Nearly 4900 Iowa State affiliated email accounts received an email filled with “references to violent white supremacy” over the weekend according to an email from Iowa State’s Department of Public Safety.
“The email, which purported to be from Equity Prime Mortgage, contained abhorrent, vile language, including references to violent white supremacy, lynching and a racist slur,” according to the Department of Public Safety’s email.
Iowa State’s Information Technology Services (ITS) Security Team determined that nearly 4900 Iowa State University affiliated email accounts received the email, according to the Department of Public Safety’s email. The majority were faculty and staff email accounts, but a few student accounts did receive the message.
ITS was able to intervene and remove nearly 70 percent of the messages before they were opened and block the sender, according to the Department of Public Safety’s email.
“We understand how upsetting this was for those who received the email, especially our Black colleagues and students,” the university stated in the Department of Public Safety’s email. “Iowa State University condemns this repugnant hate-filled message and the racism and white supremacy it aimed to spread.”
Iowa State is among other higher education institutions across the country, including Harvard University and Stanford University, that were targeted. Iowa State University Police are working with the FBI to determine who is responsible for the cyberattack, according to the Department of Public Safety’s email.