Feeds

Battleground email hoax postpones Election Day

Pardon me, your listserv is showing

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

USA '08 More than 35,000 students, faculty, and staff at George Mason University in Virginia awoke on Tuesday to a find an urgent email purporting to be from their provost.

"Please note that election day has been move to November 5th," the message read. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you."

Of course, it was a hoax. But according to Brian Krebs' Security Fix blog, it took the real provost, Peter Stearns, seven hours to set the record straight. "This is upsetting and embarrassing and has caused a lot of confusion and concern among people," a spokesman said.

The embarrassment didn't stop there. The spokesman went on to tell Krebs the perpetrators pulled off the mass mailing by gaining privileged access to the school's official email system and that security personnel were in the process of alerting law enforcement to the breach.

In fact, the phony message was sent through a campus listserv that didn't bother to filter out emails coming from outside the university's network. Reading the headers of the fraudulent email, it became obvious it was sent using wiredforchange.com, which provides email and fund-raising services to Democratic candidates.

Wiredforchange has safeguards in place to prevent its services from being abused to send spam, but there's nothing to stop a single message from a non-blacklisted computer from getting through. The computer that accessed wiredforchange was located in Germany.

Virginia is one of a handful of so-called swing states where polls show results could go either way and the outcome could tip the race in favor of Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.