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Security Notification: Ransomware Delivered Through Phishing Attacks

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

A year ago the Internet saw a rash of malware known as ransomware. This malicious form of cyber attack is known for infecting a computer and encrypting a drive. The victim is then unable to recover their data until paying a ransom to the attacker. Middlebury, like many other institutions was not immune to this form of attack.

A week ago the FBI announced a new variant on a common form of these attacks known as CryptoWall. This form of ransomware is known to have four methods of infecting a computer.

  • Phishing: the attacker may lure a victim into downloading an infected attachment through a phishing campaign and thereby compromising the drive on their system.
  • Phishing: the attacker lures the victim into clicking on a link to a malicious web site where the victim unknowingly downloads the malicious software onto their system and compromises their drive.
  • Infected ad: the attacker posts and infected ad on a website which a user might click thereby causing the download of malicious software.
  • Compromised website: the attacker compromises a website so when a user visits the website they unknowingly download malicious software and compromise their system.

According to the FBI, by far the most common method of attack is phishing, particularly with attachments in the message.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • Never open attachments or click links in emails that you do not recognize or trust.
  • Know what a phishing attack is and how to spot one. visit http://go.middlebury.edu/phish or http://phishing.org
  • If you think you have fallen for a phish change your password. then call x2200
  • If you believe you system is compromised, unplug it from the power and the network. Shut it down immediately. Do not worry about saving your work. then call x2200.
  • Backup your data routinely. If you save your data to Middfiles or your home directory it will be backed up automatically.
  • Never disable your antivirus software.
  • Send any suspect emails to phishing@middlebury.edu
  • Only download software from known vendor sites.
  • Don’t click on ads in web sites. Visit vendor websites directly.


Summer Language School on Film in the College Archives

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Drawn from our newly digitized historic 16mm films, a taste of what life in the Summer Language Schools was like in the middle of the 20th century.  Enjoy!

German School Dancing Considered the forerunner of all the Middlebury Language Schools in 1915, the German School established its home in Bristol, Vermont and flourished under the direction of the dynamic Ernst Feise throughout the 1930s and 1940s. The seven-week program strove for students to “live and work in an atmosphere as distinctly German as if they were traveling in Germany.” Integral to that goal was learning to perform dances native to German culture, wearing native German dress. (We love the people watching from the bushes!)

French School Outings In this clip from the early 1940s, students and faculty of the French Summer Language School take a break from classes and enjoy the program’s long-running tradition of weekend trips off-campus. With a beautiful view from the top of Chipman Hill, they roast bacon-wrapped sausage and sing songs. In another outing, they can be seen picnicking on the shores of Lake Dunmore at the Waterhouse Pavilion.

Honorary Degree  On August 8, 1946 French Ambassador to the United States Henri Bonnet was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Middlebury College president Samuel S. Stratton. André Morize, a close friend of Bonnet’s and the retiring director of Middlebury’s French Summer Language School was also honored at the ceremony. This clip shows the reception held outside of Mead Chapel following the event. Attendees include the poet Robert Frost.

And finally, a documentary film crew spent time in the College Archives in the summer of 2014 gathering sound recordings, film clips, and photos for this short film marking the centennial of the Summer Language Schools. Thanks to the Language Schools for making this film widely available.

College Observatory Status – Summer 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The Physics Department at Middlebury College is performing upgrades at the College Observatory and will not be having Open House nights this summer.

Over the years, Open House nights at the Observatory have been popular events on the Middlebury campus during the summers as the Observatory has opened its doors to the College community and the public to share the wonders of the night skies.

Thanks to generous support from the Michele and David Mittelman (’76) Family Foundation, the Observatory will be undergoing substantial renovations and modernizations that represent a fundamental commitment to the long-term future of the Observatory, both for curricular and research uses, as well as for outreach. These improvements to the Observatory will help ensure that Middlebury students, College community members, schoolchildren, and the public will continue to be able to explore the universe on the Middlebury campus under dark Vermont skies.

The current expectation is that the Observatory will again be operational in the fall after completion of the upgrades.

The Week’s Headlines

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Here are the week’s headlines from the News Room:

Language Schools to Hold Centennial Celebration July 15-19

Middlebury Announces Newest Inductees For Athletics Hall of Fame

Middlebury College Terminates Kappa Delta Rho Social House

Students Launch Cross-Country Tour for Youth Social Entrepreneurship

Middlebury Concert Hall Named for Former College President Olin C. Robison

Annual Social Entrepreneurship Forum Tackles Design Thinking in Higher Ed.

View past stories by visiting the News Room page.

