(NEXSTAR) – Emails sent from an FBI server early Saturday morning warning of a cybersecurity threat were bogus, the FBI has confirmed.
Project Spamhaus, a nonprofit organization based in Andorra and Switzerland, first reported the incident on Twitter saying he had been made aware of “scary” emails supposedly from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The emails warned of a “sophisticated chain attack” on the recipient’s cyber infrastructure.
The FBI later confirmed that the fake emails were sent from an @ ic.fbi.gov email account.
“This is an ongoing situation and we are unable to provide additional information at this time,” the FBI said in a statement to Nexstar. “We continue to encourage the public to be wary of unknown senders and urge you to report any suspicious activity to www.ic3.gov Where www.cisa.gov. “
According to Spamhaus, the emails arrived in two waves, one shortly before 5 a.m. UTC and another shortly after 7 a.m. UTC.
While the intelligence organization claimed the emails were bogus, its tweet noted that the emails “cause a lot of disruption because the headers are real, they really come from the FBI infrastructure. They don’t have a name or contact information in the .sig. Attention please! “
Spamhaus could only speculate on the intent of the people who sent the emails, but put forward several scenarios.
“It’s a guess, but our thought is that [it’s] a combination of scares (getting people to shut things down or make changes quickly) and character assassination against the guy named in it, AND a way to scramble the FBI, ”Spamhaus tweeted in response to a report. question regarding the “ultimate goal” of fake emails.
Spahmaus said he would not take any action against the senders’ IP addresses because the FBI had already received numerous calls regarding the emails.
Nexstar has contacted the Department of Homeland Security for comment.
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