U. of Michigan Says Racist Emails, Purportedly From Professor, Were Forged

Racist and anti-Semitic emails sent to students at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor on Tuesday, purportedly from a computer-science professor, are forgeries, the Associated Press reports.

The forged emails appeared to come from J. Alex Halderman, a computer-security and privacy expert, and a vocal advocate of recounts in several states following the election of President Trump. According to the AP, it is unknown whether Mr. Halderman was a target as a result of his advocacy.

In response to the emails about 40 students protested outside of the home of the university’s president, Mark S. Schlissel, on Wednesday.

University officials declared in a written statement that “no one circumvented any IT security protocols.” Instead, they said, the emails were a “spoof” — a forged email header designed to give the appearance of being from another source. They also condemned the content of the emails.

In a separate statement, Mr. Halderman called the sending of the spurious emails a “cowardly act.”

“It takes very little technical sophistication to forge the sender’s address in an email,” he continued.

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