Most of the issues we are witnessing can be attributed to phishing attacks targeted at UMBC in which the criminals attempt to get UMBC users to provide their UMBC login credentials (i.e. username and password). Users at UMBC are often successfully tricked in to providing their login credentials. Unfortunately, it only takes a handful of compromised accounts to generate large volumes of Spam messages. The compromised UMBC mail accounts are then used to send out millions of Spam messages from our mail servers.
While we quickly identify the compromised accounts it is typically too late as the compromised account has sent out hundreds of thousands of Spam messages from UMBC mail servers. Some of this Spam is sent to UMBC users but much of it is directed to outside addresses at domains such as Hotmail. These large volumes of Spam then get the UMBC mail servers blocked by domains using reputation based Spam filters (e.g. Hotmail).
Still using Webmail?
Webmail users are encouraged to migrate to UMBC Gmail which offers better spam protection.