E-mailhoax

April 12, 2000

BY JOHN DRAKE

Staff Writer

The Great American Diadeloso is not canceled.

An e-mail was sent to students Tuesday night claiming that Baylor officials chose to cancel all Diadeloso activities after detecting a malfunction with the sprinkler system. The e-mail was a hoax.

'It was not an authorized e-mail, I can assure you of that,' said Dr. Don Hardcastle, director of the Information Technology Center.

The e-mail appeared in student e-mail boxes just hours after Kreta Lee, assistant to the vice president for student life, sent a mass e-mail to the student body explaining the activities for Thursday's annual Diadeloso.

Lee said she believes she is the only person authorized to send a mass e-mail to the entire student body. Dr. Steve Moore, Vice President for Student Life, must approve any e-mails that are sent using the mass e-mail list.

There are two possible ways someone could have sent the mass e-mail, Hardcastle said.

'One way would be to look up everybody's name in the student directory and add it to the list,' he said.

The other way, he said, would be for that person to have access to the software ITC used to create the original mailing list. He said he could not disclose the names of the people who have access to the software, but he said that only a 'handful of people' on staff with ITC have access.

He said the Bearmail system is secure and that this incident does not indicate a weakness in the e-mail system. The problem, he said, is that a person can access the e-mail server through another web browser and forge the name that it came from.

If the e-mail was indeed sent to the entire student body, it would be the first time in three years that so many students received an unauthorized e-mail, Hardcastle said. A company paid a group of students to create a mass e-mail three years ago. Baylor responded by blocking its address from the server and informing the company of Baylor's policy.

Previous students have sent mass e-mails to large groups of students Hardcastle said, but never to this extent.

'In nearly all cases we have been able to track down the source of the emails,' he said. We are very good at uncovering people's tracks.'

He asked that students not delete the e-mail from their inboxes. That will help ITC track the message's source.

Lance Ferguson, Diadeloso chairman, said he has extended the tournament deadlines to today at 5 p.m. because of the confusion the e-mail caused. Also, they will not take down Diadeloso banners today as planned, in order to keep publicity heavy.

Ferguson, whose organization has been preparing for Diadeloso since November, said, 'It's discouraging that a student would want to do something like this.'

But, he said, 'Things like this happen.'