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Security Alerts & Warnings

This page lists current warnings regarding suspicious email messages and other cybersecurity hazards at the University of Virginia.  For guidance on how to secure yourself against these hazards, be sure to visit our tip of the month.

Regarding Suspicious Email Alerts

Messages similar to the suspicious emails listed below may be related to phishing scams, schemes to commit identity theft, or other attempts to compromise users’ machines or personal information.

  • If you receive an email similar to any of the suspicious emails on this page, DO NOT respond—delete it immediately!
  • Do not click any links in the email, and do not “unsubscribe” or acknowledge the email in any way.
  • If you receive an email that appears “phishy” and are unsure if it’s legitimate, and it is not listed below, please report it to us. Forward it to [email protected].

Security Alerts and Suspicious Items Currently Affecting UVA:

[Posted: Dec 29, 2021 8:41 AM]

From: <info [at]>
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2021 5:59:55 AM
To: User, Typical S <mst3k [at]>
Subject: virginia.edu_Notification:(Wednesday, December 29, 2021) WEBMAIL

Hello mst3k,

Your mst3k [at] password is set to Expire today,

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

You can change your password or continue using same password below

Keep Same Password <hxxp://> Support

[Posted: Dec 13, 2021 4:15 PM]

If you and/or your folks are not already working on finding/remediating the Apache log4j Java vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228), please prioritize this issue.  It is a critical zero-day exploit.

When this vulnerability is exploited, the bad guy can run commands on your computers or servers,  steal data, and/or use your computers to laterally pivot to other computers or servers. 

Information about this vulnerability, who it affects, how to search for it, and mitigation strategies if you find it are on our webpage: Action Needed: Critical Vulnerability in Widespread Java Logging Library

We want to make sure that finding and fixing this vulnerability is high priority for everyone. 

Thank you for helping to keep everyone’s data and information at UVA secure.  

[Posted: Nov 18, 2021 4:07 PM]

From: Virginia -053100 <kazash [at]> 
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2021 3:36 PM
To: Typical User mst3k [at]>
Subject: Covid Test#56470
Importance: High

Attached copy of your test result.

[Posted: Nov 13, 2021 7:32 PM]

From: "John William Betts, III" <jwb286 [at]>
Date: November 13, 2021 at 1:05:15 PM EST
Subject: University Payroll Services invited you to view the files "Regarding 2021 payroll schedule "on Payroll Services.



University Payroll Services invited you to view the files "Regarding your 2021 payroll schedule "on Payroll Services.

View file<hxxps://>

University Payroll Services

[Posted: Nov 5, 2021 3:04 PM]

From: IT HelpDesk <no-reply [at]>
Date: Friday, November 5, 2021 at 2:58 PM
To: Typical User <mst3k [at]>
Subject: Urgent Action Required!

Hi mst3k,

Due to new terms of our user agreement, we inform you that we made recent updates in our website to ensure safety while using our services. Follow the link below to update your mailbox and follow the steps to check your email.


Update Account



Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Helpdesk Team

[Posted: Nov 1, 2021 3:14 PM]

From: IT Help Desk
Sent: Monday, November 1, 2021 3:00 PM
To: Recipients
Subject: Security alert
Your virginia edu account will be De-activated shortly

To stop De-activation Click Here and Log In

IT Help Desk.

[Posted: Oct 1, 2021 4:50 PM]

More Zero-Day flaws in the Chrome web browser for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers

More zero-day flaws have been found in the Chrome web browser used on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers. The flaws (CVE-2021-37975 and CVE-2021-37976) are a high and medium severity flaw (respectively) on the CVSS vulnerability-rating scale.  Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system or obtain sensitive information. 

Google has released an emergency Chrome fix to address these two zero-day vulnerabilities (version  94.0.4606.71). Most Chrome browser will auto-updated and the update requires the browser to be restarted.
Considering the disclosed vulnerabilities, you should update your Chrome browser to the latest version (at least 94.0.4606.71) as soon as possible.  This update addresses these two security flaws.

Double-check your Chrome Browser is up-to-date

Chrome will in many cases update to its newest version automatically.
However, we recommend you double-check if the update has been applied.

In Chrome, click on Settings  then About Chrome

If an update is available, Chrome will show that here and then start the download process. When it's completed, it will ask to relaunch the browser to complete the update.
If the browser is up-to-date, it will say "Google Chrome is up to date" and list the version number. Make sure it's at least 89.0.4389.128 

Additional Details

One vulnerability (CVE-2021-37975) could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system, caused by a use-after-free in V8. By persuading a victim to visit a specially crafted Web site, a remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service condition on the system.
The other vulnerability (CVE-2021-37976) could allow a remote attacker to obtain sensitive information, caused by an information leak in core.  By persuading a victim to visit a specially crafted Web site, a remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to obtain sensitive information.

