Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 03:07 am est

Scam puts email addresses at risk

Posted on April 17, 2014 | by Marita Vlachou

Throughout the past few weeks there has been a phishing scam circling the university. Three types of emails with the same threat have been sent to students’ NYU email addresses.

Students who either click on the links provided within the emails or respond to the emails with personal information are in danger of being scammed. If someone falls victim to the scam, their account will send out emails to other NYU affiliated addresses.

Google then suspends the student’s NYU email address and account, and the student will lose access to NYU Wi-Fi, until the student proves he did not send the emails.

Aidan Dahlin Nolan, who graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts with a master’s in 2010, said he received a couple of these emails from other NYU addresses in the last few weeks. However, Nolan said there were signs that the emails were illegitimate.

“It was pretty easy to tell that it was a phishing email,” Nolan said. “I think the text noted that it was coming from the ‘IT administrater’ — so the spelling was a dead give away — and it wasn’t signed by anyone. Additionally, the note asked for details the [Information Technology Services] department could easily access on their own.”

ITS warns students about security threats by posting alerts on both the NYU ITS website and the NYU home page.

“Phishing messages appear to be sent from NYU, ITS, or other organizations affiliated with NYU requesting your personal information such as name, date of birth, password, etc,” an email from ITS said.

The email said students are strongly encouraged to disregard these emails and not reply to them. The ITS department also has information on its website to help students detect and avoid phishing emails.

“ITS will never request your password information,” the email said. “If a message informs you of an impending account closure or similar action unless you comply with its demands, it is often a sign that the message is a phishing scam.”

However, even though ITS has extensive information about scams on its website, some students remain unaware of the existence of the alerts posted on the NYU home page and the ITS website.

CAS freshman Eugenia Efstathiou said she did not know about the phishing scam.

“I’ve never heard of it, none of my friends have been scammed and no one has warned me about it,” Efstathiou said.

Steinhardt freshman Chelsea Lim said ITS should warn students about the phishing scam emails.

“I wouldn’t know about it if ITS didn’t send me a specific email about it,” Lim said.

The computer security department of ITS did not answer inquiries about the frequency of scam emails and the reason why ITS has not sent emails to warn students about phishing emails.

Nolan said the university should try to build up more security on its online platforms.

“I’m not a very tech savvy person, so I’m not sure what NYU can do,” Nolan said. “Perhaps they could add in an extra layer of security there.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, April 17 print edition. Marita Vlachou is a staff writer. Email her at 

*Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Aidan Dahlin Nolan was a Tisch graduate student. He graduated from Tisch with a master’s degree in 2010.

WSN regrets the error.


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.