By Alec Matuszak
E-mail is commonly used among college students and faculty to exchange information. This medium of exchange was compromised recently when LIU Post students and faculty began to receive computer viruses by opening certain pieces of mail.
LIU Post alumna Dorianna Valerio, started to receive the e-mails. According to Valerio, nothing about the e-mails were particularly suspicious; “It was just a simple link,” she said. Upon opening one of the infected e-mails, however, a “junk folder” was created on Valerio’s e-mail account. The only way to erase this unwanted folder was to log in from a web browser, not a mobile app.
Although it may seem that the creation of a folder is a minor annoyance –the virus does not stop there. Once the folder is created, multiple spam e-mails are sent to the e-mail account, causing a very messy inbox. “[Within] the first couple of days, I received something like 100 e-mails” said Valerio. In addition to a messy inbox, spam e-mails can hinder a student’s organization. For Valerio, organization is something that is very important to her. “I pride myself, which seems silly, on having a spam-free e-mail,” she said.
Another LIU graduate that received suspicious e-mails recently was Olivia Wicik. According to Wicik, she started to receive multiple e-mails on the evening of Sept. 6. Erring on the side of caution, she did not open the mail. Instead, she contacted friends and former professors to see if they were experiencing the same issues as she was. They were, but Wicik said that, “no one knows why.”
The LIU Post Information Technology (IT) department sent out an e-mail to LIU students and faculty with some instructions on how to increase security. Some tips include changing your password more frequently, using a longer more complex password, and exercising caution on opening suspicious links. The IT department could not be reached for a comment on the issue.
Valerio said that the situation has “seemed to calm down,” and that she is “still researching how to prevent this from happening in the future.”