University students suffer offensive email originating from an account with a shared password

Incident Date: January 16 2005
Incident Location: Fredericksburg VA USA

An unpleasant email addressed to “liberals, atheists, God-haters, gays, Europeans and Democrats” was sent to the entire student body at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) on January 16, 2005. The email, which reached around 4,000 students, continued with a message that offended a number of students.

Campus officials traced the message back to an account in the university’s political science department. The account was one of the few that could be used to send emails to the entire student body. Unfortunately, the account password was shared by multiple people in that department. So far investigators have been unable to find the person who actually authored the message. Chip German, UMW vice president for information technologies, said “I believe this is a simple case of human beings and the difficulty of protecting passwords when the account’s shared.”

While the email ended with a signature by the “College Republicans”, a spokesman for the group denies any responsibility. They believe it may have been sent to harm the image of the group and its members.

Story Sources

Title: UMW police hunt author of missive
Author: Kelly Hannon
Date: 1/18/2005
Publication: The Free Lance-Star
Publication Location: Fredericksburg VA USA
Publication URL:

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