Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

UMass Undertakes Investigation into Racist Mass Email

October 14, 2021

A number of outlets recently reported that students at the University of Massachusetts had been receiving racist emails with some reports suggesting the messages had been targeted at students of color. These reports were otherwise pretty sparse but more details have come out in recent days. An article on gives us a much better idea of what the school has chosen to do about the situation and where they are in that process.

The school has reportedly hired a digital forensics and cybersecurity company to assist in their investigation of the emails. Their hope is to eventually identify the source(s) of the messages and, if the person(s) responsible are found to be students of staff, hold them accountable. This analysis will likely include reviewing both header information from the individual messages received by students and logs from the school’s email systems.

Reports indicate the investigators will also be looking into whether or not the emails are an isolated incident or a piece of broader white supremacist effort. University officials were quoted describing the effort saying, “Investigators will assess the online targeting of the UMass community across multiple sources, including dark websites, and will leverage custom tools as well as proprietary and commercial datasets in their probe.” 

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