Campus Community,

In the last week individuals at the University of Illinois were targets of sophisticated phishing emails. Given the level of sophistication and corresponding with similar known phishing attacks experience by other Big Ten schools, the Office of Privacy and Information Assurance (OPIA) believes this attack was done in an effort to gather enough information to access University resources and to potentially change personal information, such as payroll direct deposit information. The message was allegedly from "UIUC Human Resources" and directed recipients to a copy of a University of Illinois Enterprise Authentication Login page, but had an additional field for their PIN.

This message did not rely on individuals replying with sensitive information, but instead directed them to a site designed to steal their information. To see an example from this latest phishing attack please visit: <>. As a habit you should check the address bar of your web browser when you are online. You should only enter your University of Illinois username and password on sites that have or at the beginning of the address. Any website that is asking for sensitive information should begin with HTTPS.

In response to this attack OPIA has notified the recipients of this message and is monitoring affected accounts for suspicious changes. In addition to responding directly to this incident OPIA and CITES are working on changes to better protect the University of Illinois and its members.

Given the growing trend for these attacks and the likelihood that this will not be the last time we will see an attack like this you should familiarize yourself on how to determine the authenticity of University emails and what is being asked of you. For more information about phishing and how to spot it please visit: <>. If you are unsure whether an email or phone call is from the University of Illinois, you can contact the CITES Help Desk by emailing or by phone at 217-244-7000. When in doubt, please contact the Help Desk.

If you receive a phishing email claiming to be from the University of Illinois you can simply delete it, or you can inform CITES by emailing Please be aware that the University of Illinois will never ask you to reply to an email with your password or to update account information through email.

Joe Barnes
Interim Chief Privacy and Security Officer
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Office of the Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

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