Emails Sent from Amherst College Not Reaching Some Recipients

Because some Amherst College email accounts were recently phished and used to send spam, a number of email services are rejecting all emails sent from any Amherst College email address. If you get a bounce message after sending to an email address that you know is good, you've likely just bumped up against this problem.

Such blocks normally last about a week, and when IT becomes aware of such a block we try to resolve it immediately. Ultimately, however, the decision to lift such a block is out of our hands.

Amherst Login Page Enhancements

Starting on Thursday, May 31, the familiar, purple single sign-on (SSO) web page will look slightly different. The modification to the look and feel is an expected change and is not indicative of a phishing attempt. The change modernizes the single sign-on page to include the new visual identity for Amherst College, but the functionality of the page remains the same. Please contact us at, if you have any questions or concerns.

Desktop View

Windows Updates Breaks Remote Desktop Connections

Updates released this week from Microsoft are keeping Windows users from connecting to servers that they can normally connect to. If you suddenly can't make a Remote Desktop (RDP) connection, go to Winsoft (\\software\winsoft; a.k.a. the "K:" drive) and double click on Fix_RDP. You should immediately be able to make your regular RDP connections; no reboot necessary.

The relevant Windows Updates are:

KB4103725 (Windows 8/10)
KB4103727 (Server 2016/2012)
KB4103718 (Windows 7)

Do NOT try to remove these updates directly. Use the patch on the K: drive instead.

Recognition for Phishing Reports: Spring ‘18 iPad Winners!

Antonella Dominguez ‘18 and Megan Motyka each won an iPad for reporting phishing attacks directed at college email addresses last semester. You could win, too!

Whenever you detect a phishing attempt, or if an email seems strange, simply forward the message to for a chance to win a special prize.

More information:

Phishing Attack: You have a Faculty message from your Department

Scammers are using the message below or a variation in an attempt to steal your Amherst login credentials. Do not reply to the message. Most importantly, do not click the SIGN IN HERE link. 

If you have clicked the link and entered your Amherst username and password, try to change your Amherst password immediately. If you can't change your password, contact AskIT.

Computers and Phones at Risk - Flaws in Computer Chips Leave All Devices Exposed

Security researchers have recently identified significant security flaws, called Meltdown and Spectre, that affect all computer processors embedded in computers, phones, and tablets. For detailed information about these flaws and how to protect your computing devices, please visit the NY Times: As described in the article, please check for software updates and apply them as they become available.

Phishing / Spear Phishing and Tax Season

The start of tax season is also the start of phishing season, as bad actors try more vigorously to steal login credentials, a key to obtaining employee W2s online. Sensitive personal data, W2 forms, and bank routing information have been compromised recently at peer institutions. We want to take a moment to remind everyone to be mindful of these risks and to be sure that login requests they receive are legitimate. Some simple rules of thumb include:

Green PCs: Saving Energy and Recycling

Computers and computing devices such as smart phones and tables impact negatively our environment in two distinct ways: in the the power they consume and in the waste they produce when we discard them. 

Adobe License Fix

If you are prompted for a login or a license key when you launch an Adobe product on a college-owned computer, you need to apply the Adobe License Fix.