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Hotmail denies e-mail service to University

After a hacker busted four university staff members' e-mail accounts, the web-based e-mail service Hotmail refuses e-mails from University of Copenhagen servers

Employees at the University of Copenhagen have been receiving e-mails from what they thought to be the central university administration noting that their inboxes are full. The message then advises the staff member to insert their username and password. However, the e-mails have been found to come from a false and unrecognizable source.

‘Phishing’, as the Information Security Manager at the University of Copenhagen, Henrik Larsen noted, is the culprit.

»Unfortunately, some staff have clicked and have sent their data to the web-criminals… We may fear therefore that a new wave of phishing e-mails will be coming within the next weeks,« says Larsen.

Not wanted on large servers

According to the information security manager, the hacked e-mail accounts were used to send out thousands of new phishing emails. This is causing big problems for the University:

»Since last weekend, the University of Copenhagen has been automatically blacklisted on many mail servers on the Internet – like Hotmail, that no longer accepts e-mails from University of Copenhagen addresses,« comments Larsen. He adds that people at the IT department are working on restoring confidence in the University mail servers.

»Most places are open again for the University, but not Microsoft’s servers like Hotmail and Unfortunately we do not have a specific timeframe, but the case has accelerated through several stages at Microsoft, so we are still hoping that there is a breakthrough tomorrow (Thursday, ed.),« Larsen said earlier this week.

Difficult to reach students

The problem is hitting staff that need to communicate with students hard, as many students use e-mail providers like Hotmail.

»It has created difficulties for Admissions Services to get in contact with students that need advice on applications,« notes Larsen.

University staff targeted by the phishing attempt can report it to the IT Service Desk (, 35 32 27 00), and can be given a new password.

This type of email swindling is not the only type. Phones and sms’s are also targets of the so called ‘smishing’.

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