Tag Archives: cyber

NCSAM 2018 – Beware of the Phish

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2018

According to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, the education sector saw a rise in social engineering–based attacks. Students, staff, and faculty all suffered losses when personal data and research were disclosed to unauthorized parties. Phishing played a part in more than 40% of these breaches. Knowing what you’re up against can help you be more secure. Here are a few things you can do to guard against phishing attacks:

    • Don’t click! If you believe an email message is a form of social engineering such as a phishing attempt, forward the email as an attachment to abuse@sulross.edu.  If you don’t trust the e-mail (or text message), don’t trust the links in it either. Beware of links that are hidden by URL shorteners or text like “Click Here.” They may link to a phishing site or a form designed to steal your username and password.  If you do click on a link and end up at a site you believe is attempting to steal your LoboID and password, stop immediately and contact LTAC.
    • Limit what you share online. The less you share about yourself, the smaller the target you are for a phishing attack. Cybercriminals use information you post online to learn how to gain your trust.  Consider even the information posted on your department’s public website.  This is a primary source for cybercriminals to figure out how to contact you and your coworkers.
    • Protect your credentials. No legitimate company or organization will ask for your username and password or other personal information via e-mail. Neither will OIT. Still not sure if the e-mail is a phish? Contact LTAC or the Office of the CIO.
    • Beware of attachments. E-mail attachments are a common vector for malicious software. When you get a message with an attachment, delete it—unless you are expecting it and are absolutely certain it is legitimate.
    • Confirm identities. Phishing messages can look official. Cybercriminals steal organization and company identities, including logos and URLs that are close to the links they’re trying to imitate. There’s nothing to stop them from impersonating schools, financial institutions, retailers, and a wide range of other service providers.  if you can, contact the individual that supposedly sent the email through another means and verify whether or not the email is legitimate.
    • Trust your instincts. If you get a suspicious message that claims to be from an agency or service provider, use your browser to manually locate the organization online and contact them via their website, e-mail, or telephone number.
    • Check the sender. Check the sender’s e-mail address. Any correspondence from an organization should come from an organizational e-mail address. A notice from your college or university is unlikely to come from YourIThelpdesk@yahoo.com.
    • Take your time. If a message states that you must act immediately or lose access, do not comply. Phishing attempts frequently threaten a loss of service unless you do something. Cybercriminals want you to react without thinking; an urgent call to action makes you more likely to cooperate.

     

  • Continue to stay vigilant and send any you receive as an attachment to abuse@sulross.edu.  Your input is valuable as we look at and evaluate each instance to determine an appropriate course of action.
  • If you need assistance or have questions, you may contact LTAC at techassist@sulross.edu, 432-837-8888, x.8888, or toll free at 888-837-2882.Follow us on Twitter @SRSUOIT

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2018 – Introduction

The month of October is designated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month by the National Cyber Security Alliance in cooperation with Educause, Internet2, REN-ISAC and SRSU OIT.  Throughout the month, OIT will post informative and educational material on this Blog site as well as through email and social media sites that helps you understand why being #cyberaware is important and what you can do to keep yourself and the institution’s information resources safe. One of the goals of the awareness material is to allow you to recognize information technology security concerns and respond accordingly.

Why is Cyber Security Awareness Important?

To protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information in today’s highly networked systems environment requires that all individuals:

  • Understand their roles and responsibilities related to the organizational mission
  • Understand the organization’s information technology security policy, procedures, and practices
  • Have at least adequate knowledge of the various management, operational, and technical controls required and available to protect the IT resources for which they are responsible

This programs is designed to impress the importance of cyber security and the adverse consequences of its failure. Awareness may reinforce knowledge already gained, but its goal is to produce security behaviors that are automatic. The goal is to make “thinking security” a natural reflex for everyone in all cyber areas of your life. Awareness activities can build in these reflexes both for the security professional and for the everyday user.

Be on the lookout for #cyberaware materials in the coming weeks.

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SRSU OIT Advisory: Petya Cyber Attack

Through news agencies and social media, many of you are aware of the current cyber attack, Petya, which started in Europe and continues to spread across the globe, including the U.S. This attack is similar to the devastating attack on organizations around the globe in May 2017. OIT is keeping an eye on developments in this latest attack and will keep you informed if and when the situation changes.

In the meantime, here are four things you can do immediately to lower the chance you will be impacted by this latest global threat.

1. Ensure all updates are applied on your computer. This includes Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS, others), applications (MS Office is the most common). Your SRSU computer is updated automatically each time Microsoft releases an update but you may want to check that on occasion.

2. Don’t click on email messages and attachments you are not expecting or seem unusual. If you receive something that doesn’t look right, assume it is not. Contact the person that supposedly sent it and verify the message or attachment(s) are valid. A 60-second phone call may save many months or years of work.

3.  Ensure your data is backed up to a location that is not accessible by a virus or ransomware attack. While not the first item on this list, this may be one of the most important and the one for which all the responsibility falls to you.  If you are not sure your hard drive is being backed up, assume that it is not.  SRSU OIT does not provide backups for your SRSU supplied desktop computer.  For some of you, backups are to an external hard drive. While a worthy solution, even external hard drives fail from time to time or can be corrupted if left plugged into an infected machine.  OIT recommends the use of Office 365 to store all your documents.

4.  Never download software not authorized by OIT. The beginnings of this latest threat come from tax accounting software. Once it gets inside an organization, it can spread from machine to machine if those machines are vulnerable to the threat.

OIT continues to monitor any situation that heighten the risk of your computer and data files being compromised. We will take appropriate actions as we see fit.

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Here are links if you are interested in learning more about this cyber attack:

Read Greg Freidline’s blog post here. https://blogs.sulross.edu/gfreidline/2017/06/28/block-petya-virus-on-a-computer/ WARNING: Lots of geek-speak here! 

Here is an excerpt from NPR talking about the Petya virus: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/28/534679950/petya-ransomware-hits-at-least-65-countries-microsoft-traces-it-to-tax-software.