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University Information Security Office

Security Articles


      Date                                                        Article Title           
Nov 2012

Pro-Iranian hackers stole data from UN atomic agency's server

The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency has admitted that data from a retired server at its Vienna headquarters was stolen and posted to a hacker website.<<Read More>>

Aug 2012

Secure your digital self: auditing your cloud identity

We put more and more of ourselves in the cloud every day. E-mail, device settings, data synchronization between devices, and access to much of our digital selves is tied to a handful of cloud service accounts with Google, Apple, Microsoft, Dropbox, and others. As demonstrated dramatically over the last week, those accounts are easily put at risk if they’re too interconnected—especially since the weakest link in cloud security may be the employees of the providers themselves.<<Read More>>

Aug 2012

Dropbox confirms it got hacked, will offer two-factor authentication

Dropbox on Tuesday acknowledged that a recent spam attack was likely caused by a stolen password that allowed access to an employee project document.<<Read More>>

July 2012

Skype bug sends messages to to unintended recipients (Updated)

Careful what you say about the boss, your spouse, or anyone else who may be a Skype contact. A four-week-old bug in the popular Voice Over IP application is sending copies of some messages to unintended recipients, Microsoft officials have confirmed.<<Read More>>

June 2012

Microsoft Update and The Nightmare Scenario

About 900 million Windows computers get their updates from Microsoft Update. In addition to the DNS root servers, this update system has always been considered one of the weak points of the net. Antivirus people have nightmares about a variant of malware spoofing the update mechanism and replicating via it.<<Read More>>

May 2012

Flashback infections not waning after all; 650,000 Macs still hijacked

Analysis declaring the demise of the Flashback Mac backdoor has been greatly exaggerated, said researchers with a Russia-based antivirus firm, who on late Friday estimated there are 650,000 unique OS X machines currently infected by the malware.<<Read More>>

May 2012

Google reaches out to owners of machines infected with DNSChanger malware

Google announced it would be leading a campaign to notify users whose PCs were infected by the DNSChanger malware. The malware was part of a scam that came to light last November when the US Department of Justice accused seven Estonian and Russian men of orchestrating several different kinds of Internet fraud schemes. Users were infected with DNSChanger after they clicked malicious links or downloaded tainted software..<<Read More>>

May 2012

Hacker Lewys Martin uses Call of Duty virus to sell players' card details

An “evil” genius used his IT expertise to mastermind a computer scam that has netted him thousands of pounds.Hacker Lewys Martin, 20, offered a “patch” to users of the popular video game Call Of Duty - but secretly hid a trojan horse virus inside.<<Read More>>

May 2012

Seeing ads on Wikipedia? Then you're infected

Surfers who see ads when they visit Wikipedia are likely infected with malware, the online encyclopedia warns.<<Read More>>

March 2012

30,000 WordPress blogs infected to distribute rogue antivirus software

Almost 30,000 WordPress blogs have been infected in a new wave of attacks orchestrated by a cybercriminal gang whose primary goal is to distribute rogue antivirus software.The attacks have resulted in over 200,000 infected pages that redirect users to websites displaying fake antivirus scans. The latest compromises are part of a rogue antivirus distribution campaign that has been going on for months, the Websense researchers said. <<Read More>>

Jan 2011

How Apple and Google will kill the password

Imagine sitting down at a public PC, surfing the Web, visiting Facebook, checking your online bank account and buying something on Amazon.com -- all without entering passwords or credit card information. <<Read More>>

Jan 2011

Privacy Alert: 10 Biggest Threats of 2010

2010 could go on record as the year the privacy mess hit the proverbial fan. Companies such as Apple, AT&T, Facebook, and Google all got nailed for sharing users' personal data in big ways, accidentally or otherwise. Police officers were caught tracking people's movements via cell phones, while Web advertisers tracked surfers' virtual movements via hard-to-kill cookies. Schools spied on their students, mobile apps spied on their owners, and the feds caught heat for getting a little too personal with their security searches. <<Read More>>

Dec 2010

Free vs. Fee: Free and Paid Antivirus Programs Compared

Can free antivirus software protect you? Or is it worth paying for a full-blown A/V app? We look at the benefits--and pitfalls--of free and paid antivirus products. <<Read More>>

Nov 2010

Facebook Responds to Firesheep WiFi Security Controversy

Many tech insiders have been bleating for years about a privacy flaw inherent in unencrypted browsing that lets hackers snoop on your Web activity. But their cries didn’t reach the ears of the general public until the creation of “Firesheep,” a simple Firefox add-on that takes advantage  of the flaw to let users on an unsecured WiFi network steal cookies and snoop on people’s Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr activity — basically any site that does not offer secure “HTTPS” browsing. <<Read More>>


Oct 2010

Federal Court Shuts Down LimeWire With Permanent Injunction

LimeWire, the Gnutella-based peer-to-peer file-sharing service, is no more. Major record labels, also known as file-sharers' archnemesis the RIAA, obtained an injunction from a U.S. District Court judge in New York City that stops Limewire from distributing their software or facilitating any file-sharing. <<Read More>>

