University of Wisconsin–Madison
Man with look of disgust using laptop

UW takes steps to address offensive email

Since last Saturday, many members of the UW–Madison community have received a message with the subject on the “Problem of White Genocide.” While this and other unwanted email falls into the category of spam, many found it objectionable.

UW–Madison’s Office of Cybersecurity and email teams have confirmed that this message went to a few thousand people with UW–Madison email addresses. It did not come from a UW–Madison account or server, but spam filters did not stop the message. There is no indication that particular individuals were targeted.

The Chancellor’s office has sent a follow-up message to recipients letting them know that large public institutions such as UW–Madison are frequently subjected to spam email, sometimes with disturbing or offensive content.

The campus mail team continuously updates its filters, but the speed at which unwanted email, host addresses and lists are created and mailed to can impede their response. The Office of Cybersecurity also regularly informs the campus about best practices in handling spam and phishing, which include:

–Reporting spam, phishing, harassing or abusive messages to abuse@wisc.edu
–Setting personal account filters:  https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=30220
–Not clicking on links in emails or responding to potential phishing schemes.

For more information, visit: https://it.wisc.edu/about/office-of-the-cio/cybersecurity/

UW–Madison is committed to creating a community where every person feels welcome, valued and able to succeed.

If you receive a message you consider abusive you may also consider completing a bias report to have an incident reviewed. If you feel unsafe related to any incident or action, you can always call (608) 264-COPS for additional assistance from UWPD.

For more information, visit https://campusclimate.wisc.edu/