Security

Security

With so many computer threats flowing across the web, we have provided some information to help you distinguish the difference and applications to help keep your computer safe.

The Information Technology only removes computer threats from UCA owned computers and devices.

Sophos Anti-Virus
Sophos Anti-virus is UCA’s anti-virus protection application. The application is available for faculty and staff. The application is available for students who has their residence on the UCA campus.

Sophos Anti-Virus

The Information Technology offers training sessions for Sophos Anti-Virus and Spyware training. If you are interested in attending a class and learning what Sophos Anti-Virus and Spyware has to offer, please feel free to sign up.

 

Spam
The SPAM filtering system tags email it identifies as SPAM. A tag is a text label that will be attached to the beginning of the subject line of a message that the system has identified as SPAM. You will still receive the email, but the tag will allow you to act upon it in an automatic manner.For example, here is the subject line of SPAM email…

  • Can you stay thin by sleeping more?

If this email was identified as Spam in the filter it would appear like this instead…

  • [UCA-SPAM] Can you stay thin by sleeping more?

You can then use your client filtering rules to automatically act on messages with the [UCA-SPAM] tag. Below are instructions on how to set up such a rule. Since the final disposition of the SPAM message is determined by your own rule, you can dispose of it immediately, filter it to your junk mail folder for later review, or do nothing with it at all.

Set up a filtering rule for the [UCA-SPAM] tag using the Windows client
Set up a filtering rule for the [UCA-SPAM] tag using the Web interface client.

The filtering system also checks a blacklist of known spammer domains and drops messages from these senders. The blacklist is maintained by a third party service and is constantly updated.

 

Spyware
Is your computer under investigation? It may be if you have Spyware installed on it. Spyware is a potentially dangerous type of software because it can record your keystrokes, history, passwords, and other confidential and private information. Spyware is often gets installed covertly by riding on the back of another seemingly benign application. It is also often sold as a spouse monitor, child monitor, a surveillance tool or simply as a tool to spy on users to gain unauthorized access.Spyware covertly gathers user information and activity without your knowledge. Spy software can record your keystrokes as you type them, passwords, credit card numbers, sensitive information, where you surf, chat logs, and can even take random screenshots of your activity. Basically whatever you do on the computer is completely viewable by the spy. You do not have to be connected to the Internet to be spied upon.Some permutations of Spyware include the use of routines to mail out user activity via e-mail or posting information to the web where the spy can view it at their leisure. Also many spyware vendors use stealth routines and polymorphic (meaning to change) techniques to avoid detection and removal by popular anti-spy software. In some cases spyware, known as a retrospy, will counter-attack anti-spy packages by attempting to disable the program. In addition they may use routines to re-install the spyware application after it has been detected.The most invasive type of spyware is installed on your computer by the user although usually unknowingly. Website cookies that collect information are automatically placed on your system depending on your web browser’s security settings.A good general rule to follow is to not install software on your computer that is not required to perform your job functions.It is possible to remove spyware. Two applications the Information Technology Department staff has used successfully in removing spyware are SpyBot and AdAware.

You can find these applications here:
SpyBot: http://www.safer-networking.org/
AdAware: http://www.lavasoft.com/

Spyware Removal Programs
Ad-Aware Plus Free Antivirus +
Malwarebytes
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2013

 

Viruses
Virus hoaxes
There are a number of real virus threats, but there are also a number of computer virus hoaxes. These hoaxes normally appear in the form of an alarming email message describing the terrible results of receiving an email message virus, and instructs the reader to forward the warning to as many people as possible. The actual problem is the generation of massive amounts of email by persons who follow the instructions and forward the message to as many people as they know.The staff of the Information Technology department remains as up to date as possible on the various virus threats that are prevalent and take the necessary measures to safeguard against our network being affected. There is no need to forward email virus warnings. If you receive such a warning, you can contact Information Technology Departmentor check these sites listed below which keep up with the various popular virus hoaxes.

Virus Information
General information about the cause and effects of viruses as well as detailed info about specific viruses and what they do.

VBS Scripts
Most of the email spread viruses are of the visual basic scripting (VBS) variety. A virus of this type works by executing a VBS script that performs malicious activity on your computer. You can avoid VBS script viruses by…

  1. …not using the Microsoft Outlook email client – While VBS scripts can run in various Microsoft applications like Word, the VBS email viruses are primarily targeted at the Microsoft Outlook email client.
  2. …removing visual basic scripting from your computer
    • Select Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs
    • Remove “windows Scripting Host” of that appears in the list of installed software
  3. …NOT opening unknown email attachments. If you were not expecting an attachment, then don’t open it.

 

Phishing
What is Phishing? (Wikipedia)
In computing, phishing is a form of social engineering, characterized by attempts to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business in an apparently official electronic communication, such as an email or an instant message. The term phishing arises from the use of increasingly sophisticated lures to “fish” for users’ financial information and passwords.The attempts can be very deceiving. You may receive an email that “appears” to be from a reputable company such as E-Bay or PayPal saying click here to respond to this message or click here to update your account information. You may also recieve something that is a bit more suspicious such as “You have just won a 6 day/7 nights European Vacation.” In reality, these emails just want you to go to a website and enter in personal information so that the people who sent you such messages can either steal your identity or gain access to your accounts for use in fraudulent activities.Do you have any Examples of Phishing?
Yes, examples involve a PayPal scheme and a SouthTrust Bank Scheme.

PayPal Phish – In this phishing scheme the targeted user is sent an email saying that PayPal has (“no choice but to temporarily suspend your account”), the wording in and of itself is a clue that this is a fraudulent email message. Also, below the link that says “Click here to verify your account,” an ip address is visible that should not be there.

SouthTrust Bank – In this phishing scheme the targeted user is sent an email saying that they are upgrading their system and that you need to go to a specific website to verify your personal informationTake time to examine messages and learn how to Identify Phishing Schemes. As they say, Knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have about phishing schemes the better you will be at identifying potentially fraudulent emails.

Where Can I go to find more information?