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Some alumni inboxes may have received spam emails

Published on
14 March 2019

Several alumni have alerted us to an issue regarding spam emails … here is the info the E-Center has asked us to share with you.

Context

- Certain alumni email addresses have received spam email threats claiming their accounts have been compromised or personal information has been revealed.

- Blackmail:  They demand a sum of money be transferred to a Bitcoin account on the Darknet and threaten that failure to do so will result in divulging or destroying sensitive information.

Two possible scenarios  

- The most likely cause: affected alumni may have used their GEM alumni address for personal matters (online shopping, video games, forums, downloads, etc.). These email addresses were hacked on one of these sites, or most often sold to a third party.

THERE IS NO REAL DANGER. THIS IS JUST AN INTIMIDATION TACTIC. PLEASE IGNORE THESE THREATS AND DISCONTINUE USE OF YOUR GEM EMAIL ADDRESS ON PRIVATE SITES OR ANY UNREPUTABLE SITES.  

- Unlikely, but possible: alumni participating in criminal activity with their GEM alumni address (or from a workstation at GEM).

For example: Selling illegal goods or services, or legal ones using illegal methods, illegal downloading (software, cultural and artistic works, etc). In cyber-criminality, these actions can compromise the GEM email address or workstation used. If the threat is legitimate, it will mention specific examples of concerned elements in order to prove its authenticity (your photos, login details, bank account details, etc.). In this case, if alumni feel threatened, it is imperative to reach out to the e-Center  for a deeper analysis of your situation in order to avoid or prevent any negative impact on your private life, GEM’s image and its information systems.