World Desk, Amar Ujala, New York
Published by: Gaurav Pandey
Updated to Thursday, 16 December 2021 08:45 PM IST
The New York Times reports that the identity of these cybercriminals, who have been falsely tempting Indian women media professionals with jobs at Harvard, is still a mystery. Such incidents also raise questions as to why Harvard did not take steps to prevent these incidents despite warnings from a woman who had become a victim.
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In addition to Nidhi Razdan, the cyber criminals also included the name of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nighat Abbas. The perpetrators asked Abbas, a BJP spokesman, for a job at Harvard University, along with his passport and other personal information. However, when in doubt, Nighat Abbas contacted the Harvard administrator directly, giving his email ID in an email sent to the job.
Administrator Bailey Penn told him that the official controls sent from his Harvard email address were bogus. Program Coordinator for International Affairs at the Penn Harvard Vice Provost Office. When asked by Penn Abbas to share more details, Nighat Abbas shared with him the UAE phone number found from the perpetrator, all emails, screenshots of forged documents and hotel booking records.
A spokesman did not say what action Harvard had taken.
But, according to the report, it is not clear whether the Harvard administration took any action on the information shared by Nighat Abbas. There has been no response yet from Bailey Pen on this matter. At the same time, Harvard University spokesman Jason Newton declined to comment on what action the university had taken in relation to the information provided by Abbas.
Attempts were made to target these women as well
Rohini Singh, an Indian journalist, was the first case to be targeted by these cyber criminals, the report said. In August 2019, he received a message on Twitter from a man who identified himself as Tawsif Ahmad. Ahmadinejad was invited to attend a high-level media conference. Ahmed added that the entire cost would be borne by Harvard University.
At the same time, the next target is journalist Zainab Sikander. He also received a similar message from Abbas on Twitter on August 22. The message Sikander received was exactly the message sent to Rohini Singh and she too was invited to attend the press conference. But when he asked for an official invitation from the dean, he never came. After this, Sikander also did not contact Tawsif Ahmad again.