Note: this alert provides information that supplements the massmail sent on Friday, March 29th.
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.
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. CITES provides extensive information about phishing attacks at http://go.illinois.edu/phishing.
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. gmail.com, hotmail.com) from compromised Illinois.edu addresses, certain spam control services around the world have blacklisted all email messages that originate from Illinois.edu email servers. This means that emails sent from an Illinois.edu address to schools and companies using these spam control services will not reach their intended recipients.
In order to restore the normal delivery of email to outside organizations CITES will be implementing a number of measures that may be visible to you. Please watch the CITES website for announcements as these measures are implemented. Once email delivery has been returned to normal an additional announcement will be placed on the campus website as well. If the measures we implement are completely successful, it may still take 48-72 hours before all email delivery to third-parties is returned to normal.
For time critical communications that are currently being blocked, please consider using an alternate email address as a short-term emergency measure. If you suspect your account has been compromised please contact the CITES Help Desk. There is no need to forward or report phishing emails you do receive; please delete them immediately.
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.