Posts by Ian Burke


FakeAV a leading threat in 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

What is FakeAV: FakeAV is a virus designed to look like real anti-virus software in the hopes that the victim will click a link and download a malicious package. The malware often does not stop there. Many FakeAV packages continue the con by disabling true anti-virus packages claiming that they are harming the system they are intended to protect. These viruses come in many forms but are well crafted to present like a trusted virus prevention source.

Read more about FakeAV at: 

Learn more about security threats and awareness at


Phishing on campus!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Over the last week Middlebury experienced a dramatic increase in the number of successful phishing attacks that resulted in Middlebury user accounts being compromised. A phishing attack is the effort of maliciously using email or a web site to try to unwittingly gain information about another individual. These recent attacks resulted in two distinct outcomes. The first was that many of these accounts were leveraged to generate large amounts of spam. The second result from these compromised accounts is that the attackers attempted to connect to the Middlebury network with the exposed user’s credentials.

This past week many individuals across our campus received an email that looked similar to the one below:


Message with “Middlebury” as the display name


Dear Member,

You Have 1 New Message

Click here to read

Middlebury Webmail Service


The link in this message redirected people to copy of the Middlebury CAS Logon page. Two important things to know about email from Middlebury IT Services. First, Library and Information Services will never ask for your user credentials in an email. Second, if you find yourself on any web page that is asking for credentials, always verify the address in your web browser’s address bar, to ensure that the web page is where you really want to be. Just because a web page has the Middlebury logo does not mean it is always a Middlebury web site.

To protect against phishing remember the following rules:

  1. Never click on any links in a suspicious email.
  2. If you ever receive an unsolicited email  and you do not recognize the sender delete the message.
  3. If you receive an email that requests your credentials or asks you to click a link which takes you to a web site that requests your credentials, do not click the link but rather go to the web site through the institution home page, for example.
  4. If you suspect an email is fraudulent delete the message.
  5. If you ever have questions regarding phishing or the content of an email call the Helpdesk.

The Helpdesk will help you determine if the email is legitimate. Please do NOT click on any links in a suspect email message.

If you suspect that you may have recently provided your Middlebury credentials to a fraudulent web site or email address, you should immediately reset your password at go/activate and then contact the Helpdesk.

If you become aware that your Middlebury account has been disabled, you must contact the Helpdesk to resolve.

More information is available at the Middlebury College Information Security web site at go/infoSec or contact the InfoSec office at


Ian Burke

Network Security Administrator

Middlebury College

Sophos Update Issue – False Positive – SHH\Updater-B

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

On 9-19-12 around 5:40PM Sophos pushed an updated signature file which triggered a false positive virus detections identified as SHH\Updater-B. This signature may have fired on a number of different update files including Flash, Google, and most notably Sophos itself. Sophos has corrected this problem. For additional information please see the security website at http://Go/InfoSec.

Java 7 Update 6 Vulnerability

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

You may have recently heard or read about a new wide-spread exploit concerning Java in mainstream media outlets. LIS is aware of this risk. The major systems used by the College that depend upon Java (e.g. Banner, Hyperion, Nolij, Famis) use an earlier version of Java and are not vulnerable to this exploit. This vulnerability impacts Java 7 update 6 and possibly other versions of Java 7; Java 6 and below are not vulnerable to this exploit.

Java is used for many different applications and you should be thoughtful about your actions before patching, upgrading or removing your version of Java. While Oracle has released a patch for the current vulnerability it has also opened up a new loophole to a known older vulnerability.

Our advice at this time is to NOT update or patch your Java client to version 7. If your Java client has already been updated or patched to version 7, please remove Java completely from your Mac or Windows computer, and then visit to reinstall version 6. If you are not sure what version of Java you are running  you may visit this URL to verify,

LIS continues to remain vigilant in safeguarding our critical systems. If you have questions or concerns regarding this post, please contact

Virus Alerts

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Two new threats are facing computers today that researchers are reporting as perhaps the biggest threats on the Internet. While current anti-virus definitions are catching these threats and our Sophos anti-virus solution protects the campus, many individuals, both Mac and PC owners, do not have their systems adequately protected.

Learn more at

Sophos Deployment

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Last month we began the campus rollout of Sophos Anti-virus, which is replacing the Symantec package we have been using for the past several years. We have deployed this anti-virus solution to many Windows based systems across campus. At this point we will continue the deployment to all faculty and staff Windows and Macintosh computers.

For Windows systems this will be delivered across our network using the same mechanism that manages our Windows workstations. To facilitate this deployment we need to ask that all Windows systems be turned off on Friday nights and powered back up on Monday mornings for the next several weekends. The install packages will be pushed across the network when the system is powered back on Monday morning starting March 19th.

If you should need your system over the weekend and you are off campus there will be no impact to this update. It will resume on Monday as scheduled. If you need your computer and are connected to the campus network (other than through the VPN) you will receive the update when you power your computer on.

For the deployment of Sophos to Macintosh computers we will be leveraging a utility called Casper. Casper will allow us to seamlessly remove Symantec and install Sophos. To ensure that Sophos will be successfully installed on your Macintosh system, please install Casper prior to March 16th. For instructions on obtaining Casper please see the Casper installation page at http://go/getcasper. Please note that Casper is licensed for Middlebury-owned systems only.

For information on Sophos please see the FAQ at http://go/sophos. This will answer many questions you may have and should address any issues you may encounter. Prior to the date your system is scheduled for the Sophos install please do the following:

  • Complete any software installs you may have pending, including any Windows Updates.
  • For Macintosh computers, confirm that you have the Self Service application installed in the Application Utility
  • Disable any additional firewalls you may have added beyond the operating system specific firewall. Please note, this is not referring to anti-virus such as Symantec but rather products such as SonicWall.
  • Shut down your system the Friday before the install so that it receives the scheduled install when it powers up on Monday morning.
  • Shut down your system on Monday night (after the scheduled install has occurred).

For faculty and staff who wish to install Sophos on one of their own personal systems, Middlebury is licensed for one copy per employee for home use. To download a copy for your home system please visit the Sophos FAQ at http://go/sophos .

For additional information please see http://go/sophos



NERCOMP Annual Conference Streaming on campus.

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

This year LIS will be streaming the annual NERCOMP conference on our Middlebury Campus. If you are interested in attending, the on-line conference will be held in KIRK all day both the 13th and 14th of March. To see the program of topics please visit, You are welcome to join for any part or all of the conference.