(References:, and ).

Please see the Chrome Security Page and the Chrome Releases webpages for more information.

[Posted: Sep 27, 2021 10:30 AM]

Text Message starting a Gift Card Scam

Multiple people at UVA have reported that they have received a text message that looks like this: 

This is the beginning of a gift card scam!

Do NOT reply to this text message. 

If you're concerned that it is legitimate request from your "<UVA leader>" (e.g., your dean, department chair) then email or call that person using the contact information you already have.

Please report "smishing" (SMS phishing) to us by emailing [email protected]

Learn more about gift card scams and how to avoid them by reading our past Security Tips at "Don't Get Gift Card Scammed" and "Gift Card Scams

[Posted: Sep 25, 2021 3:25 PM]

Many hundreds of email messages are coming in with this type of format:

From: Department Chair  < @< @>>
Subject: Send me your available text number that I can reach you at
Date: September 25, 2021 at 2:40:33 PM EDT
To: typicaluser @<mailto:typicaluser @>

Department Chair
Dean and professor
School of Scam Science

Even if they seem to come from your chair, department head or supervisor, they are a scam - DELETE them.

Your supervisor does not need to ask for your cell phone number, nor do they need you to buy gift cards for them - the latter violates UVA policy.

[Posted: Sep 23, 2021 2:23 PM]

Subject:     Document shared with you: "EVALUATION.DOC.XX.docx"
Resent-From:     mst3k [at]
Date:     Wed, 22 Sep 2021 23:18:27 +0000
From:     Christina Grieco (via Google Docs)
<drive-shares-dm-noreply [at]>
Reply-To:     Christina Grieco <christina.grieco [at]>
To:     mst3k [at]

christina.grieco [at]
<mailto:christina.grieco [at]> shared a document
Unknown profile photo
christina.grieco [at]
<mailto:christina.grieco [at]> added you as a viewer.
Verify your email to securely view this document. You will need to
verify your email every 7 days. Learn more
FWD:Jennifer L. West shared a file request using one drive.




Use is subject to the Google Privacy Policy

Google LLC, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
You have received this email because [email protected]
<mailto:christina.grieco [at]> shared a document with you
from Google Docs.
Delete visitor session
Logo for Google Docs <hxxps://>

[Posted: Sep 23, 2021 2:20 PM]

NOTE: Similar "order confirmation" phishing messages are VERY common - just delete it if it looks unfamiliar.


From: [email protected] <jeandfwade [at]>
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 1:55 PM
To: User, Typical S <mst3k> <mst3k [at]>
Subject: Your Order Confirmation




Dear Member,

You sent an automatic payment to ExpressVPN. Here are the details.


Automatic Payment Details:

Automatic payment number:                     K-9D3NB62

Amount to be paid each time:                  $229.99 USD

Billing Cycle:                                                  Quarterly

Payment Start:                                              22 Sep 2021

Next payment Due:                                      21 Dec 2021

Next Payment Amount:                              $229.99 USD

Pay with Money from:                                 PayPal


To change or cancel your agreement with ExpressVPN, log in to your PayPal account, go to your profile,

And click My Money and update your agreement in the “My preapproved Payments” section.


Do you confirm this payment?

Support: 1-xxx-341-0706

[Posted: Jul 26, 2021 8:32 AM]

From: mst3k [at] <mst3k [at]> on behalf of <direct [at]>
Date: Monday, July 26, 2021 at 7:21 AM
To: mst3k [at] <mst3k [at]>
Subject: mst3k [at] Email Account Password Update
Secure Messaging

Dear mst3k [at]

Kindly inform your password to mst3k [at] expires today.

Please kindly use the below button to continue with the same password.

Proceed To Keep Same Password<hxxps:// [at]>

Further messages might be prevented if any of the above actions are not performed.
This email was sent from Mail Center.

Copyright © 2021  Inc. All rights reserved.

[Posted: Jul 12, 2021 8:26 AM]

From: Mail Administrator <mailadmin [at]>
Date: Monday, July 12, 2021 at 4:02 AM
To: Typical User <mst3k [at]>
Subject: Action Requested: Mail Box Full

Dear mst3k [at],
Your message mailbox is almost full.

Current size

Maximum size

Your mailbox might be closed or unavailable. Kindly activate<hxxps:// [at]> to update your mailbox storage.

