November 2011 IT Security and Help Desk Newsletter

Cyber Security Topic – You are the Target

PROBLEM: Many people mistakenly believe that they are not a target and that their information or computer has no value. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Your information and your computer has tremendous value. In fact you are the cyber criminal's number one target. In this newsletter we explain how you are a target and why. Crime has existed for thousands of years. Attacks such as fraud, identify theft, and extortion are nothing new. However, the Internet has made crime much more profitable, much simpler to commit, and with far less risk to the criminal. Before the Internet a criminal could only steal what he physically had access to. These days criminals can use the Internet to target millions of people in every part of the world, twenty four hours a day seven days a week. In addition they now have access to very sophisticated tools that automate the attacks for them. This means that you are constantly under attack by thousands of criminals from around the globe.In addition, the simplest way to hack into an organization is by targeting people. Unaware employees are an organization's greatest weakness as people make
common mistakes, such as clicking on malicious links or using an infected USB stick. As a result you have become the primary target.

SOLUTION: The first step in protecting yourself is understanding that you are a target. Far too often people believe that no one would want to attack them because they have nothing of value. As a result, they do not take the necessary steps to protect themselves, their family or their information. In this newsletter we are going to explain your value and show why you are a target. In addition we will teach some you some fundamental concepts on how you can protect yourself, your family and our organization.

How and Why Cyber Criminals Find You The first thing to understand about cyber criminals is that they are out to make money, as much money as possible with the least effort possible. Every new tool developed and every new technique used by them are designed to increase their profits. They do this by targeting anyone in the world who has an email address, an online account, or even just a computer. In addition they also target any organization that is connected to the Internet. This means it does not matter what country you live in, what language you speak, or how little or how often you use a computer, you are a target. Your computer and your information is worth money to them, and cyber criminals will attempt to hack you any way possible. 

Data Theft Our organization has a tremendous amount of valuable and confidential information. By hacking your computer or your work accounts, cyber criminals can steal our critical data. 

Identify Theft In addition to our information, cyber criminals are targeting your personal information, such as your credit card numbers, personal bank accounts and login and passwords. By compromising this information they can not only steal money from your bank, but can actually steal your identity and use it to commit other crimes.

Attacking Others Finally, cyber criminals can use your computer to harm others, such as hacking into other computers, launch denial of service attacks, setup phishing websites or send spam. In addition, if law enforcement is involved, you may be blamed for these attacks. Protecting Yourself What you may not realize is you are also a target when you are traveling, such as at an airport, a hotel or attending a conference. You are even under attack at home, when you and your family connect to
the Internet. To protect yourself, your family and our organization here are two general guidelines you should always follow. 

• Always be cautious and assume you are being targeted. You may think you or your information does not have value, but it does.
• On the Internet no one can be trusted and attacks are a constant. If something seems suspicious or wrong, it most likely is.

Keeping Campus Safe - The Numbers

Incoming spam and malicious emails kept out of your inbox in the past 30 days: 5,059,871 which accounts for about 77% of all incoming email

Viruses and malware removed or quarantined automatically in the past month: 182 incidents

Software Update Notes

Microsoft October Updates - Please make sure you save your work before you head home tonight (11/8).  The updates may cause your computer to reboot.  

Mac October Updates - Be sure to update your Mac, click on the Apple icon in the top left corner and click on Software Update... be sure to install all updates.  

Latest Firefox version: 8.00 and 3.6.24

Latest Google Chrome Version: 15.0.874.106