NYU students discover open listserver for 40,000 students and faculty. Let the fun begin…

// November 28th, 2012 // Geek Humor

As NYU explained: “NYU uses something called E-Mail Direct for most mass emails. That system is meant for one-way emailing. E-Mail Direct does not allow for reply-alls, therefore you cannot respond to most mass emails. Several NYU departments still rely on the older, discussion-based ListManager program, however. ListManager also sends mass emails, but allows discussions (in the form of reply-alls), unless the settings are adjusted, disabling group discussions and only permitting emails from admins.”

And yeah, someone sent an email using the old ListManager and exposed all 40,000 email addresses of NYU students and faculty.  Once the students recognized their newfound powers, the fun began.

It began with this simple request to the student body:

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

 

Then Max sent this ReplyAll to his mommy.

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

but quickly realized his mistake and apologized to the student body.

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Some were confused and did not understand what was going on.

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

But then one bright student recognized the God-like powers they had just been granted.

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

The political majors ranted:

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

While others used the school-wide communication network for valid purposes:

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Some became angry and pleaded for mercy.

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Computer majors pulled themselves away from their video games and took advantage of the opportunity to make new friends.

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Several hours later, nerves were rubbed raw.

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Accidental ReplyAll email to NYU students

 

Until finally, the listserver was shut down and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Hi everyone — I’m the culprit behind the Lyris blunder. I was assisting the Bursar with an email message and in populating one of the SRC Listserves did not realize the list I was using was one that allowed for responses and thus the “replyallcalypse”.

This morning I deleted everyone on the list. ITS had disabled around midnight, but there were so many that responded, emails were still in the que. Thanks to ITS, the que was cleared and the listserve deleted. We are monitoring for any residual emails.

And yes, you are absolutely correct that I should have used Email Direct instead of Lyris.

I take full responsibility for this blunder and offer my sincere apologies for the frustrating situation that was created.

Sincerely,
David Vogelsang
NYU Student Resource Center

Sources: Buzz Feed

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