No further action is necessary, this is just a notification for your account safety, just follow the
above link and sign back in to increase storage limit and continue your usage.

Admin Team

[Posted: Jun 15, 2021 10:26 AM]

Dear User,

Please reduce your mailbox size. Delete any items you don't need from your mailbox and empty your Deleted Items folder.
Go here- hxxps:// Click on storage and manage your mailbox storage capacity.
Mail System Administrator

This notification was sent to [email protected]; Don't want occasional updates about subscription preferences and friendly

[Posted: Jun 3, 2021 2:51 PM]

From: Joihn <freya7291hug [at]
Sent: Thursday, June 3, 2021 1:19 PM
To: User, Typical S (mst3k) <rmst3k [at}>
Subject: Your Order # 4492746AR3926810###



Thank you for subscribing to Norton

Your order number NT75838920418 for 389.99 USD is now completed. 
We have processed this order as per your direct debit standing instructions.

Your subscription is activated on June 03, 2021 and it will be auto-renewed on June 02, 2022 for 389.99 USD/year + applicable tax.
If you have any questions about your purchase kindly get in touch with our team at +1 (xxx) 578-1724.

Kindly refer your order details below:

Order Number NT74883920418
Amount: 389.99 USD
Norton 360 Life-Lock Plus
One year protection for 5 devices and 500GB backup storage

Your subscription is now active and it will automatically renew every year. 
By subscribing, you authorized us to charge your card on file for annual renewal price plus applicable taxes.
If you wish to make any changes on your account or need any assistance please connect with us at +1 (xxx) 578-1724.


Thanks and Regards ,

Team Norton 360

[Posted: Jun 1, 2021 2:38 PM]

From: <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2021 11:38 PM
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Rerminder!!! Your Mailbox Is Low. Suspension In Progress!

Dear user
We have suspended email processing on your mailbox because of it's low storage capacity.
Some messages were not delivered due to this verification process for
User Account: [email protected]

You've got 0.65GB remaining
49.35GB 50GB

Please ensure to upgrade your mailbox before 30th May, 2021 in order to avoid further interruption and mailbox from being closed.
Kindly Click Here<hxxps://[email protected]> to upgrade and receive additional 15GB for FREE!

Thank you for using our service! Adminstrator!
© 2021 All rights reserved

[Posted: May 31, 2021 7:37 PM]

From: Driver's Licenses Department <support [at]>
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2021 3:32 PM
To: mst3k [at] <mst3k [at]>
Subject: Security Devision Invitation

[Illinois Secretary of State Announces DMV Extentions – Illinois News Now]


DMV issues secure identity documents, deliver essential motor vehicle and driver related services, and administers motor vehicle laws enacted to promote safety and protect consumers.

You have one or more documents that need your attention immediately.


Be sure to follow all instructions included in each document when responding. If you do not respond on time, we will put a restriction on your driver licence..

DMV Customer Support Service

[Posted: May 23, 2021 10:57 AM]

From: <serviceverifier [at]>
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2021 5:39 PM
To: mst3k [at]
Subject: Mailbox Notification

Mailbox Notification

Hi haynes,

Kindly authenticate all terms and agreement your boxmail [email protected]<mailto:mst3k [at]>
For security reasons this link will expire in 48 hours

Update mailbox<hxxp:// [at]>

[ ]


(c) 2021 All rights reserved

[Posted: May 22, 2021 1:51 PM]

From: University of Virginia <4help [at]>
Sent: Saturday, May 22, 2021 9:07 AM
To: Recipients <4help [at]>
Subject: 1 Impοrtant pending message


Yου have 1 Important pending message from IT Service Desk.

View<hxxps://> *<hxxps://>

Thank You.

*To learn how alerts like this one help you to protect your webmail, visit School Help Center.

[Posted: May 12, 2021 1:30 PM]


On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Adobe announced multiple vulnerabilities in many Adobe products, including Acrobat and Acrobat reader for Windows and Macintosh computers

The disclosed vulnerabilities, including the flaw CVE-2021-21550, could allow for arbitrary code execution.  Adobe says the zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2021-28550) “has been exploited in the wild in limited attacks targeting Adobe Reader users on Windows.”  There are currently no reports of these vulnerabilities being exploited in the "wild" at the time this was posted.   

Adobe released a patch of 43 fixes for 12 of its products and recommends this patch be applied immediately.   

One can update their product installations manually when the product is running by choosing Help > Check for Updates.     
In addition, the products will update automatically, without requiring user intervention, when updates are detected.      

The full Acrobat Reader installer can be downloaded from the Acrobat Reader Download Center.     

(References: and



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