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Information Security in the news
(Some of the links below will take you to external sites with the full stories)
Fraudsters target students, warns Student Loans Company (5 April 2011)
Wi-Fi security settings confuse home users (16 March 2011)
We say: 'It is important to use Wi-Fi networks securely and protect your personal information. The Information Commissioner's Office has issued this Wi-Fi guidance to help you.'
We say: 'We are currently implementing a new policy for portable devices, which requires the encryption of University staff laptops that are used to store personal or confidential information. This will help to close down a significant vulnerability. PCMD laptops have already been encrypted to ensure that their contents are secure if lost or stolen.'
Battling cons inside the Office of Fair Trading's scam lab (1 February 2011)
We say: 'The Office of Fair Trading has made February its Scams Awareness Month 2011. An Exeter IT colleague experienced a scam recently. Someone hacked the Hotmail account of one of his friends and then signed in to Windows Messenger, asking people in the contacts list for money. He was asked to send funds via Western Union because his friend was stuck in "London, United Kingdom" without money or cards. Fortunately the scam was unsuccessful on this occasion but you should be suspicious in similar circumstances.'
First Data Protection Act fines issued by Commissioner (24 November 2010)
We say: 'Since 6 April 2010 the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has been able to order organisations to pay up to £500,000 as a penalty for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act. We are developing an Information Security Policy that covers the security of information on laptops and portable media. Please follow our top tips for safe computing in order to reduce the risk of an Information Security breach.'
Scareware SEO attack exploits royal engagement story (17 November 2010)
We say: 'Searching for breaking news has been found by Websense to be a higher risk (22.4 per cent) than searching for objectionable content (21.8 per cent). Please be aware that some search results may lead to bogus security sites. Our website contains advice on protection against Viruses and Malware.'
Warning over anti-virus cold-calls to UK Internet users (15 November 2010)
We say: 'Please be aware of two related scams that try to trick people into installing fake anti-virus software that then collects personal information. Find out more about the risks of ID theft.'
Google in 'significant breach' of UK data laws (3 November 2010)
We say: 'This story highlights the dangers of using unsecured wireless networks.'
LimeWire file-sharing service shut down in US (27 October 2010)
We say: 'You are reminded that using, downloading, copying or distributing copyright material without permission is illegal in the UK and is a breach of the University's Regulations Relating to the Use of Information Technology Facilities. Websites allow you to find out more about copyright and download films legally.'
How to create a 'super password' (20 August 2010)
We say: 'The longer a password is, the harder it is to crack. We recommend that your University password is 10, 12 or even more characters long. Please follow our guidance on choosing a password.'
Smartphone security put on test (10 August 2010)
We say: 'If you download apps for your smartphone or other intelligent devices, be careful to only install legitimate versions from a known publisher – increasingly, items offered free of charge are free for a reason.'
Lessons from criminals – Good passwords matter (29 June 2010)
We say: 'If criminals know the importance of strong passwords then perhaps we should learn from them.'
Mobile phone scam targets polar numbers (28 May 2010)
We say: 'If the fact that downloading illegal copies of software, music, films and games is prohibited by law is not enough to stop you doing it, think about the other undesirable content that you may unknowingly be installing when you steal.'
PleaseRobMe website reveals dangers of social networks (18 February 2010)
We say: 'This story illustrates that you should think carefully before making personal information publicly available.'
Taxation scammers open the batting for 2010 (8 January 2010)
We say: 'Fake tax refund notifications are being sent as email spam. Some attacks are more sophisticated than the usual phishing attempts, taking you to a fake tax site that asks you to choose your bank from a list of bogus links in order to receive your payment.'
We say: 'Security concerns have been expressed about certain types of encrypted USB stick. At the time of writing, we are not aware of any such reports about our recommended sticks.'
Victims of identity fraud rise by a third, as it becomes a primary concern among consumers (12 October 2009)
We say: 'Please be very careful with your own personal information, and any University information for which you are a custodian. An experiment in Bristol has shown that stealing identities on the street is easy. The National Identity Fraud Prevention Week website provides information about identity fraud and how to avoid it.'
Hotmail phish exposes most common passwords (7 October 2009)
We say: 'Your University password gives access to your emails and information about you so it is essential that you use a ‘strong’ password. You should choose a different password for each website. Graham Cluley has provided useful tips for password security in his blog.'
Canada: Facebook fakers prey on students (12 July 2009)
We say: 'All staff and students are warned to be careful what information they put into the public domain through the use of social networking, websites for fans, and technically-oriented development support groups.'
Cyber-security strategy launched (25 June 2009)
We say: 'The government has recognised the growing online threat. Two organisations will be set up: an Office of Cyber Security in the Cabinet Office and a Cyber Security Operations Centre based at GCHQ.'
WHO declares swine flu pandemic (11 June 2009)
We say: 'The World Health Organization has declared a global flu pandemic because the H1N1 virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world. Academic Services plans to continue serving you even if the swine flu outbreak gets worse. The University has provided advice regarding swine flu.'
Why people fall victim to scams (May 2009)
We say: 'Our School of Psychology has done some fascinating work on scams and why more people than you might think do fall for them.'
Telegraph Media Group thanks hackers (10 March 2009)
We say: 'This highlights the fact that it is not safe to register on a number of sites with the same password in case one of the sites is hacked. The suggested method of using three passwords reduces the risk but does not eliminate it.'
Secret terror files left on train (11 June 2008)
We say: 'Although (quite rightly) a lot of emphasis is placed on the security of information on computer devices and electronic storage media (like CDs), we must not forget that a lot of sensitive and personal information is held on paper too. It is incumbent on all of us to label all confidential output as such and to take extra care when dealing with any confidential information.'
A guide to practical encryption across the business (25 March 2008)
We say: 'A useful summary of the role that encryption can currently play in enhancing the security of information on laptops and other mobile devices. More guidance on this important area will follow.'
Memory trick breaks PC encryption (5 March 2008)
We say: 'Although this story does reveal a potential issue with encryption, especially on laptops, this seems to be a largely theoretical risk rather than a serious threat for most users at the University.'