Phishing Alert: "Network Maintenance Notice" Scam | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

Phishing Alert: "Network Maintenance Notice" Scam

Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 11:48


Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) is responding to a new email phishing scam that claims there will be disruptions in Internet service on campus and off campus and that you must click a link to view the maintenance status. The link directs readers to a fraudulent version of the Pitt Passport login page that attempts to collect their username and password. The email scam usually originates from a non-University email address. Remember: the real Pitt Passport login page will always begin with in the address bar.

The following is a sample of the recent fraudulent email. If you receive this message (or any message similar to it), please report it as a phishing scam by forwarding the email message as an attachment to Detailed instructions on reporting scams are available at


Subject: Network Maintenance Notice

There will be brief disruptions connecting to the Internet from campus--and off campus--from 3:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M

View your Maintenance status <link removed>

We thank you for your understanding during this scheduled maintenance event


The link in the phishing email directs readers to a malicious Web page (shown below) that mimics the Pitt Passport login page and attempts to collect your username and password.

Fake Pitt Passport page

CSSD strongly recommends that you do not reply to unsolicited emails or emails from unverifiable sources. Avoid clicking on links contained in such emails, as these may lead to sites that contain harmful software. If a link looks suspicious, you can hover over the link with your mouse to preview the URL without clicking on it.

In addition, CSSD recommends that all users install Symantec Endpoint Protection software and use the LiveUpdate feature to get the latest virus definitions. As a complement to Symantec Endpoint Protection, CSSD offers Malwarebytes Premium for individuals and departments at no cost. Students, faculty, and staff can download Malwarebytes and Symantec Endpoint Protection at no cost through the Software Download Service at My Pitt. Departments can submit a help request to obtain Malwarebytes for multiple machines.

Please contact the Technology Help Desk at 412-624-HELP [4357] if you have any questions regarding this announcement.