You may not realize it, but you are a phishing target at school, at work, and at home. Phishing attacks are a type of computer attack that use malicious emails to trick targets into giving up sensitive information. Ultimately, you are the most effective way to detect and stop phishing scams. When viewing email messages, texts, or social media posts, use the following techniques to prevent your passwords, personal data, or private information from being stolen by a phishing attack.
- Verify the source. Check the sender’s email address to make sure it’s legitimate. Remember that the name of the sender is not the important part. The sender’s email address is what you are really looking for. If in doubt, forward your message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Read the entire message carefully. Phishing messages may include a formal salutation, overly-friendly tone, grammatical errors, urgent requests, or gimmicks that do not match the normal tone of the sender.
- Avoid clicking on erroneous links. Even if you know the sender, be cautious of links and attachments in messages. Don’t click on links that could direct you to a bad website. Hovering your mouse over a link should disclose the actual web address that the link is directing you too, which may be different from what is displayed in the message. Make sure this masked address is a site you want to visit.
- Verify the intent of all attachments with the sender before opening them. Even when you know a sender, you should never open an attachment unless have checked with the sender to verify the attachment was sent intentionally. Word and Excel documents can contain malicious macros which could harm your computer. Other files, such as zip files and PDF files, could download malware onto your system. Always verify the intent of attachments with the sender before you open them from an email.
- Verifying a message is always better than responding to a phish. If you ever receive a message that provides reason to pause, it is always better to forward the message to email@example.com or to send a separate email to the sender to verify its intent, before clicking a link or opening an attachment that could potentially impact the security of your computer..
- Change your passwords if you have fallen for a phish. If you think you have fallen for a phishing attack, change your password at go/password and then contact the helpdesk at x2200. It is also a good practice to change your personal passwords outside of the College.
Watch for phishing scams. Common phishing scams are published at sites such as http://IC3.gov , http://phishing.org ,https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing. These resources will also allow you to report phishing attacks if you should fall victim outside of the College. Again, if you think you have fallen victim to a phishing attack, always start by changing your passwords.
We will be starting the new ACTT process with a Kick-Off meeting. This is an open, non-mandatory meeting for anyone who is interested in learning about the Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team to attend. We will introduce the new team members, structure, and thoughts on how the Team activities will be evaluated.
This is an open meeting, please share with anyone who is interested in learning about the ACTT
- Mission: “Our mission is to evaluate and recommend technology services and innovations for teach, learning and research.”
- Read “Horizon Report from NMC”, http://www.nmc.org/nmc-horizon/
- Joe is teaching a course on “Design Thinking” this semester. Design Thinking includes an “Empathy Phase”
- Q (Melissa/CNS). How will information and requests trickle up?
- “I have many day-to-day projects where I would love to have a license that exists on the Midd campus, but not the MIIS campus, or I would like to build a server with 1TB of storage to host a web site”
- “My research center, CNS, is becoming such a large consumer of storage and bandwidth”
- “On a request from Laurie Patton, I am researching a cloud services that could host our information”.
- Answer – Joe – Anyone who wants to make a request for technology or technology services for academic use may approach the team. Happy to be an entry point for requests that may go to ITS or other groups.
- Jim – we have to account for the resource requests during the budget request process.
- Q (Melissa/CNS). We are a collection of researchers that become PI on large grants, we need to inform others of the implications on the projects that we are running… So we can write it into
- We are giving money to non-Middlebury developers to do things that could be done inside Middlebury
- Jim: not necessarily opposed to using outside resources…
- Q (Jim): May be Amy McGill can weigh in on the MIIS budget process and how funding decisions are made.
- Amy McGill
- MIIS Research Centers are funded with base productivity requirements
- Campus community infrastructure is for day-to-day use
- Research Centers seek their own funding for larger projects that need additional resources, they do typically provide for initial as well as on-going maintenance costs.
- Amy McGill
- Q. ACTT contribution to the Strategic Planning Process?
- Q (Melissa/CNS). Is it too early to start making suggestions for agenda items?
- Q (Melissa/CNS). I would love to explore the ability to share licenses across campuses. We pay out of grant licenses for Tableau, for image processing software… I drool over some of the licenses that the Geology department has. This is not a simple request, but I would love to tackle it as a subject.
- A (Zach/ITS-SR): Let’s talk; more productive if we can get an idea of the specific titles you’re interested in, so we can check what licensing models are available.
- Q (Melissa/CNS). I would love to talk about our data storage and access to bandwidth. Because we use satellite images, large data sets, we are becoming something of a hog on the MIIS systems. I would like to open a discussion on how we can meet CNS’s research technology needs including storage, bandwidth, and some security issues.
- Joe: Has anyone done a “needs assessment for the department”?
- We don’t have a department, we are a research center within a larger campus.
