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New Jersey College Student’s E-mail Exploited in Nigerian Scam

Information Technology (IT) informed the campus community on January 16, 2009 through an e-mail about the compromise of e-mail account of a student of New Jersey College. The hacked account was used to send nearly two million Nigerian scam e-mails in the beginning of January 2009.

As a result, some commercial websites decided to block all e-mails coming from the College. Among these websites, Hotmail.com, MSN.com and att.net (AT&T) informed the College IT staff that they would continue to block all e-mails coming from them until they stop getting any spam mails for at least 72 hours from the College, as per reports.

After probing the case, the College IT staff found that College e-mail accounts could be easily created for automatically sending message to these commercial websites, which leads to spamming. Now students and faculty are being persuaded to closely monitor the activities on their original e-mail accounts to avert such incidents.

Commenting on the issue, Executive Director of Public Relations and Communications, Mathew Golden, said that he had never heard of the College's involvement in any scamming activity in past, as reported by The Signal on January 28, 2009.

Moreover, the IT officials explain that compromise of an e-mail account implies unauthorized access to the account by a perpetrator who uses it as his or her own account to send more spam messages to other Internet users.

The College has also advised students to avoid opening of any e-mail coming from unfamiliar person to protect themselves from these scams. As e-mail addresses could be easily spoofed, the address given in "from" column can also be faked. After opening the e-mail, check whether content matches the sender or not, and if it does not match, then ask for clarification from the sender. In fact, the best practice in all these cases is to delete the message instantly instead of replying, said the College IT staff.

Besides, IT officials have recommended college students and other Internet users to forward the suspicious e-mails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

» SPAMfighter News - 2/13/2009

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