Would you trust an email that came from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology? Even as someone who spends most of her week covering security threats like these, even I would still have to say: Probably. That trust, according to security experts from Palo Alto Networks, will only cost you about $0.16.
A study from the company revealed that a Chinese e-commerce website can give you a stolen email address from MIT, along with 16 other major-league U.S. universities. Yeah, that's right. $0.16 for an email address straight from school that's training our future robot-bosses.
Crazy, right? Well, what's even crazier is that, according to one of the report's authors Claud Xiao, most of these email addresses are still active.
He bought an email address to test whether or not the website was for real. Here's what happened, according to the report:
One of sellers suggested to us, "to take all necessary actions to avoid being found by the student" including not changing the password and deleting newly sent or received mail. A student might notice their account receiving emails indicating the address had been used to sign up for new services.
The least the hackers could do is wait until the student graduates before stealing their email. I mean, come on. If an MIT email address only costs you about $.16, I'm sure you're thinking about what else hackers and their clients could be doing to trick you into falling for a scam.