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Mass duplication of SU website leaves students vulnerable to malware

Updated: May 10

Students at SU should take extra steps when navigating links that appear to be University sites. When searching the internet for things related to Salisbury University before clicking on a link that looks like it is from the official SU website, make sure the website listed above the URL is not from 'alisflowers'.


This website is a two part phishing attack containing a malware component that has been modeled to match the Salisbury University website almost exactly; with the same links, titles, and subtext. Even a SU logo that matches preexisting material. The attack works by pretending to be the University to get you to click on it then starts downloading malware or a PDF.


The code for this website matches the code of the university’s website exactly with two small differences. There is the presence of a few Chinese characters not present in the original code and a singular addition line of code known as an 'Iframe.' This singular line allows for an entirely separate website to be imbedded to a pre-existing one and import all the code for the separate entities to merge.


Android devices are more vulnerable to the malware it attempts to download. The title of the download (Qi se mao) roughly translates to “Its color is luxuriant” according to google translate, and the .apk is what indicates the vulnerability for android devices.


This large scale duplication of the website doesn’t need to be as scary as it sounds. Taking precautions to make sure a link is safe prior to clicking on it is where you should start but there are several solutions to the problem if you have. Download a free antivirus software such as avast to run an antivirus software, or take your device somewhere like Salisbury IT or even Best Buy with hopes that the local Geek Squad can help protect your device.


Isaac Dugan, a computer science major and creator of Salisbury Analytics uncovered this phishing scheme and offered this advice to students hoping to maintain their safety online.

”If you are using the internet and a link looks weird or a website looks odd, that’s a very good sign that something is up," he says.

"Just like you need to be careful when driving a car, you also need to be careful when surfing the internet"

"Cyber criminals are real and are targeting Salisbury University... our best defense as a student body is awareness and education about cyber security.”



News Editor

Contributor: Isaac Dugan

Featured images courtesy of Isaac Dugan

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