UM on Hotmail blacklist

17-09-2009

Maastricht University found itself on the Hotmail blacklist at the beginning of this week. This was the reason why employees and students could not send messages to Hotmail addresses. The problem has since then been solved.

What was the matter? A female employee, responding to a phishing e-mail, provided her password and user ID to cybercriminals. The latter thus gained access to her mailbox, which they used to send spam. In this case, to lots of Hotmail addresses. The e-mail provider received complaints and put the UM on a blacklist. Last Tuesday, ICTS tried hard to convince Hotmail that the UM was not to blame, but had been the victim of Internet fraud.

It is the first time that phishing has escalated to this extent, according to a Service Desk assistant. “Normally, when someone inadvertently discloses confidential information, it can be corrected quickly, but this incident happened during the weekend. So we could only take action on the Monday.”

The timing was particularly awkward. Because of the MUSL problems, many students could not be reached through their maastrichtuniversity accounts, and then last week they could not even be reached through their Hotmail address.

 

Maurice Timmermans

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