Computer security on college campuses has unique challenges:
- the availability of high speed campus computer networks
- an abundance of sensitive data
- computer users with varying expertise sharing the network
- a variety of operating systems at different service pack levels
- computers online when not in use
The current state of computing adds these concerns:
- Complex desktop operating systems with unnecessary services enabled.
- Peer-to-peer file sharing programs with insecure default configurations.
- Ad-ware and Spyware distributed and installed with popular file sharing programs.
Adware detects the subject of the page you are viewing so it can send you targeted advertising.
- Spyware tracks all your browsing habits and sends this personal information to a marketing server.
- These parasite programs use your computer's processing power and slow your computer's performance.
- Keyloggers - programs that can track your every keystroke, capture your usename, password or PIN and use it later to compromise your privacy.
- Increased incidence of security holes as malicious users create and share exploits to break into systems.
- "Spoofed" Websites - users are directed by e-mail to what appears to be a legitimate website, but in reality
is a copy-cat “spoofed” website created to steal your login information. Some phishers have even created spoofed websites which
appear to have the security "padlock" icon in the browser status bar.
- Trojans - code entering computers through applications or data files the user downloads or opens. It allows a remote user access to your computer.
- Viruses - code appearing as e-mail attachments. It may infect files, prohibit normal functioning, or send out personal data from your computer.
- Worms - code that replicates itself over the computer network, infecting more computers and consuming system resources.
These issues contribute to making computers - especially those on college campuses - targets and easy prey for hackers and malware.
For a list of Headline News and Alerts, along with excellent Cyber Security Tips from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT),
see UD Security Home.