It is always an immense relief to wake up to the dulcet tones of the Radio 4 Today Programme on a Friday to hear, after you have finished shouting at the annoying aggressive interview technique of Humphries, Webb and Husain, a juicy titbit of security breach news which you can recycle (obviously with added va-va-voom) or at the very least use to kick off your weekly blog.
This morning did not disappoint. A government funded agency called JISC (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee, see what they did there), has analysed 850 attacks against Universities and Colleges, and from the timing (we are just guessing that the majority occurred in term time at lunch and tea), has concluded that most were not down to foreign powers (Boris et al., if they could take time off from visiting West Country Cathedrals), or sinister super-villains (mwahahaha). Oh no! Can you guess what they deduced?
Yes, you are right. It appears that these attacks are largely down to students and disgruntled staff, of which there is no shortage.
Step aside Mr Holmes, Dr John Chapman has got this. Government money well spent!
Joking aside, this is the sort of ammunition that beleaguered, maligned and misunderstood IT people who work in academia (for the benefit of students) need in order to get approval for sensible security architecture both on campus and at the edges. We wish them all well (especially the ones we know and love).
Two other items, which cannot go without mention:
The first is about this month’s Patch Tuesday. Both Microsoft and Adobe have released numerous critical patches (Blue corner 17, Red corner 9). You shouldn’t need us to advise you to get patching!
The second is the news that Apple has been taking apps off the App Store for stealing user’s data without permission.
One of these apps is the £4.99 anti-adware tool ‘Adware Doctor:Anti Malware &Ad’, which is authored in China (surprise!), by someone with the name of a notorious serial killer: Zhang Yongming reversed. Who says the Chinese don’t have a sense of humour? Not us!
This software is offing user’s browser data back to China. Since it was the number one adware app, you may have it. If you do, delete it.
Somewhat bizarrely, the second set of apps to be given the bullet of the sacred orchard is software from Trend Micro. Now we haven’t worked much with Trend, although the name has cropped up for what would seem like forever (really, forever) and it is somewhat relieving to actually know what it is they do.
If you are a Trend customer, Monday might be time to place ‘that’ call to your Account Manager. We would love to know the outcome.
As you all know, we have been busy building our cyber consultancy practice and our sharp and eager team are available to help you assess your cyber security posture and get things moving. Please do contact us at: [email protected] or call 020 7517 3900.
In the meantime, have a great weekend and do your best to ignore the highly irritating Christmas marketing that has started turning up in hostelries everywhere. Too soon. Much too soon.