News

November 13, 2019

We are excited to announce some organizational developments and opportunities to work with us.

Recently ISO underwent a structural reorganization. This new structure allows us to continue to evolve and respond to challenges in the information security space, to streamline operations, and to create additional efficiencies. Vacant positions will be posted shortly to jobs.berkeley.edu and to our website.

November 12, 2019

Even outside the traditional "Holiday" season we find ourselves purchasing items online. And so, it's good to remember online shopping best practices year round. In addition to our holiday shopping tips, here are a few others to keep you safe while online shopping: 

November 11, 2019

The Information Security Office is proud to graduate Ryan Tran, our first Staff Information Security Intern!

We wanted to mark the occasion by talking with him about what he learned while at ISO. 

Oski thumbs up

November 6, 2019

Animals in lights

I love this time of year; the air gets crisp, the leaves start to turn, and I get to wear sweaters all the time. However, the thought of leaving the house to battle the crowds elicits panic level 12. Perhaps that's why online shopping is gaining even more popularity. An estimated 165.8 million people shopped between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday in 2018! [1] 

There will be some changes coming to information security policies at Berkeley brought on by a major update to the UC systemwide information security policy (IS-3). The revision brings sweeping changes to the way information security risk is handled on Campus. 

October 30, 2019

This message, appearing to come from a professor, was successful at convincing several students to engage in back and forth emails ending in money changing hands. If you have received this message and shared correspondence with the scammer, we recommend that you cease correspondence immediately and contact UCPD if there has been any financial transactions.

October 18, 2019

Summary

Two dangerous vulnerabilities have recently been discovered in Kubernetes, the open-source container-orchestration system: 
CVE-2019-16276
CVE-2019-11253

Impact

October 1, 2019

Summary

A vulnerability has been discovered in Exim, which could allow for unauthenticated remote attackers to execute arbitrary system commands on the mail server. Exim is a mail transfer agent used to deploy mail servers on Unix-like systems. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability will enable the attacker to perform command execution as root in the context of the mail server. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

September 27, 2019

Summary

A vulnerability has been discovered in PHP 7.3 (the latest release series) that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code. PHP is a programming language originally designed for use in web-based applications with HTML content. PHP supports a wide variety of platforms and is used by numerous web-based software applications.  [1]

September 6, 2019

Wi-Fi is great. Think about it, you pretty much carry an entire library and a direct line to anywhere in the world in your pocket. Nowadays many businesses offer Wi-Fi for their customers, so you can stay connected even while eating udon or waiting in line for toast.

But! That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Using public Wi-Fi is sort of like doing, well, anything else in public: you want to be safe and not accidentally wander into trouble. Let’s talk about what you can do to protect yourself on Wi-Fi.

Software updates are sort of like exercise: Not everyone thinks about it, but everyone needs it, and they can make a big difference in keeping a system healthy. Let’s take a quick minute to talk about updates.

“Phishing” unfortunately, it's still all the rage. Attackers try to fool you into sending them money (or buying gift cards) or revealing your personal information online. The name comes from the idea of fishing: scammers send a message that acts as bait, hoping to “hook” someone.

The good news is that you have the power to throw these phish back! Let’s take a minute to talk about what you can do to avoid phishing:

How easy is it to shop online? (Rhetorical question there.) It’s so convenient to be able to order anything you like and have it delivered right to your door. Unfortunately, that also means there’s more risk. Scammers and criminals can try to steal your information and money while you shop online.

The good news is that there are some easy things you can do to protect yourself and safely shop online. Let’s take a quick look at some tips: 

(Only those old enough to remember the Wrigley's doublemint gum commercials will get this title.)

“Multi-factor authentication” is a tech industry term for using different types of verification to get into an account. You do this daily with the 2-Step. The idea is that you use multiple things at the same time to really prove that you’re actually you. A password is one example of a factor; a fingerprint is another.

Passwords! What a headache, am I right? Sometimes it seems like that in order to be safe, your password must contain letters, numbers, punctuation, bird noises, and at least one Egyptian hieroglyph.

But the truth is that it’s easier to create a long, strong, safe password than most people think. Let’s take a quick look at a few tips for making a password that will keep your account safe.

September 5, 2019

There are more than four billion people on the internet today, and many of them use social media to communicate. But while social media can be fun and a great way to chat with friends, it can be risky as well. When people share personal information about themselves, they may become targets for scammers and identity thieves.

However, you can take a few simple precautions to keep yourself and your friends and family safe on social media. Here’s how: 

NCSAM Champion Logo

This October, UC Berkeley is once again joining other universities, the National Cyber Security Alliance, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help raise cyber security awareness during National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). 

Your privacy means a lot: not just to you, but to the people you care about. If your private accounts and information are breached, other people could be breached too. That’s why it’s important to maintain your privacy online by making good choices with your privacy settings.

Apps are part of our lives now. Remember that slogan, “There’s an App for That”? Nowadays, it seems like there really is an app for everything — from games to shopping, fitness, beauty, hobbies and more. No wonder that almost 50% of all smartphone users download at least one new app a month.

Just like with any device or program, though, it’s important to choose and use your apps carefully. Some apps may be scams or contain viruses. Here’s what you can do to keep yourself safer:

August 27, 2019

Instead of finding One-Eyed Willy's treasure at the end of an IRS-spoofed email, victims are tricked into clicking malicious links and giving up their treasure.

The IRS recently issued warnings about new email scams where attachers send unsolicited emails to taxpayers from fake IRS email addresses. The email subject line may vary, but recent examples use the phrase "Automatic Income Tax Reminder" or "Electronic Tax Return Reminder."