IT Services
Information Security

Beware of the Unicorn:
Phishing Messages and Display Name Spoofing

image of cat have mug shot taken in uniform disguise
Display name spoofing is a tactic used by phishers where the email being sent looks like it's coming from a trusted source.

[Oct. 26, 2018] Most of us are quite familiar with phishing messages – those annoying emails that try to trick us into divulging personal information such as our user names and passwords, credit card numbers, social insurance numbers, etc.

A common tactic employed by cyber criminals when they go on phishing expeditions is to impersonate someone you know or a source that you trust. There are a couple of ways this happens:

Here at Sheridan we’ve seen examples of phishing attacks where emails have contained spoofed addresses that have ranged from individual faculty members and senior college leadership to departmental contacts such as the IT Service Desk.

Unfortunately, spoofing an email address is all too easy. With a server that can send email and the right mailing software you can send email to look like it’s coming from almost anyone.

 How to Protect Yourself

Today’s spammers are making greater efforts to make their emails look real and it can sometimes be difficult to verify the legitimacy of these messages; especially if you are viewing them on a tablet or mobile phone. To keep your personal information safe, vigilance and skepticism are your best friends.

More Information About Phishing Attacks

For more information about phishing attacks, including phishing examples and additional tips on safeguarding yourself, see Phishing Messages – Don’t Get Hooked.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have further questions or concerns send email (no spoofing!) to