be found in the 2019 Briefing Paper “Challenges to effective EU cybersecurity policy”.

More information here.