What Happened in the JP Morgan Chase Breach?

According to news released last Thursday, 76 million household accounts and 7 million small businesses were affected by a breach that occurred earlier this year. JP Morgan Chase is one of the oldest, best-known and largest financial institutions in the world. The cyber attack leaked names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. There is no evidence yet of passwords, sensitive personal information, or account information being stolen.

The bank discovered the intrusion on its servers in mid-August and believes the breach may have begun as early as June, a spokesperson for the bank has said. They have “identified and closed all known access paths.” It is possible the original access point came by getting a password from an employee.

In a post on their website, they told customers there’s no need to change their password or account information. No cards will be reissued.

Because email addresses were accessed by the hackers, beware of any phishing emails; don’t click on links from email addresses you don’t know or links inside messages that look like they might come from Chase or another trusted source, and were received unexpectedly.

Read the full story in the news.

Is Windows Safe from Shellshock?

It appears as time goes on since the Bash vulnerability was first discovered, that Windows users are not necessarily immune to this Linux-targeted bug. According to a security company in Belgium, they discovered a command injection vulnerability for Windows command-line shells that takes advantage of environment variables in a similar fashion to Bash exploits.

According to the information, Windows clients are not able to be exploited remotely (via the Internet). The exploit would have to occur locally, or specifically on Windows Server deployments. Microsoft is not planning to issue a security bulletin, as it does not consider this a security vulnerability.

Read the full story in the news.

MIT Event: Keep IT Safe Table in W20 Lobby

On Tuesday, October 7, 9:00 to 11:00 am, IS&T is hosting the Keep IT Safe table in W20, a new initiative aimed at supporting the MIT community with their secure computing and data protection needs.

Encourage your staff, students and colleagues (and yourself) to come by and grab a free cup of coffee and a donut while perhaps taking away something you didn’t know yet about cyber security.

This event kicks off a series of events to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).

Learn more here.

The ShellShock Bug

A critical vulnerability in bash Unix shell, nicknamed “shellshock” was reported by the security community last week. It is said to be more serious than the Heartbleed vulnerability.

Bash is a command language interpreter and is available on almost all non-Windows systems, including OS X. Especially vulnerable are web servers that are hosting CGI scripts, and certain other network services such as DHCP and FTP, so it’s imperative that bash is patched on these systems.

If you are an IS&T managed-server hosted customer, your systems were patched on 9/24. When doing a scan of the network, IS&T found only a handful of systems vulnerable to the bug, which indicates that maintainers patched their systems quickly.

Please refer to this Knowledge Base article for instructions on patching Red Hat Enterprise and Ubuntu Linux systems: http://kb.mit.edu/confluence/x/7wgrCQ. Note that the patch CVE-2014-7169 is the patch to apply (it supersedes the earlier patch).

Unfortunately, the patches released by the bash scripting team did not fix *all* of the bash problems. See this article on ArsTechnica for more on the situation.

The vulnerability is being actively exploited. It is recommended to be careful of any unusual attachments to emails.

Additional information:

Event on Oct. 7: Free Coffee and Donut with a Slice of Security

Next week Tuesday, October 7, IS&T is hosting a table in W20 from 9:00 until 11:00 am, in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).

Have any security concerns? Want help with securing your computer or smartphone?

IS&T personnel will be on hand to help.

Think you’re pretty savvy when it comes to phishing or other cyber attacks? Test your threat level with our security quiz cards.

And don’t forget to grab a free coffee and donut.

The CryptoWall Attack

A form of ransomware, CryptoWall is one of the viruses trying to hit unpatched machines. Should you fall victim, CryptoWall will encrypt your folders and attempt to extort money from you to decrypt/release them. They ask $750.

Your best defense against this type of virus is having virus detection software, such as Sophos, installed on your machine. Keep all your software, including browsers, up to date with the latest security patches.

CyptoWall Indicators

Cyber Security Awareness Events Coming in October

It’s that time of year again!

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) dedicated to the improvement of your safety when using the Internet.

Here are 3 ways you can participate:

How savvy are you with your knowledge of cyber security risks?
Discover your threat level by attending the “Keep IT Safe” table in W20. Stop by and receive free coffee and donuts.
Tuesday, October 7, 9am – 11am, W20 Lobby

Hear about Tor!
Andrew Lewman, Executive Director of The Tor Project, is coming to MIT. Tor was designed to protect government communications and is used today by many types of people for a wide variety of purposes to improve their privacy and security on the Internet.
Thursday, October 23, 12pm – 1:30pm, 37-252 (Marlar Lounge), RSVP required (email myeaton@mit.edu) to attend and receive a free lunch

Shred IT!
Are you a pack rat? Can’t seem to find the time to get rid of those old hard drives, thumb drives, CDs or digital tapes? Have mountains of old documents that might contain sensitive data but which aren’t needed anymore? Drop them off at the “Shred IT” table in the Stata Center. Paper will be shredded by Cintas, a professional document management company. Electronic media will be collected and disposed of securely with coordination by Distributed IT Resources (DITR).
Friday, October 24, 10am – 2pm, Stata Center Lobby (Building 32)

Spread the word about NCSAM and these events, and we look forward to seeing you there.


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