A hate-mail campaign that targeted at least six U.S. universities, including UC Davis, resulted in the delivery of a racist message to several thousand UC Davis email accounts on Sunday (June 21).
The “Pre-Qualification Request Complete” email came from Equity Prime Mortgage of Atlanta, a mortgage lender and itself the victim of a cyberattack. UC Davis email filters blocked most of the messages sent here, but not all of them.
“The message is racist, abusive and violent,” said Chief Information Security Officer Cheryl Washington. “It has no place here. We have reported it to the FBI, and will learn from this attack to further tighten our processes to block such malicious assaults.”
UC Davis has also blocked all email from Equity Prime.
If you received the message, delete it. If you responded to it, or clicked on any links it contained, contact the IT Express Service Desk immediately.
The campus Information Security Office also has this advice:
- Do not reply to any email from “firstname.lastname@example.org,” or send any email to that address.
- Do not visit the Equity Prime Mortgage website. It has been hacked and may contain malware or other malicious content.
- Delete any message with the subject “Pre-Qualification Request Complete.”
If you have questions, contact Information and Educational Technology’s security team by email.
Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, the University of Michigan and Iowa State University were also targeted. The FBI is working with Equity Prime to identify the source of the attack.