Photo: 190411-news-dartemailsecurity New Dartmouth email system as police look into racist hack

Dartmouth College in Hanover.

HANOVER — Dartmouth College is rolling out a new security system for its email service as the Hanover Police Department is investigating a spate of racist emails the roiled the campus this school year.

“Dartmouth takes cyber security very seriously,” said Diana Lawrence, Dartmouth’s associate vice president for communications.

The school sent out notices last week that the new system, Duo, is being used for emails and other digital services to protect students’ accounts. The new system includes a two-step authentication process to make it harder to be hacked.

“Deployment of the new two-factor authentication system is intended to allow trusted users to safely access their Dartmouth email and other Dartmouth systems while blocking threats,” Lawrence said.

Earlier this year, the school announced it was investigating a series of racist emails sent out to students and staff. Lawrence said Wednesday that investigation is now being led by Hanover police and is ongoing.

The school’s chief information security officer, Steve Nyman, initially investigated the reportedly racist emails. Nyman said the emails are “digitally doctored.”

The emails were spoofed off Dartmouth’s email accounts, meaning they appeared to be sent from a particular Dartmouth student using the Dartmouth email system, but in fact they were sent from outside the college system.

“These messages are not originating from Dartmouth’s email system and are not authored by the student they are claiming to be,” Nyman wrote in a statement sent to students.

Lawrence said that the college had been planning to upgrade the email system well before the email incident.

The racist emails, targeting mostly Asian students and staffers, first started showing up in October, and continued into 2019.

Hanover police did not respond to a request for comment.