Feeds

Battleground email hoax postpones Election Day

Pardon me, your listserv is showing

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.