Information Technology Services (ITS)

September BEC phish alert

Published on: September 20, 2018

On September 18, 2018, a phishing email was sent to University of Toronto (U of T) employees from what appeared to be a senior U of T official. The message asked readers to respond quickly to a request.

This type of deceptive email is called business executive compromise (BEC). A  BEC phish is a form of phishing where a cyber criminal impersonates an executive in an attempt to get another employee to send sensitive information and transfer funds from gift cards or e-currencies. If you receive an email like this, please forward it to:

Follow these tips and best practices for avoiding spear-phishing attacks:

  • Check the actual email address attached to the anchor text or display name by hovering over the link with your cursor. Look out for domains that do not have the “” handle.
  • Do not reply or forward these emails to other colleagues or anyone else as it will open touchpoints for fraudulent activities and further threats to information security.
  • Do not use non U of T emails for work-related activities. When in doubt, contact the person through phone or in-person to confirm who sent the email.

Read more about this particular BEC attack.

Learn more about a similar incident in August.

Learn more about how to protect yourself against phishing.