University of Southern California

Phishing Warning (December 13, 2016)

Posted on by mbordas

Many users have reported receiving the following phish. If you have received the phish, do not open the attached document or reply to the message. If you have replied, opened the document, or supplied login information, change your USC password as soon as possible by going to the top of this website and clicking the link called change your password on the top menu bar.

From: C. L. Max Nikias [ or]
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 10:24 AM
Subject: Important Announcement from President C. L. Max Nikias

Good Morning USC Family,

Please read attached for an important announcement from President C. L. Max Nikias.

C.L. Max Mikias

Note several features that indicate this is a phish:

  • Though it may seem at first glance that the message came from C.L. Max Nikias, hovering your mouse over the From: field shows that that was not actually the case. You may have received the message from a non-USC email account ( or a compromised USC account (
  • The email asks you to open an attachment. Never open attachments you weren’t expecting without first verifying their authenticity, even if they seem to come from someone you recognize.

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