You have received (2) file via We-Transfer

This phish comes with a relatively innocent subject suggesting you were sent files by “wetransfer” (a free file exchange platform). It contains a “Get your files” button and a separate “download link” which on screen seems to point to
What’s really dangerous about this phish is that both the button and the download link in fact point to a malicious site which has nothing to do neither with wetransfer, nor with UVic.  The actual URL (pointed by the red arrow in the screenshot below) can be seen if you hover the mouse cursor over the link.   That site contains a copy of the main UVic page and asks you to login with your UVic credentials.  It looks so real that you may forgot what was the initial email about and you may forgot to check the address in the address bar.


And below is how the fake UVic page looks like. Note the malicious site address in the address bar.  As always – we suggest not to be curious and not to click on such links even for a quick look. Some of them may contain malware and infect your machine almost instantly. Our experts open those in dedicated isolated environments.

Final Warning!!

If you look closely at the lettering, you’ll notice that in some places a lowercase “a” has been replaced with “α” (lowercase Greek letter alpha). Phishers will sometimes use lookalike characters (a.k.a. homoglyphs) in this manner to try to evade spam filters. If you spot this sort of character substitution, you can be pretty certain the email is a phish.

Service Support

This phish was sent from a compromised account from another Canadian university. This phish targets higher education institutions in general and tries to pose as a Microsoft email alert. More often than not, emails asking you to click on a link to verify your account so that it doesn’t get deactivated are phishing attempts.

Microsoft account team

Another abuse of the wix web hosting service. This one is a fake quota warning attempting to cause anxiety about losing your ability to send or receive email. Consider their warning. Why would you have to verify your account because of a quota block? If you want to check anything related to your “account” ignore the link and go straight to the UVic Portal.

Any email processing issues not quickly resolved by a search of our UVic Support pages can quickly be explained by making a call to your IT Support contact or the Computer Help Desk.


Fake Remittance Copy: On Thursday, October 14, 2021

Another one from yesterday posing as a remittance payment. For those of you who handle plenty of accounting related processes, you can be a target here. Others of us expecting payment for some service, if curious or assuming the timing is right, may not recognize the red flags right away. Note sender. Note external banner.

Some UVic staff will expect and deal with external vendors and mailings all the time. So it’s particularly important to use caution. Ask yourself if you are expecting payments, is this a known vendor, do you have a purchase order etc. that matches such a payment?

For those of us that would only expect such a payment from a UVic source, using external banner warnings lets you know this was not sent from UVic. Some guidance on the availability of these banners and other options are available here.

In this case, this is not likely a known or expected sender. Always pause, check the accounts that should have or will receive any expected payments. Verify. Verify.

Pause. Receiving an HTML attachment is likely less common and more often not legit at all.  Any attachment can be problematic or malicious including the common PDF or Word document. Treat any attachment as suspect.

Downloading and executing this malicious .html attachment eventually leads to a prompt for you to give away your credentials by logging in to a fake logon window.

If you have concerns or questions about such an email and/or attachment, or would like another set of eyes to examine the email, do not hesitate to contact your department IT support or the Computer Help Desk.



If you do not verify your account…


One of today’s phishing emails plays on encouraging an urgent response.

There are many flags in this messages.

  • “Your account will be suspended”?? No. Your account will not be suspended. There are many scenarios where you account may become inaccessible. If you cannot rectify it yourself from your UVic Portal,  typically a quick call to the Computer Help Desk should get you going again.
  • Who does the email seems to come from?
  • Why is it being sent to an email that “looks like” a Microsoft email? Is it a legit Microsoft email?? No, it is not.
  • Did you previously receive “multiple confirmations” that were verified to be legitimate? *This is perhaps a play on the volume of email you receive and how busy we are.
  • We will never ask you provide your email, username and password after clicking a link. In that very very rare scenario, you would have requested information but typically we will direct you to go to the UVic Account Portal.

This site will land on a Fake Outlook Web Access  (OWA) logon page. Note that in this case, there is a Wix banner. UVic does not host advertisements on the OWA logon page.

Revised Salary Schedule

Today’s phish is similar to the Updated Salary Schedule campaign we saw on Wednesday, only, instead of a PDF attachment, you are guided to click a problematic link.

You probably were not expecting a revised salary “schedule” and if you were, always best to check with your payroll service. The linked site is currently down but this is not likely the last of the variants of these malicious benefit and salary campaigns that we will see.


A common tactic used by those sending phishing campaigns is to alarm you with urgent and disruptive messaging. They want you to panic and attempt to rectify quickly urging you to click their link. We do not send these sort of mailings. If you discover problems with your account, you can call the Computer Help Desk for assistance.

Although a UVic email was spoofed here, you’ll notice that in this sample there are two external banner warnings letting you know this was not sent from UVic. Some guidance on the availability of these banners and other options are available here.

If such a mailing does seem or look legitimate, PAUSE and instead of clicking links, go to the UVic Portal to check on your account or contact the Computer Help Desk.

Thank you to those of you who continue to report these suspicious emails.

Updated Salary Schedule

Instead of using a link, this phish tries to entice you into opening a PDF attachment. The PDF contains what looks like a “View Document” button and instructs you to click on it. But that button is actually a link to a phishing page.

Always be wary of attachments from unsolicited emails and do not open them if you think they may not be legitimate. If you open an attachment and are instructed to click on a link or button to view the “real” contents, contact the Computer Help Desk or your department’s IT support staff immediately, as that is a sign that it is not legitimate.