Phishing Scam Alert

  • Faculty & Staff
  • Students & Alumni

[image of a fishing hook]

Beware of phishing hooks

Anyone with an email account may periodically receive fraudulent messages purporting to be from a legitimate organization in an attempt to trick them into providing personal or financial information.  This practice, known as “phishing,” is increasingly common, and can be most effective when coupled with a current event (such as the deadline for filing taxes, a political election, the return to classes, etc.).

On Wednesday, February 15, a fraudulent message claiming to be from President Amy Gutmann was sent to multiple individuals at Penn. The Subject was "URGENT UPDATES FROM PRESIDENT AMY GUTMANN" and requested that the recipient review an attached document.

The linked site is now blocked in SafeDNS, and the phish posted to our archive:

If you opened the attachment and provided account credentials, please contact your Local Support Provider.

Don't Let Scammers Con You

Please know that Penn will never solicit your username, password or other private information (such as full or partial Social Security Number) in this manner.  If you receive an email requesting you respond back or visit a website and provide any of this sensitive information, either delete or ignore it. Individuals are encouraged to contact their Local Support Provider (LSP) for assistance in determining whether or not a message is legitimate or if they believe they may have accidentally provided data to an unauthorized party.

ISC Information Security maintains a Phishing Archive, which lists recent phish attempts targeting Penn services.  You can also check this site to get a sense of whether a
new phish has already been observed and reported to the Information Security Office:

In addition to the archive, ISC makes other resources available to combat phishing, including:
·   "SafeDNS", a service that can proactively block connections to known malicious websites,
·   Two Step Verification (two-factor) for PennKey, which protects your PennKey by requiring both a password and a code generated on your phone
·   A variety of training and awareness resources (including the offer to provide in-person presentations to groups of any size).


We want to remind you that you should NEVER disclose your password to anyone, including those presenting themselves as support providers or school officials. SAS Computing or other legitimate system administrators will never ask for your password.

If you get any message that ask you for your password, please do NOT reply or forward the message — just delete it.

If you think you already may have been deceived into disclosing your password, please fill out our help form and we will investigate (and of course you should NOT include your password in your help request).

Detailed information about email security is available from

Advice about how to avoid phishing scams is available at

Check Penn's Phishing Email Archive to see whether a suspicious email has been identified as fraudulent:

For more information on spotting and combating phishing at Penn see this recent Almanac Tip:

Thank you for your help in maintaining a secure computing environment at Penn.


SAS Email Support Team