Sep 2010

The 17 Most Dangerous Places on the Web

The scariest sites on the Net? They're not the only ones you might suspect. Here's what to watch out for and how to stay safe. <<Read More>>

Aug 2010

Risk of file sharing P2P  software

File-sharing technology is a popular way for users to exchange, or "share," files. However, using this technology makes you susceptible to risks such as infection, attack, or exposure of personal information. <<Read More>>

July 2010

Reliable Encryption for the Rest of Us

Though encryption is a strong way to safeguard passwords, personal information, and other sensitive data, it can be confusing due to the acronyms and technobabble that surround the topic. <<Read More>>

June 2010

How to Secure or Find Your Android Smartphone

If you lose your Android phone, you'll want a couple of ways to find it again or make sure that--if it's truly lost--you can protect your private information.Robert Strohmeyer takes a look at some of the apps and tools that'll help keep your phone safe.<<Read More>>

May 2010

Bugnets Could Spy on You via Mobile Devices

Imagine sitting in a café and discussing the details of a business proposal with a potential client. Neither you nor the client has a laptop; you're just two people having a conversation. But unbeknownst to you, someone half a world away is listening to every word you say. Later, as you leave, you receive a text message referring to the proposal and demanding money in exchange for silence. <<Read More>>

April 2010

Laptop Security

More than 10,000 laptops were left behind at airport TSA checkpoints in 2008 each and every week. Yes, per week. Even if you make it through the airport, travel of all kinds can be dicey. A few years ago, more than 4,500 laptops were left behind in taxis in the city of Chicago alone. These numbers don't include the thousands of outright laptop and netbook thefts each week.With portability comes increased dangers: loss or theft of your netbook, and the subsequent data loss that occurs when any portable computing device goes AWOL. But with some preparation, you can increase your netbook security profile and easy the concerns about hardware and data loss. <<Read More>>

April 2010

Fight Against Phishing:44 Ways to Protect yourself

The Hackers have at their disposal an arsenal of weaponry - seemingly innocuous links embedded in emails that redirect to fake sites, pop-up windows that encourage you to enter sensitive information, URL masks that conjure up real Web addresses, and keystroke loggers that are lurking around waiting to capture your user ids and passwords even as you type them. You don’t necessarily have to be tech-savvy to protect yourself from phishing attacks, it’s enough if you keep your wits about you, are a little aware that not all sites on the Internet are the genuine article, and follow one or a combination of the following 44 tips. <<Read More>>

Jan 2010

How to Stop 11 Hidden Security Threats

 Antivirus software and a firewall alone can't guarantee your safety. Here's how to foil the latest crop of sneaky attacks and nefarious attempts to steal your data.Do you know how to guard against scareware? How about Trojan horse text messages? Or social network data harvesting? Malicious hackers are a resourceful bunch, and their methods continually evolve to target the ways we use our computers now. <<Read More>>

Dec  2009

 Top 10 Security Nightmares of the Decade 

Blame the Internet for the latest decade of security lessons. Without it, you probably wouldn't even recognize the terms phishing, cybercrime, data breach, or botnet. Let's revisit the top security horrors of the past ten years, and try to remember what we learned from each. <<Read More>>

July 2009

Is Open Source Software More Secure than Proprietary Products?

When you buy software, you probably trust that you're getting a secure product that runs well. This faith may come from the fact that the source code - the digital DNA that tells the program how to work and what to do - is hidden from consumers. In most cases, only the select programmers tasked with maintenance and security can see it and make changes.The prevalence of Open Source Code, however, could make one wonder how much secret code matters. The term "open source" generally refers to programs in which people can view or modify the programming code. <<Read More>>

Feb 2008

Who else can Monitor your system : P2P softwares

P2P applications are also often bundled with third party spyware (or P2P services’ preferred euphemism “adware”),22 hijacking a user’s computer without his or her knowledge. Such third party software is used to produce targeted advertising by gathering detailed information stored on a user’s computer, including personal identification and web-browsing activity, which is then automatically relayed to a web server typically without the user’s knowledge. <<Read More>>

Jan 2008

Evaluating your Web Browser's security settings

Your web browser is your primary connection to the rest of the internet, and multiple applications may rely on your browser, or elements within your browser, to function. This makes the security settings within your browser even more important. Many web applications try to enhance your browsing experience by enabling different types of functionality, but this functionality might be unnecessary and may leave you susceptible to being attacked. The safest policy is to disable the majority of those features unless you decide they are necessary. If you determine that a site is trustworthy, you can choose to enable the functionality temporarily and then disable it once you are finished visiting the site. <<Read More>>

Nov 2005

Robot Wars – How Botnets Work

One of the most common and efficient DDoS attack methods is based on using hundreds of zombie hosts. Zombies are usually controlled and managed via IRC networks, using so-called botnets. Let's take a look at the ways an attacker can use to infect and take control of a target computer, and let's see how we can apply effective countermeasures in order to defend our machines against this threat. <<Read More>>


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