Part of the mission of the college IT department is to warn users of potential security threats or identity theft that they may encounter through email, web sites, or any number of other methods used by those that wish to cause harm.
One type of computer threat comes from vulnerabilities that are discovered in the software that you have installed on your computer. This can be either the operating system itself or third party applications like Adobe products. If left unpatched these vulnerabilities typically leave your computer open to attack in one of two ways: Visiting a malicious website that has a payload waiting for you or by worms which crawl around the net just looking for an open door. Even though worms are less common they are much worse since the only prerequisite to becoming infested besides not patching is to be connected to the Internet. Either infection vector leaves you in bad shape and will more often than not require a reformat to eliminate the infestation. The following are the security alerts that have been issued by CNRE-IT in the past regarding these vulnerabilities and patches. Also, please see our Security page for more information on protecting your computer.
Sometimes CNRE-IT just sends out general “be careful” type warning messages regarding IT security. They typically revolve around seasonal items, special events, or even disasters. The following are the security warning messages that we have issued in the recent past.
Another type of computer threat comes in the form of phishing emails. This type of email is designed with the purpose of tricking you into divulging sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or passwords, which can then lead to identity theft and lots of debt. Sometimes phishing emails do not explicitly ask you for your information but instead ask you to click on a link. More often than not the link will go to a fake look alike website that will capture your keystrokes as you attempt to login. Remember; NEVER follow links in an unsolicited email or give out sensitive information in response to ANY email. You can always call the real entity that the email is “supposedly” from and ask if they sent it. The following are the phishing attempts that we have seen of late so if you get an email that is suspicious please check this list. If you do not see it please forward it to us so we can either let you know that it is legitimate or add it to the list so the next person who receives it will know as well. For more information on detecting and avoiding online scams in general please see the Online Scams Information Site Directory on our Security page.
From time to time CNRE-IT will send out general announcements that don't really fit into the other three categories. Below are the most recent announcements of this type.