Campus Watch in the Media
Middle East Professors Say They Are Under Email Seige
by HNN Staff
Over the weekend Juan Cole reported that he and the other seven professors listed on Campus Watch have been subject to "massive repetitive spamming of our email accounts. Also hacker tools are being used to spoof our emails, sending out things under our names that are not from us."
This sort of thing paralyzed some of my poor colleagues. I use Eudora so I just set filters and empty the trash more often, plus I report the offenders to their internet service providers. But then it starts up from another account somewhere. It is interesting to see what it is like to be under siege.Mr. Cole says that some of the members on the list have received up to 1400 emails a day. Some, he says, have received telephone threats.
In an email he sent to the others on the list, Mr. Cole referred to "this campaign of intimidation" as an "organized conspiracy." He informed his colleagues that filters can weed out the spam once the IP address has been identified. But "once one account is canceled, another one will be opened elsewhere to continue the attacks." He has told his colleages they should report instances of identity theft to the authorities: "Where the individual has 'spoofed' or stolen an identity, this is a Federal crime and should be reported as such to the FBI. ... It is possible that RICO or other legal tools will be used to break up such attack rings."
This is an example of an email Mr. Cole has sent to an ISP discovered hosting one of the spammers:
Someone is using a repetitive spam program from your servers to disrupt my email service at the University of Michigan. Please cancel this account, or if the person is a nested hacker, seek him out and zot him, immediately, or I shall be forced to take legal action. Please note that the individual has stolen the identities of prominent US academics and so is in violation of Federal law. I ask that if you discover his identity, that it and information on his activities be turned over to the FBI.
This is a sample of one of the emails that went out over the name of Ali Mazrui, one of the eight professors listed on the Campus Watch site.
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COMMENT BY DANIEL PIPES, DIRECTOR OF THE MIDDLE EAST FORUM, SPONSOR OF CAMPUS WATCH
HNN emailed Mr. Pipes about Mr. Cole's complaint that he and other professors listed on Campus Watch had been spammed. We received the following comment:
Professor Juan Cole has complained that he has received spam, his e-mail address is being "spoofed," and he has been subjected to other forms of e-mail pestering in recent days--all of which he believes is the work of visitors to the Campus Watch website.
But Campus Watch does not encourage site visitors to contact anyone mentioned on its website. Indeed, the Campus Watch website deliberately omits contact information about the individuals noted. Further, Campus Watch categorically repudiates all forms of e-mail harassment.
If Professor Cole has in fact been subject to such harassment, Campus Watch joins him in demanding that whoever stands behind this reprehensible behavior cease immediately.Note: Postings in "Campus Watch in the Media" do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org