Student Phishing Alert – Aug. 28

More than 1,800 UA students received a phishing email this week with the subject title “University of Alabama New Internship Openings Summer Opportunity 2020”

This email is a scam attempting to lure students in with a fake job opportunity. A screenshot of the phishing message is below.  If you received this message, please delete it. Take a moment to review the red flags of phishing to learn how to spot common phishing emails like these.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact OIT Security at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

student phishing alert

Student Phishing Alert

UA students have received many phishing emails in recent days.

Friday, Aug. 21, over 1,000 students received a phishing email with the subject “WORK FROM HOME”.

Saturday, Aug. 22, over 650 students received a phishing email with the subject “UA STUDENT ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION”.

Sunday, Aug. 23, over 360 students received a phishing email with the subject line “Personal Assistant Job Position available”.

Each of these emails are scam attempts. Screenshots of these phishing messages are below.  If you received any of these messages, please delete them. Take a moment to review the red flags of phishing to learn how to spot common phishing emails like these.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact OIT Security at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Phishing email - Aug. 23, 2020
Phishing email – Aug. 23, 2020
Phishing email - Aug. 22, 2020
Phishing email – Aug. 22, 2020
Phishing email - Aug. 21, 2020
Phishing email – Aug. 21, 2020

Student Phishing Alert – Aug. 20

More than 500 UA students received a phishing email on Aug. 20 with the subject title “FALL 2020 Internship Announcement”

This email is a scam attempting to lure students in with a fake internship. A screenshot of the phishing message is below.  If you received this message, please delete it. Take a moment to review the red flags of phishing to learn how to spot common phishing emails like these.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact OIT Security at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

FALL 2020 Internship Announcement

OIT Completes Mailbox Migration to O365 Cloud

Project completed ahead of schedule, despite COVID-19 remote work environment. 

welcome to the cloud ua

This week the Office of Information Technology will complete its Microsoft O365 mailbox migration project. The migration, announced in February, was briefly put on hold in March while the University transitioned to remote work; however, the project resumed in May and picked up speed throughout the summer.

“We were hesitant to make any change during March or April that could disrupt faculty and staff access to email,” said Deputy CIO Mike Shelton. “Because of our remote work environment, we knew everyone was depending on email now more than ever.”

OIT resumed the project in May by migrating the College of Engineering, and the project did not slow down until last week after each college and division supported by OIT was migrated.

“The success of this project shows the effectiveness of remote work and the robust power of cloud technology,” said Shelton. “Our team migrated well over 12,000 mailboxes this summer – all from their homes.”

OIT encourages faculty and staff to take advantage of additional applications and software components partnered with an O365 account. Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Planner and Stream are just a few of the applications available at portal.office.com.  All Microsoft applications, including Teams, is also available to students.

“Teams has been our number one tool the past six months,” said Shelton. “We use Teams to coordinate projects, host meetings and chat with coworkers.”

Microsoft Teams provides a chat space for colleagues to share ideas through threaded chats and integrated video and voice conversations. Each team has its own collaboration space, OneDrive cloud storage and shared calendar. Learn more about Microsoft Teams on the OIT website.

A separate project is underway to migrate the Division of Finance and Operations email accounts to the UA OIT O365 cloud environment. Finance and Operations employees will receive direct notification from OIT with further information about this project.

Hosting email in the cloud offers many benefits including business continuity, infrastructure cost savings, real-time updates without system downtime, and email accessibility anywhere with an internet connection. Learn more about the O365 mailbox migration project, and see answers to frequently asked questions, on the OIT website.

MacOS Big Sur Beta

Mac has released a beta version of its latest operating system, Big Sur. Once a final version is released, OIT will begin testing the OS for compatibility with UA systems.  

OIT does not recommend running the beta version of an OS in a production environment. IT admins should always test an OS in a test environment, and wait for further recommendation from OIT before putting the OS into production as any issues that cannot be resolved internally may require further updates from Apple. 

We strongly encourage end-users to not upgrade at this time.

File Server Upgrades

OIT will be upgrading Home and Share drive storage beginning Friday, Aug. 14 at 9pm through Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9pm. Users will not be able to access these drives during the upgrade. 

This upgrade applies to the Home and Share drives for the College of Arts & Sciences, Division of Academic Affairs, OIT, CIT, OIRA, College of Communication and Information Sciences, School of Library and Information Studies, College of Education, Capstone College of Nursing, Division of Community Affairs and the Division of Research and Economic Development. 

Resources will be available after the upgrade is complete at 9pm Saturday, Aug. 15. 

Phishing Alert – Aug. 3

Monday, August 3, many UA faculty + staff received a phishing email with the subject “Email Storage Space”.

This email is an attempt to steal usernames, passwords or other sensitive information. If you haven’t already, please delete the email.

Remember to notice the red flags of phishing emails. Look at the from email address of the email, and hover over links before you click to see the web address. If you are not a DUO two-factor authentication user, please activate your account today. DUO can help protect sensitive information in your UA accounts.

If you received one of these emails, mark it as spam and delete it. If you did receive an email like this, and you did provide any sensitive information, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu. Below is a screenshot of the email.

Aug 3 phishing email

OIT to Decommission Legacy VPN

Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 7am OIT will decommission the legacy UAVPN environment.

All UAVPN users will automatically be moved to the new UAVPN2 environment.  OIT implemented UAVPN2 to meet the need and demand for additional virtual private network connections in March 2020 when the University transitioned to remote work and online learning.

On Aug. 11 any users who connect to UAVPN will receive an automatic download of the latest Cisco AnyConnect client. Once the client is installed, they will be connected to the new UAVPN2 environment.  No further action is required.

External Email Labeling

To better alert UA employees of possible phishing emails, effective August 3, 2020, OIT will begin labeling incoming emails from external sources.

Beginning Aug. 3, all emails that are sent from an email account outside of the UA domain will be labeled as [EXTERNAL] in the subject line. The purpose of this initiative is to help UA faculty and staff better spot phishing messages.

Not all emails marked with [EXTERNAL] are or should be considered suspicious, they are simply coming from a source external to UA. The message could be a friend, colleague, family member, vendor, service provider, etc. Below is an example of an email from a vendor flagged as [EXTERNAL].

OIT has tested external email labeling for one year within OIT, as well as with a test group outside of OIT.  Many test users provided feedback that they enjoyed the external labeling because it provides a way to easily detect and delete unwanted emails.

Please note, this change will only be applied to OIT-supported mail. As always, if you receive an email that you suspect to be phishing or a scam, please forward the message to security@ua.edu for review.