Last week an email hoax threatening gun violence on school campuses swept through the United States, causing the FBI and Missouri Western administration concern.
At least 46 states have been involved in an email hoax that according to The Mercury News in San Jose, California, has been sent by a Swiss cyber group. The hoax has gained the attention of media outlets and police presences across the United States.
The group responsible has taken credit for the hoax and has been identified as the Apophis Squad.
Last Tuesday on April 10 around 10 a.m. Vice President for Financial Planning and Administration Cale Fessler sent out an email to all Western students addressing the email hoax that went viral.
The email addressed the recent notification from the FBI office that was then relayed to the Western Police Department indicating a threat of violence on school campuses. The information received did not indicate that the email was specific to K-12 or higher education institutions, only that it threatened violence on school campuses.
Fessler wanted to emphasize the importance of immediately communicating with students and faculty about the recent threats.
“We sent out a campus-wide communication to let students know that we had been contacted by the local FBI office with regard to the email threat being a hoax,” Fessler said. “It was important that we get the communication out and provide faculty, staff and students direction should they receive an email with a threat of violence on campus.”
Risk Accessor Tim Kissock said students should not hesitate to take action if they receive the email.
“Please do not ignore it and immediately notify University Police so that they can evaluate the credibility of the threat and take appropriate action,” Kissock said.
Missouri Western student Emery Ester said he had not received an email but that he was concerned by the hackers attempt.
“Its something that I do see as funny at all, playing with students emotions as we’re trying to complete the highest level of our education,” Ester said. “I couldn’t imagine the feeling of being a parent thinking that my child is possibly in danger while trying to get their education.”