Archives For September 2014

What is “Shellshock”?

Shellshock is the name given to a collection of vulnerabilities present in a widely distributed component of Unix-based operating systems, called Bash. The vulnerable component is present in all Linux and Mac OS distributions as well as they use the same component to process commands within the operating system. It does not appear to, in general, affect Windows-based systems as they use a different program.

These vulnerabilities allow someone to inject commands on the specified platforms. This can be exploited in a variety of ways and can led to fairly significant compromises to the confidentiality, integrity, and even availability of data.

Who is affected?

As stated, these vulnerabilities are present on systems that use a Mac OS X, Linux and Unix system platform. For the small segment of Wentworth systems that had the vulnerable component, these vulnerable components were not necessarily exposed to the public in an exploitable fashion. To be safe and sure we mitigated the risks further, we have done the following:

  1. Updated our firewall threat detection capabilities. Before patches were available for the individual systems, we were able to successfully detect and block attempts made to exploit these vulnerabilities on our internet-facing systems.
  2. Applied all available patches and updates to the affected systems to fix the vulnerable component.

We will continue to apply any additional patches and updates as new vulnerabilities are reported.

What do I need to do?

If you use a Mac, there is a potential that your operating system may be vulnerable. To fix this vulnerability, we advise that you visit the Apple Support page, located at http://support.apple.com/downloads/. Download and install the OS X bash Update that matches your operating system (OS X Mavericks for 10.9, OS X Mountain Lion for 10.8, and OS X Lion for 10.7).

 

 

 

This year marks the 11th anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM is observed throughout the month of October to increase the awareness of cyber security threats and techniques to safeguard against them.

As a NCSAM Champion, Wentworth will be providing frequent tips and articles throughout October on how you can better protect your data and computing devices from security threats such as malware, phishing emails, and identity theft. Throughout October, the Information Security Office we will share an article that is relevant to you. Topics will range from recognizing a “phishing” email to best practices for protecting your privacy on social networking sites. In addition, we will be launching the Information Security & Compliance Training Program available to all staff and faculty. Finally, we would like to take this show on the road with presentations on cyber security threats, data privacy, and information security best practices. If you would like to have Wentworth’s Information Security Officer come to your department or group, please email infosecurity@wit.edu to schedule a presentation.

Follow us on Twitter @InfoSec_WIT for more on NCSAM, security news, and resources for improving your information security practices.

ncsam

Fall Projects – 2014

John Knights —  September 5, 2014

The Information Security Office (ISO) will be working with others within Technology Services and across Wentworth to continue our efforts to improve the information security posture. Below are a couple of initiatives and projects we will be working on this Fall.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is the 11th Annual NCSAM. As a NCSAM Champion, we will be providing cyber security awareness materials throughout the month to our entire community via Twitter, the Information Security Blog, and ISO website.

In conjunction with NCSAM, we will be launching the Information Security & Compliance Training Program for staff and faculty.

Identity & Access Management

This fall, we will launch a multi-year project to improve the overall approach to identity and access management. The IAM project will both increase the protection of institutional data and information systems and improve the overall end-user experience when logging into the various systems and services available to the Wentworth community.

For more information on these and other initiatives, make sure to visit our ISO website.

Summer Projects – 2014

John Knights —  September 5, 2014

Along with the rest of Technology Services, the Information Security Office (ISO) has been busy working on projects to improve the overall information security posture at Wentworth. As we start the new academic year, we want to share some of what we have been working on.

Data Management

Over the course of the summer, members of the Information Security Compliance Committee (ISCC) have worked to put together a set of policy documents to set the requirements for improving data governance and security. Once approved these policies we will send out a notice as well as publish them on the Technology Services Policy Page.

In addition to the policies, the ISO has worked with other members from Technology Services to provide all staff and faculty with a data loss prevention tool, Identity Finder. This tool is available to all staff and faculty for use on their institutional Windows or Mac-based desktops and laptops. For more information, please visit our Data Loss Prevention “Top Topics” page or go straight to the Identity Finder Tool page for instructions on obtaining, installing and using Identity Finder.

Information Security Awareness & Compliance Training Program

In an effort to improve awareness of information security and regulatory compliance requirements, we have worked with the ISCC and our training video service provider WeComply to provide our staff and faculty with a set of comprehensive educational videos on various topics (Information Security, Data Privacy, FERPA, and others). Visit the ISO’s Training page for more information on the program launching this October.

 

Over the last few months, a frequently referenced site caught the attention of many security professionals as it provides an interesting visualization of the cyber attacks that traverse the globe every second of every day. The site is a map put together by Nosre Corp.

Norse Corp provides cyber security appliances and services that aim help organizations block attacks. One interesting use of all the intelligence they collect from their devices is the Norse live attack map, which they state is “a visualization of a tiny portion (<1%) of the data” they process every day. Take a look at the Norse Live Threat Map.

Norse's Live Threat Map - 10:40a on 9-5-14

WARNING: The Live Threat Map is an interesting application and can quite entrancing!