TOSHIYUKI IMAI/CC FLICKR

U of T students logging onto Blackboard are finding a notice on their home page with information about a phishing scam connected to OneClass.

According to the notice, which first appeared on December 13, an email telling students that the sender has access to course notes has been circulating. The email reads: “Hey guys, I just found some really helpful notes for the upcoming exams for courses at UofT. I highly recommend signing up for an account now that way your first download is free!”

The notice says that the email also included a link to download the OneClass Easy Invite Chrome Extension, which would prompt users to allow the application to  “read and change all your data” on visited websites giving it access to usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. Clicking a button on the extension would send the phishing email to classmates. The Blackboard notice provided instructions on how to remove the app.

OneClass is a note-sharing company that collects class notes for courses at Canadian universities. Formerly known as Notesolution, the company charges users for access to notes, and pays some students to be note takers. The venture-backed startup was founded in 2010 by U of T alumni.

OneClass CEO Jack Tai commented on the phishing scam: “As soon as we were aware of the potential exposure of private information, we immediately initiated the necessary steps to ensure that the extension is de-listed from the Chrome Web Store so that the extension could not be downloaded by any other individuals.”

“OneClass was created by students, for students,” said Tai. “We will do everything in our ability to ensure that this issue is resolved as expediently as possible.”

The phishing scam has also affected students at the University of British Columbia. U of T spokesperson Elizabeth Chuch told The Varsity that the university is currently investigating the situation.

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