November, 2017, Subject: Important Update

This phishing message was sent to hundreds of university mailboxes on 11/19/2017. There are multiple problems with this message that are highlighted in the screenshot below. The most important giveaway for this message is that no legitimate service will ever ask you to click on a link just to "validate" your account. That's not an action we would ever need you to take. "Account validation" is common phishing bait that is usually paired with the threat of disabling or closing your account unless you act quickly. This is an attempt to urge you into clicking the link before you examine the message for the many signs that it is not legitimate.

The remote site that this message tries to direct you to has been blocked from access on Western's wired and wireless networks. If you clicked the link before it was blocked (or from off campus), we urge you to change your universal password and secret questions/answers right away, even if you do not remember entering your credentials. A full virus scan of your computer is also recommended. Please contact the ATUS Help Desk at 360-650-3333 for assistance. 

Phishing Example: Important Update