Malware, Virus, Worm, Trojan Horse Information:
This area will provide links to current alerts and trends of the security of the Internet:
Suggested Malware Protection
The North Dakota University System has an agreement with Microsoft that allows for Microsoft Forefront to be installed on all campus owned PC's. Students and employees also have the option to install Microsoft Security Essentials on their personal PC's. Visit this link for more information on:
- Microsoft Forefront (PC)
- Microsoft Security Essentials (PC)
- ClamXav (Mac)
- Clam av (Linux)
Keep your antivirus software current.
Contact the IT Help Desk at 231-8685 (Option 1) if you have questions about viruses or downloading the anti-virus software.
Avoid Spam, Spim, and Spyware
- Spam - Unsolicited messages that appears in your inbox (this could also be in your text messaging inbox as well) from companies or organizations, trying to sell you something
- Phishing - Spam asking you for account credentials either directly or by having you visit a specially crafted webpage that looks like a legitimate banking, or online business webpage asking for usernames, passwords, or other identifiable information
- Spim - Spam through instant messaging applications like Facebook Chat
- Spyware - Malicious software installed on your computer often without your knowledge, usually there to collect information about you. Sometimes shows up as Anti-virus or Anti-malware applications that need you to enter a credit card to "activate." Often this will be installed in the form of a popup that will offer you an "OK" or "Cancel" button, pressing either of these buttons will result in the spyware installing on your computer.
Tips to Avoid Spam:
- Do not reply to or click the "Unsubscribe" link, this will let the spammers know they have a live address
- Disable the preview pane in your e-mail client if you have that option
- Use multiple e-mail addresses, one for family and friends, one for business, one for everything else. Using multiple addresses allows you to create a SPAM Only email account. When you need to fill out a form on a web page you can use the SPAM Only account and if that e-mail address gets spamed its just that account
- Don't post your e-mail address in its normal form on a publicly accessible Web page
- Keep your operating system and your anti virus software current and up to date with patches
- Be careful of downloading pictures and other things your IM friends may send you. Check with them first to make sure they have sent you something
Spyware, what is it:
- Used mostly to gather information and steal credentials or credit card numbers
- Often downloads and installs without your knowledge
- Most often disables your legitimate anti-malware software
- Can control browser's home page, ability to block pop-up ads, and often will redirect you to malicious Web sites
- Can slow computer's performance and cause system and software crashes
How do I avoid it:
- Download and install software from trusted sources
- Adjust your browsers security settings to avoid automatic downloads and installs
- Keep your software up to date. Spyware can enter the computer through old and vulnerable third party applications such as document readers or web acceleration technologies
- Do not click on pop up or pop under ads
- When a popup or popunder occurs, click the close button in the upper right or left of the application, DO NOT trust the buttons in the application window.
- Avoid using file sharing applications
If you feel you have been the victim of a Spim/Spam/Spyware attack please contact the IT Help Desk at 701-231-8685 Option 1 for assistance
April 15, 2014
The Internet was stunned to learn of a significant vulnerabilty to security this last weekend. OpenSSL, an application that is used by software and services throughout the Internet for authorization of legitimate websites was found to have a core flaw. Essentially anyone from anywhere could send a specially crafted packet to a service or site using OpenSSL, asking if the server is still accepting communications and the server would return up to 64 Kilobytes of what was in its memory at the time of request. This return could be username and passwords, or documents, or even security certificates. The OpenSSL foundation responded and fixed the core code of OpenSSL, but there are still hundreds of thousands devices, or services that still are running the old version of the software. Please check for updates on your devices, and change any passwords for sites you maybe concerned about. However, only change those passwords after a site has patched their services, and revoked their old security certificate and created a new one.
December 5, 2013
Over 2 Million passwords to popular webpages discovered.
In Mid June, Trustwave Spiderlabs researchers were able to view information in the Pony Botnet controller that indicated that there were over 650,000 website credentials that had been harvested by this particular botnet, which, is fairly widespread. On Tuesday they announced that upon a more detailed look that over 2 million passwords have been harvested by this botnet. Many of these services have now been notified and they are taking corrective action on those accounts that have been compromised.