Worm Infects Windows Computers Worldwide

According to news reports, tens of thousands of Windows computers throughout the world have fallen victim to a ransomware worm (a type of computer virus) that encrypts files and documents and then demands a payment for the decryption key.

How the worm spreads is not yet clear but you should be very careful visiting new websites and opening emails.  If your Windows computer is up to date with the latest updates from Microsoft then you are safe from this worm.

Security Alert: Zero-Day Vulnerability in Microsoft Office

What to Know: There is an active zero-day vulnerability that affects all Windows OS (including Windows 10). Opening a Microsoft Word file from an untrusted source can compromise your entire system.

How it Works: When opened, the exploit code makes a connection to a remote server controlled by the attacker. A malicious HTML file is downloaded, disguised as a ".rtf file," and installs malware.

What to Do: 

iOS Upgrades and Two-Factor Authentication

Apple is pushing you to adopt two-factor authentication for your Apple ID when you upgrade the operating system on your iPhone or iPad. During the upgrade process, you see a screen like this:

IT Alert: Internet Privacy Rules and You

We want to make you aware of recent changes in legislation that affect your privacy while you use Internet resources, and how you can protect your privacy as you continue to use these resources. On Monday, April 3, 2017 President Trump signed a bill to remove Internet privacy rules passed during the Obama administration to prevent tracking and sharing of people’s browsing and app activity without permission.

Full Report: Unexpected Service Disruption on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The unexpected service disruption around 5:45pm on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 was caused by the failure of a critical network switch that provides network connectivity within, to, and from the campus. Although the initial failure was caused by one portion of the switch, a restart of the switch revealed a secondary failure within the switch from which the device was unable to recover.

Full Report: Unexpected Service Disruption on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The unexpected service disruption around 5:45pm on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 was caused by the failure of a critical network switch that provides network connectivity within, to, and from the campus. Although the initial failure was caused by one portion of the switch, a restart of the switch revealed a secondary failure within the switch from which the device was unable to recover. At this point, the resiliency of the device was compromised and it was unable to function.

Upgrade Your Macs, iPhones, and iPads

Submitted on Tuesday, 1/24/2017, at 4:25 PM

Apple released updates for many of its products yesterday that address serious security vulnerabilities. Failure to apply these updates leaves your computer, phone, or tablet open to hacking over the Internet.

If you are running the following operating system versions on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, we urge you to download and install the latest updates.

MacOS (Sierra): upgrade to MacOS 10.12.3. If you haven't upgraded your MacOS to Sierra (version 10.12), then you don't need to apply this security update. 

Service Outages on Wednesday December 28, 2016

IT services that depend upon back-end storage arrays are either not functioning or are functioning intermittently due to a problem with those back-end arrays. We are working the problem and apologize for the interruption of essential services such as email, the website, network storage, Moodle, etc.

Amherst IT

updated 12/28/2016 3:30PM

Data Breach at Lynda.com

Lynda.com communicated with serveral users on campus about a data breach the company experienced that might have included information about the Lynda.com training courses a person has taken as well as contact information. This notice concerns Amherst College account holders who access Lynda.com.