Nidhi Razdan, the journalist and executive editor who left news channel NDTV to join Harvard University seven months ago, has issued a statement on Friday to say that she has been the “victim of a very serious phishing attack”.
Razdan was the anchor of the NDTV 24×7 news show Left, Right & Centre, and had worked at NDTV for 21 years. In June 2020, she announced on Twitter that she had been offered a job at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, to teach journalism as an Associate Professor.
However, on Friday Razdan said that the offer had been made fraudulently, in a bid to obtain her personal data.
Razdan said that after noticing “administrative anomalies” in her correspondence, she had contacted senior authorities at the University. Subsequently, she found out that there had been no job offer. Razdan has since filed a complaint with the police along with the relevant documents.
Razdan said she was alerted to a potential problem after noticing “administrative anomalies” in the process. She said she initially dismissed these as “reflective of the new normal being dictated by the pandemic”. However, she said that “recently the representations being made to me were of an even more disquieting nature”.
Following this, Razdan contacted senior authorities at Harvard University and also shared correspondence she thought she had received from the University. Razdan subsequently realised that she has been the victim of a “sophisticated and coordinated phishing attack.” Phishing is a cybercrime where an individual fraudulently gains a person’s trust, and thereby obtains sensitive and personal data.
Razdan said, “I did not, in fact, receive an offer by Harvard University to join their faculty as an Associate Professor of Journalism. The perpetrators of this attack used clever forgeries and misrepresentations to obtain access to my personal data and communications and may have also gained access to my devices and my email/social media accounts.”
“In the past few days, I have written to individuals and organizations with whom I have been in touch with over the past few months to keep them informed of this shocking development. I hope that the police are able to get to the bottom of this attack on me at the earliest and help me bring this unsavoury incident to a swift end,” she said.
On Friday, Razdan tweeted that she was taking a break from social media for a few days.