For the last week some email sent from the campus is being rejected by other Universities and private companies. In order to help us address the issue, please review the information provided here. Additional information can be found by reading the "Phishing Alert" news item on the campus and CITES homepage.

In recent weeks there has been an uptick in malicious email attacks that attempt to trick individuals into logging in to malicious websites, thereby collecting their login and password. Some of these "phishing" attacks were emails that used University of Illinois branding, lending an air of legitimacy to them.

Unfortunately, the attacks were able to use advanced phishing techniques to trick a number of users into revealing their University account information (NetID and password). These compromised accounts are now being used to send more spam and phishing messages, which is negatively impacting normal email communications that the campus relies upon to conduct business. Because of the increased volume of spam and phishing messages sent to off-campus email addresses (e.g., from compromised addresses, certain spam control services around the world have blacklisted all email messages that originate from email servers. This means that emails sent from an address to schools and companies using these spam control services will not reach their intended recipients.

Please be aware that the University of Illinois will never ask you to reply to an email to with your password or to update account information through email.

CITES apologizes for the problem and is working on technical solutions to minimize the impact of these phishing scams, but no technical solution is foolproof. It is vital to the University that all university members pay closer attention to potential phishing attacks, particularly fraudulent emails. We are making changes in the email system today that will reduce the impacts of the attacks and will begin to reduce the number of external sites that are blocking university email.

For additional information on recognizing phishing emails, what CITES is doing to address this problem and how that might affect your use of email, please visit the campus home page or the CITES website for detailed information.

Thank you,
Greg Gulick and Mike Corn


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