25 Years @ Midd with Susan Perkins

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

mountain s perkinsIn this post we recognize Susan Perkins, the Academic Dept. Coordinator for the Psychology Department, for her 25 years of service to Middlebury. Susan shares with us her favorite hobbies, the love she has for her family, and some of her fondest Middlebury memories. Read on to learn more about Midd from Susan’s point of view

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?
My husband (Gary) and I were co-managers at Lazarus Department Store from 1984-1990. We worked alongside my mother, Helen Haerle, who purchased the store and the brick building (now the National Bank) from Stan Lazarus. We have lived in Weybridge, since 1980.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?
During the last 25 years: Biology Department Administrative Associate (1990-1996); Assistant to the Director of Academic Facilities Planning (1996-1998); Assistant in Academic Administration (1998-2004); Assistant to the VPAA/Provost (2004-2009); Department Coordinator for Psychology & Geography (2009-2014); Department Coordinator for Psychology (2014-present).

I also worked at the college a bit, prior to 1984: Assistant Department Secretary for Political Science and Sociology-Anthropology (1982, temporary P/T); Department Secretary for Religion, Philosophy, and Teacher Education (1982-83, temporary P/T); and Department Secretary for Political Science and Sociology-Anthropology (1983-84, permanent P/T).

Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?
In 1990, the most significant things happening in my life revolved around our family. Our son, Bryon, was in 7th grade in Middlebury; and our daughter, Mandy was in 6th grade in Weybridge. My husband and I were both starting new careers (within 2 weeks of each other!) after deciding the clothing retail world was not going to be the best fit for us–no pun intended. J

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?
The most significant things happening in my life right now are still with our family! We have 3 grandsons (Tyler-8, Dylan-7, and Rowan—born on 6/2/15…just about the time we were leaving the 25-year Club Induction Reception!) Gary and I also took a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip to the south island of New Zealand (March 2015) where we backpacked, bicycled, white-water rafted, and kayaked.

Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?
I first learned to love yoga, when I took classes offered by a current student at the time, Zubin Mistri. I also have participated in the American Cancer Society “Relay for Life” event, from the beginning when student, Ross Lieb-Lappen, organized the first very successful event at Middlebury College.

What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?
Some of my fondest memories are from the old Science Center. When Joyce McAllister retired as the Chemistry Dept Coordinator, the staff in the building had a going away lunch for her. We decided at that lunch that we should try to get together more often…not just when someone leaves the college. So, from that point on (~1992), the Science Center staff started having monthly lunches–we called ourselves the “McAllister Group” in honor of Joyce. Our beloved friend/colleague, Ann Broughton (Physics & Geography Coordinator), kept the lunches going with regularity through about 2006. There are very few members of the original group still around, but the MBH version of the McAllister Group still tries to get together once or twice a year.

Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?
I’ve always enjoyed the positions that I’ve had, the people that I’ve worked with, the students I’ve gotten to know, and the friendships I’ve formed. I’ve always been treated with respect and felt like the people around me appreciated my work.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?
mountain 2 s perkins
I plan to retire sometime within the next 10 years, so I have more time to spend with my husband, our children, and our grandchildren. Some of my pipe-dreams are to further explore the US and Canada with my husband— I’d like to travel cross-country once on our motorcycles, once on our bicycles, and at least once with our grandchildren (in a car)! We’d also like to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, and maybe the John Muir Trail…and who knows what else!

Do you have a favorite place on campus?
One of my favorite places is to sit in the Adirondack chairs on the lawn surrounding Hadley Barn—it’s a beautiful, quiet, relaxing spot. I also love looking out my office window or the Great Hall to the Adirondack Mountains.

Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job, grow to enjoy your work and your time at the College?
I have been lucky to have a number of mentors here: Randy Landgren, Jim Larrabee, Michael Geisler, Alison Byerly, Tim Spears, and each of the department chairs that I’ve had over the years. They each have helped me grow, and given me the confidence to achieve higher goals.

The Week’s Headlines

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Here are the week’s headlines from the News Room:

Remembering Carroll Rikert

Middlebury Athletes Earn Honors, Awards

Code Breaker

Middlebury College’s 30th Anniversary Carillon Series Begins July 3

View past stories by visiting the News Room page.

The Week’s Headlines

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Here are the week’s headlines from the News Room:

Completed Inn Renovations Await Bread Loaf Students, Faculty

Bread Loaf School of English Begins Summer Sessions

Middlebury Language Schools to Include Centennial and Korean Launch

Town Approves Plan for New Ridgeline Residence Complex

College Recognizes Staff Members for Excellence on the Job

Middlebury Affiliated Off-Broadway Company PTP/NYC Announces 2015 Season

Wall Street Journal Reporter Reflects on his Middlebury Reunion

New Associate Provost Will Help Translate Middlebury’s Strengths to the Digital World

Middlebury Celebrates Reunion

The Global Liberal Arts College

Vuew past stories by visiting the News Room page.