It has been a busy week. There are two phishing emails going around campus at the moment. The first one starts out rather innocently.
However if you respond to it, like half a dozen people did, you receive a second one.
You are probably wondering why anyone would respond to the first email. First of all the email was from a department head, so that tends to get people’s attention and generate an emotional response. Also, almost all who responded were looking at the email message on their phone. They were unable to clearly see the sender’s email address or the grammar errors. This is just another reminder as to why it is so important to wait until you get to a large screen to take action on an email. It is also a reminder to not respond to our emotions. If you read an email and are responding emotionally to it, that is your cue to pause for a minute and take a closer look.
Impersonator number two is a bit more sneaky. Check out this bad boy.
I just love how they added the signature line to this one. They must have received an email from Mount Royal at some point. This is the stuff that keeps me up at night. The grammar is perfect. The content is plausible and looks legitimate. The fuzzy logo is a bit of a tell, but other than that it’s not an easy one to spot.
That was the bad news. Now for the good news. In both cases IT services was notified of the threat by Mount Royal University employees who forwarded the email to email@example.com. Their quick thinking gave us a heads up right away so we could block both email addresses and prevent further attacks. They are superheros!!
Keep an eye out for these types of emails in the future. If you find one, forward it in its entirety (no screenshots please) to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can be a superhero to!!