How Do You Like Your Phish?

Phishing remains an ever popular way to get computer users to install malicious code or visit sites that they didn’t choose.  Many of the phishing attempts here at Swarthmore seem to fall into one of two categories: –          Email account and/or password related –          Government related (i.e., IRS, Federal Reserve, ACH, etc.) It should be pretty easy to recognize the first category since Swarthmore ITS will never ask for your password in an email and will never disable your email account while actively enrolled at or employed by the college. As for emails that appear to come from the U.S. … Continue reading How Do You Like Your Phish?

Critical Security Updates for Adobe Products

Adobe has released software fixes for a number of “critical” security holes in the following products: Adobe Shockwave Player Flash Media Server Adobe Flash Player Photoshop Robohelp At a minimum, many of us use the Flash and Shockwave players.  If you use any of the Adobe products listed above, at home or at work, you should update them as soon as you can.  This includes Windows, Mac and even Android platforms. For a quick glimpse of Adobe products on your computer that may need updating (along with other applications) and the easiest way to update them, you can go to … Continue reading Critical Security Updates for Adobe Products

Update Your Browser.. Save Your Computer!

Out of date browser software is a great way to install malware on your computer.  A simple way to help avoid computer “infections” while surfing the web is by keeping your browser up to date (note: this is one of the most common ways that Macs get infected). At the time of this writing, the following are the latest browser versions: Firefox 3.6.17 or 4.0.1 5.0.1 (you should strongly consider upgrading to 5.0.1 unless there’s a specific application you use that requires 3.6.x) Safari  5.0.5 Chrome 12.0.742.100 Opera 11.11 Updates for Internet Explorer are bundled in Windows Automatic Updates.  So, … Continue reading Update Your Browser.. Save Your Computer!

Apple & Other Critical Software Updates

Earlier in the week, Apple announced a number of security updates for multiple software products including Leopard, Snow Leopard, iOS, Safari, etc.  Approximately 56 security vulnerabilities were patched in OS X and 45 are considered critical since Apple states that they can provide “arbitrary code execution” (i.e., someone else running software on your Mac without your knowledge/consent). Please take a moment to run “Software Update” on your Mac and install the available patches as soon as you can. In addition to Apple, Firefox and Adobe (Flash, Reader and Acrobat) also announced the availability of critical software patches.  Firefox and Adobe … Continue reading Apple & Other Critical Software Updates

Freshen up your Java!

Ok, I’m not talking about coffee but rather the software that permeates most of our computers.  Sun’s (now Oracle’s) Java is ubiquitous in today’s computing environment.  Unfortunately, as is often the case with widely installed software, it is a major target for attackers and malware writers.  Add to this the fact that Java often has numerous security holes and you’ve got a formula for mass infection.  (Frankly, Java makes it very difficult to keep a computer secure.) What can you do to help the situation? 1) Make sure you’re always running the latest version.  You can find what version you’re … Continue reading Freshen up your Java!