Students Staff


May 16, 2019

“Are you on campus?” Beware of spear phishing emails asking you to buy something

Filed under: Email, Security — Dan Jolly @ 5:19 pm

We are currently receiving emails from external email accounts, such as Gmail, pretending to come from a Head of Department.

The emails typically are very short and the subject line will be something like “are you on campus?”.

If you reply, the sender will explain that they are your Head of Department , that they are in a meeting and can’t be contacted by phone, but urgently need you to buy some Amazon or iTune vouchers for them for a nephew’s birthday or a student prize.

Although these are quite targeted – which is why they are called “spear phishing” – they have many of the warning signs that ordinary phishing emails have:

  • It’ s an unusual request and it comes out of the blue
  • it tries to instill a sense of urgency
  • the emails often contain poor grammar and spelling mistakes – even misspelling the name of the person they are supposed to be from!

So unless you really do know your HoD well enough to be in the habit of shopping for presents for their family for them, then please delete these emails and make sure that your colleagues know to delete them too.

Sadly, if you do fall for the trick then it’s very difficult indeed to recover the money spent.

For more information on suspicious mail, see Spam and phishing emails.

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December 6, 2018

[Resolved] Mailshot and subscription-based mailing list issues

Filed under: Email, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Trevor Smith @ 3:59 pm

Update 15:20

This issue has now been resolved. All messages sent via the mailshot system and messages sent to subscription list recipients are now being sent as expected and the backlog has been cleared.

Update 10:45

We believe this issue has now been resolved and any queued messages to subscription lists or via the mailshot system are automatically being sent out this morning. We will provide a further update when the backlog of messages has been cleared and the systems are fully back to normal operation.

Original 06/12/2018 15:39

We are currently experiencing some issues with both our mailshot and subscription list systems. This means that all messages sent to mailshot recipients and those sent to subscribers of any Essex subscription-based mailing lists (such as smallads) are not currently being delivered. We are looking into the cause of these problems and will post an update as soon as it has been fixed.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

November 30, 2018

[Service Alert] New phishing email “help me get an iTunes card”

Filed under: Email, Security, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Dan Jolly @ 4:54 pm

A new, targeted phishing scam is doing the rounds. This particular email asks for help to get an iTunes card. This is a scam. If you receive it, don’t action it, just delete it.

As always, if something doesn’t look quite right, it probably is a scam, so remain vigilant. You can report suspicious emails to


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October 17, 2018

A series of phishing emails targeting Essex accounts

Filed under: Computers, Email, Information security, Security, [Service Alert] — Trevor Smith @ 12:43 pm

A new round of phishing attacks have hit many of our mailboxes over the last 24hrs. The goal of these messages is to dupe our staff and students into providing their login credentials.

We would like to remind all staff and students once again to be aware of the dangers of clicking links within email messages, the source of which you are unsure of. In particular, messages which ask you to login and provide your username and password (or indeed any other personal information) should be treated with caution. More information on how to identify and report such messages can be found at the url below:

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September 17, 2018

[Service Alert][Resolved] Issue with central server – Friday 14th September to Monday 17th September

Filed under: Corporate systems, Email, Library IT, Office 365, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Colin Phillips @ 10:39 am

There was an issue with a central administrative server (serlx28) from 17:30 on Friday 14th September to 07:30 on Monday 17th September.

The server became unresponsive and may have affected the following services:

  • Password change web form
  • Applicant portal (including get-account and pre-arrival functionality)
  • Webmail off Campus
  • Library website from off Campus
  • Any other site which uses to authenticate signing in from off Campus

The server was restarted at 07:30 this morning with all services coming back online.  The cause of the issue is being investigated.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused during this outage.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.


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