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Notice to the Research Community regarding information security concerns

Notice regarding information security concerns.

Notice regarding information security concerns.

by Research & Innovation

October 16, 2020

There have been a number of recent warnings about information security threats at Canadian universities including McMaster.  A new tactic being used is threatening emails, calls or texts that warn the recipient not to contact police or security and to respond within 24 hours.  The messages are an attempt to steal your login credentials to take over your email and to get access to your research.

Please report any concerns of abnormal activity that could include:

  • Receiving threatening emails, calls or texts that will eventually ask you for your login credentials
  • Compromising your email account to access privileged information, redirect messages and send messages from your email. This may be more difficult to observe. Here are some things to watch for and actions you can take:
    • If you are expecting messages from certain contacts that don’t appear to be coming to you
    • Periodically check your sent and deleted messages and see if there are any messages that you don’t recall sending or deleting
    • If you receive a message from a colleague that seems odd, reach out to that colleague to confirm that they did send the message
    • If you get locked out of your email or other systems that you log into

If you observe any of these activities or would like to discuss any concerns, please contact Paul Muir at If the message is threatening please also include Security at