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Announcing “The Biggest Phisher” Phishing Contest

This October, prepare for the challenge of a lifetime. You’ve never witnessed a security awareness month like this!

The Biggest PhisherThis year for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), the Office of Information Technology is encouraging everyone to think more critically when reviewing emails by putting themselves in the villain’s shoes and create their own phishing email as for the “The Biggest Phisher” Phishing Contest. You will find out what makes a good phishing email, which in turn, will help you to spot the real ones when they hit your inbox.
If you find you cannot get those villain’s shoes on, don’t worry! Not everyone needs to create a phishing email. You can still join “The Bigges Phisher” by testing your skills against your fellow Mustangs in spotting and avoiding clicking links from those created emails.

Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.

Do have what it takes to be the biggest phisher?

How to Play

  1. Sign up by sending an email to
  2. Submit your codename and your phish (this part is optional).
  3. Don’t Click!


Any SMU employee may enter to play The Biggest Phisher. The employee who clicks the fewest links will receive one of several prizes, including a free vacation day, free parking, or a gift card! Only players who sign up will receive the contest’s spoofed phishing messages during the month of October. To protect the identity of the participants, you will need to provide a codename that will be used on the contest leaderboard.

If you decide to submit a phishing message, please indicate this on your sign-up email and instructions will be sent on how to create a well-crafted phishing message. All those that submit a phishing message will be entered in a separate drawing to win a free vacation day*. The best submissions will be used during the Biggest Phisher competition in October and could be used in future phishing campaigns. The author of the phishing message with the most clicks will receive a $50 gift card.

The deadline to sign up for both the biggest phisher as well as to submit a phish is 11:59 p.m. CDT on September 25, 2020.

How to Win

The person that clicks on the fewest phishing messages will receive a free vacation day, free parking, or a gift card!

Are you ready to win?

—>  CLICK HERE  <—

Just kidding. Don’t click.

To enter, simply send an email to SMU’s Chief Security Officer George Finney at, with the subject line “The Biggest Phisher” and be sure to include your codename in the message body. You will be sent further instructions for submitting a phishing message.

If you have any questions about the contest or the rules, please contact George Finney at

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is an Adobe Creative Educator and the Senior IT Communications Specialist & Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT). For over 25 years, he has helped the SMU community use technology and implement digital and web media through multiple roles with the Digital Commons, SMU STAR Program, and now OIT. Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family in his free time.