The most recent email SPAM attack on campus has affected a larger percentage of the Chatham community than we initially realized.  The ITS department here at Chatham takes the security of everyone’s digital information very seriously.  This recent attack has prompted some changes in policy, which include an internet safety course for users that click on SPAM, new password guidelines, and better ITS email identification.

The first known instance of the SPAM attack this past semester was on Wednesday, September 9th.  Since then, several Chatham community members have clicked on a link within a SPAM email.  The fraudulent email appeared to be from Chatham’s Information Technology Services Department.  The email message mentioned an email upgrade, and requested that the users click on a link to update their information.  By clicking the link, the users’ email addresses were compromised and sent out thousands of email.  Those emails then appeared to have come from the previous users email.  By inputting their email address and password these individuals unknowingly gave the spammers full access to their data.

If your account is compromised, your email will be locked until the threat has been addressed and you will be required to take a Moodle course on Internet Safety before regaining access.

New Password Requirements:

  • Must be a minimum of 10 characters in length
  • Must contain:
    • 1 upper case letter (A through Z)
    • 1 lower case letter (a through z)
    • 1 number (0 through 9)
    • 1 non-alphabetic character (for example: !,@,#,$)
    • Spaces are allowed and encouraged
  • No passwords containing partial account names will be accepted.

Since the new password requirements are more complex, we have adjusted the expiration date from 60 days to 365 days.  This means your new password will be valid for 1 year.

In addition, users will still have access to the password self-reset tool on my.Chatham.  If you need assistance using the password self-reset tool, please contact Helpdesk at (412) 365-1112 or

As a new preventative measure, all official email from Chatham’s ITS department will have 3 characteristics:

  1. A signature that includes the following email address:
  2. The Chatham ITS logo
  3. A quote from Rachel Carson

If you receive an email that states it is from ITS and you do not see all 3 items then consider the email to be SPAM.

Chatham’s ITS department will never send you an email stating that we need your information to upgrade your account.  We will NEVER ask you for your password. 

Spamming: Practical Email Safety and Locked Accounts
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