UAB IT Provides Critical Guidance to Campus on Appropriate Versions of Internet Explorer, Mac OS, and Java to Mitigate Risks of Exploitation; updates Java recommendation to 1.7.0_55
A significant security vulnerability was discovered in the Internet Explorer web browser over the weekend of April 26th and is being shared in mass media. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to compromise a Windows based computer should the end-user visit a website with appropriate content.
On May 1st, Microsoft released a fix to the IE vulnerability. Users should install this fix immediately. UAB IT will begin pushing this update Thursday afternoon May 1st. If IE is open, you will be required to perform a system reboot in order for the fix to take effect. If IE is closed, no reboot should be necessary. Once the fix has been applied to your system (and IE is open) you will have 24 hours to perform a reboot or your system will automatically reboot.
UAB IT continues to recommend that end-users use a two web browser methodology to limit the risks to the campus.
1. Use an up-to-date version of Internet Explorer for conducting UAB business on university supported web sites.
2. Use a second web browser (such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) with the Java plug-in disabled for any general web surfing and accessing off-campus resources.
• On Windows 7 Install IE 10 and Java 1.7.0_55
UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Internet Explorer and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality to support newer browsers and the currently secure version of Java. Internet Explorer 10 and Java 1.7.0_55 are recommended for installation on Windows 7/8. UAB IT also recommends using a separate browser with JAVA disabled for Internet use. Use IE for on campus with Java enabled and your choice of Firefox or Chrome for Internet browsing with JAVA disabled (for information on disabling Java click here).
• Install OSX 10.9 and Java 1.7.0_55
UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Mac Operating systems and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality that are compatible with the current version of Java. The recommended operating systems for use on Campus are Apple OSX 10.7x and 10.8x. While Apple OSX 10.6x is still supported by Apple, vendors are no longer testing against it for compatibility. Apple operating systems will not run any version lower than Java 1.7.0_51.
UAB IT also recommends using two different browsers — one for surfing the Web and one just for accessing UAB systems. For Internet Web browsing, use one of the following: Firefox Safari, or Chrome, with Java disabled (for information on disabling Java click here). For working with just UAB systems, choose a different browser and enable Java to work in it. If you run into compatibility issues with the local browser and UAB IT systems, use the IT terminal servers to access UAB resources via RDP client (for information on using IT terminal servers on Mac click here).
For more information, contact AskIT (www.uab.edu/askit).
|May 2, 2014
Office of the Chief Information Security Officer
||Suspension of Internet Access for XP Computers/System
||All UAB Faculty and Management
|What is Happening:
||Effective April 8th, Microsoft stopped support for the Windows XP operating system and associated software. Non-support represents a significant vulnerability to UAB and, as a result, the IT Oversight Committee has directed that action be taken to mitigate this vulnerability.
||Mitigation actions include the following steps:
1. XP system owners will be notified via an email that their Internet access will be suspended. Notices will start being sent on Monday May 5th.
2. 7 calendar days after notification, Internet access will be suspended via our IPS/IDS system.
3. After May 31st, all XP systems will be disconnected from the UAB campus network.
4. If an XP system requires campus network and Internet access, an Exception Request must be submitted to the Information Security Office, be adjudicated by the Enterprise Information Security Council, and the system access restored if approved.
|Contact:||For questions call the Enterprise Information Security staff at (205) 975-0842 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Alabama has now been added to a growing list of states with a doctor targeted tax fraud outbreak. Hundreds of physicians in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Michigan, North Carolina, Vermont and Alabama have been impacted.
A bulletin from the North Carolina Medical Society recently said, “The majority of those affected first become aware of it when they receive an IRS 5071C letter advising them of possible fraud. Others are receiving a rejection notification when attempting to electronically file their tax return. It indicates it cannot be submitted because a return has already been filed under that Social Security number.”
Earlier week, the UAB IT Information Security Team received information that a half-dozen physicians associated with a local medical group affiliated with the Children’s Hospital of Alabama have also been victimized as a result of this scheme. We have unconfirmed reports that several UAB physicians may also be impacted.
We are in contact with the local FBI field agent regarding this matter and are asking if you or a physician you know has been affected by this, please contact the UAB Chief Information Security Officer at (205) 975-3117 or by email to email@example.com for additional information.
We believe that the possibility of a data breach or compromise is very low at this time however we recommend that all users take additional steps from an abundance of caution perspective. Those steps include 1) if you have access as an administrator to a system change your password(s) after you have verified that the vendor supporting your system has patched it appropriately, 2) increase your effort to mitigate those vulnerable systems identified on the weekly Nessus vulnerability report available at https://silo.dpo.uab.edu/vulnreport (if you need assistance please call Information Security at 205-975-0482), 3) please ensure that all systems that use SSL encryption services are fully patched, then restart the service on that system, 4) replace all SSL certificates on those systems with one provide free of charge from UAB IT from www.uab.edu/uabcrt (certificates from UAB are vetted, patched and kept up to date), 5) change all privileged account passwords immediately after vendor patches have been applied, and 6) be aware that many network devices and printers have embedded SSL based encrypted web based access portals which should be updated with vendor patches to mitigate this vulnerability.
We also recommend that all users with privileged access change their BlazerID passwords immediately as a precaution to mitigate any possible exfiltration of sensitive data by the OpenSSL vulnerability. And we also recommend that users change their personal passwords which they may use to access personal non-UAB web sites such as on-line banking and others to assist in reducing the possibility of becoming a cybercrime victim.
If you need additional assistance, please call AskIT at (205) 996-5555.
GraphPad Prism Software Subscriptions
|UAB now has an agreement in place with GraphPat for their Prism software at a discounted price to what is available to individual users and schools direclty from GraphPad.
GraphPad Prism is a commercial scientific 2D graphing and statistics software published by GraphPad Software, Inc.. Prism is available for both Windows and Macintosh computers.
- 50 GB of e-mail space, an increase of 49 GB from the current service
- 25 GB of free file storage, an increase of 24 GB from the current service
- Access to Microsoft Office applications from laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices
- A single web interface to access all of the above features
Students who prefer to work offline will be able to download the Office applications and continue using their preferred e-mail clients.
We expect all students to be transitioned to the Office 365 service by June 30, 2014. For more information and how the transition will occur please visit our Office 365 for Students info page.
If you have any questions please contact AskIT.