- I have done a casual needs assessment. 13 TB of storage, external drives, google drives, drop boxes… Need access across three offices.
- Jim: ITS can help with a needs assessment and identify appropriate technology solutions, perhaps on campus or in the cloud, ideally consistent with other larger IT initiatives for Middlebury and work with CSN to identify, implement solutions. We did this for the Middlebury DC office a couple of years ago that included the CSN operation there for example.
- Joe: Has anyone done a “needs assessment for the department”?
- Q (Bob/MIIS). Working toward equitable cyber infrastructure across VT and Monterey campuses seems like a an appropriate activity for the Team.
Joe to build form for collecting evaluation requests.
Tuesday, April 12th from 3-4pm
LIB 105A or Polycom 712833
The new ACT Team process includes in-progress project presentations. These presentations are meant to inform the community about how things are going, what has been done and what still needs to be done, what is going well and what are the challenges.
In this meeting we will have two presentations:
- RStudio Server http://act.middcreate.net/site/projects/rstudio-server/
- Academic Cyberinfrastructure Inventory http://act.middcreate.net/site/projects/academic-cyberinfrastructure-inventory/
In-progress project presentations are open meetings, anyone may attend. Please feel free to share the invitation with anyone you feel is interested in the topics discussed.
A phishing email message was sent to @middlebury.edu mailboxes today with a subject line of “Update Announcements”. DO NOT RESPOND ON THIS MESSAGE!
The phishing email message is an attack designed to trick people into disclosing their username and password. Do NOT follow the instructions in the message, as it could lead to your Middlebury account being compromised.
If you were tricked by the email and responded, reset your network password immediately at go/password and then call the Helpdesk at x2200 for further assistance with your account and any possible concerns with your computer.
Here’s a sample of the phishing email message:
Dear middlebury.edu User.
Urgent Update Announcements.
Your middlebury.edu Account has been Sign in with a strange IP Address: And this indicate your mail account is been used for FRAUDULENT ACT, For these reasons, Our records indicate you are no longer our current/active user. Therefore, your account has been scheduled for deletion on this Month of APRIL, 2016. As part of this process, your account, files, email address messages etc, will be deleted from our Data Base.
To Retail Your Account.
You are required to reply with your valid ONLINE ACCESS for reactivation, to ensure Your account remains active and subscribed, Otherwise this account will be De-activated within the next 72 hours hence from now.
Name In Full:
Learn about Mobile Security
Plan ahead for an afternoon RoadShow with Information Security March 30th @ 2:00 in Lib145.
This is an opportunity for you to ask questions and converse on topics such as:
- How do I add a pin to my mobile device
- Is my device encrypted
- How do I track my device if lost
- How do I remote wipe my device
- How do I ensure my data is backed up
Get help securing your mobile device.
Join Information Security in Lib145 @ 2:00PM on March 30th.
Follow Information Security on Twitter @MiddInfoSec.
Mobile devices have become one of the primary ways that we communicate and interact with each other. Powerful computers now fit in our pockets and on our wrists, allowing us to bank, shop, view our medical history, work remotely, and communicate from virtually anywhere. With all this convenience comes added risk, so here are some tips to help secure your devices and protect your personal information.
- Password-protect your devices. Protect the data on your mobile device and enable encryption by enabling passwords, PINs, fingerprint scans, or other forms of authentication. On most current mobile operating systems you have the option to encrypt your data when you have a password turned on. Turn it on!
- Secure those devices and backup data. Make sure that you can remotely lock and/or wipe each mobile device. That also means you should back up your data on each device in case you need to use the remote wipe function. Services such as iCloud, OneDrive, and Google offer device location, wipe and backup services.
- Verify app permissions. Don’t forget to review which privacy-related permissions each application is requesting, before installing it. Be cautious of fake applications masquerading as legitimate programs by verifying that the application is from a reputable source, such as the Apple Apps Store, Microsoft’s Store, or Google’s Play Store. Occasionally, applications in the official stores can include malware. Read reviews and descriptions carefully. Only install applications that you need. Remove applications that you are no longer using.
- Update operating systems. Security fixes or patches for mobile devices’ operating systems are often included in these updates. Just like patching a computer, iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile all need to be patched and kept current.
- Be cautious of public Wi-Fi hotspots. When using your mobile device, watch for connections to public hotspots. Many mobile devices will automatically connect to hotspots and prioritize data transmission over Wi-Fi by default. Verify that your settings require manually selecting hotspots if possible. Working with sensitive data while connected to a public hotspot could lead to unintended data exposure. Always ensure that you are using a secure connection.
- Always apply safe computing practices. Whether traveling with a mobile device, a laptop, or sitting in a hotel business center, you always want to use safe computing practices to protect your data. See this link for more tips: http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/technology/infosec/education/training/SafeComputing.