News

January 5, 2018

Summary

A team of security researchers disclosed several software analysis methods that, when used for malicious purposes, have the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from many types of computing devices with many different vendors’ processors and operating systems. 

Systems with microprocessors utilizing speculative execution and indirect branch prediction may allow unauthorized disclosure of information to an attacker with local user access via a side-channel analysis. [1]

December 4, 2017

The Network Operations and Services team and the Information Security and Policy group are implementing bSecure, a new firewall and information security service for campus. This service will replace the existing Cisco ASA-based Data Center and Campus Departmental Firewall services.

November 29, 2017

Summary

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in PHP, the most severe of which could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.  Successfully exploiting the most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow for arbitrary code execution in the context of the affected application.  [1]

October 18, 2017

Summary

The Oracle Critical Patch Update for October, 2017, contains an unusually high number of patches for vulnerabilities that may be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e., may be exploited over a network without requiring user credentials.

October 17, 2017

Researchers have discovered serious weaknesses in WPA2, a protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks.  This includes everything from computers, tablets, phones, home wireless routers and any device that supports WPA2 over Wi-Fi.

While details are still emerging, not all vendors have released patches as of yet.  So, in some cases, there will be little users can do until patches are released.   An attacker needs to be in range of an access-point to leverage this attack.  

September 6, 2017

Summary

A critical vulnerability has been discovered in the Apache Struts web application framework for Java web applications. A remote code execution attack is possible when using the Apache Struts REST plugin with XStream handler to deserialise XML requests. [1]

Impact

Attackers can execute arbitrary code remotely by exploiting this vulnerability.

July 17, 2017

The bSecure team invites you to join us for a series of Town Hall events this month. All are welcome and existing Campus firewall customers are strongly encouraged to attend.

What?

The purpose of these Town Hall events is to introduce Campus to the bSecure project and its team. Topics will include:

June 14, 2017

Summary

A remote code execution vulnerability exists when Windows Search handles objects in memory.  This can be exploited by an attacker sending a specially crafted SMB message to the Windows Search service. [4]

Due to recent nation-state activity and the elevated risk of potential cyber attacks, Microsoft has released security updates for older unsupported versions of Windows for this issue as well as other high-severity fixes in the June patch release. [1]

June 1, 2017

bSecure is the new initiative from the Network Operations & Services and Information Security & Policy teams to replace legacy firewalls and VPN, and provide proactive security technologies to Campus.

You can access all bSecure project information at http://bsecure.berkeley.edu or https://security.berkeley.edu/projects/bsecure.

May 25, 2017

Summary

The samba team has released a patch for a Remote Code Execution bug that affects all versions between 3.5.0 and 4.6.3/4.5.9/4.4.13. This vulnerability will allow a malicious attacker to upload a library to a writable share then cause the server to execute that library. [1] Patches are available from the samba.org. [2]

May 3, 2017

What appears to be a wide-spread Internet worm hit the campus in the form of a phishing email message. The message slipped through normal spam filters as the worm virus spread to email accounts in the "berkeley.edu" domain.

To the campus community,

April 13, 2017

This message, appearing to come from the HR department, was successful at convincing several campus recipients to click on the link provided and enter their Calnet credentials. The link was directed to a fake Calnet login page, the account name and password entered on this page would be compromised.

April 1, 2017

This phishing message was received by students across campus, purporting that the student's library account has expired. The Library does not issue emails concerning inactive accounts.

March 9, 2017

Summary

A critical vulnerability has been discovered and released in the Apache Struts 2 framework. Patches are available from Apache. [1]

Impact

This vulnerability allows for unauthenticated, remote code execution on the server. Further, there are at least two known public exploits for this vulnerability [2] and ISP has already started to see scanning and exploit attempts against campus systems.

February 3, 2017

Summary

WordPress has fixed several critical flaws in its content management system, addressing cross-site scripting and sql injection bugs, along with a severe privilege escalation / content injection vulnerability. [1]

January 30, 2017

A recent spate of phishing messages have been received on campus purporting to be Dropbox notifications. The link in the email message to "View File" is a ruse to capture CalNet passphrase credentials.

January 25, 2017

A targeted phishing message was received on campus appearing as an expiration notice for access to bCourses. The message attempted to trick recipients to login with CalNet credentials to prevent access expiration

January 24, 2017

As tax season begins, W-2 wage statements have already begun to be made available online this week.  Last year, several convincing phishing messages were crafted by tax scammers and sent to Campus to trick victims into divulging personal information for criminal purposes.

These fraudsters use your stolen credentials and tax documents to commit identity theft, and file a fraudulent tax return with the IRS in order to collect a refund using your identity.

This was the first tax season related phishing message reported on campus this year. Beware of phishing messages containing fake instructions for downloading your W2 form.