Beware of blank subject lines in emails

We have received reports of some FIT employees receiving emails with blank subject lines or one character subject lines with no content in the body of the email. Cybersecurity researchers have reported that blank, unsolicited emails are often an early sign of a potential future phishing attack. Cyber gangs will often put feelers out to probe for active email accounts. The probe email will arrive with a blank body or blank subject line, or often with only the single letter “q,” for example, as its subject. If the email does not bounce, then the criminals proceed with more confidence that they have found a live target and will send more phishing attempts to that inbox. This method of probing an email account is typically done manually, and the criminals are said to be quite practiced at it. We have witnessed these emails coming from different “” senders, which makes blocking these emails more challenging. 

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • If you receive an email with a blank subject or with a one character subject line, mark it as a phish in Google. Learn more here. 

  • Never trust unsolicited emails.

  • Make sure you have a trusted, up-to-date, and active antivirus software installed on your home computer. Learn more here.