A few years ago it required extensive knowledge, specialized hardware and software, and a great deal of perseverance to successfully crack a network account. Today there is a plethora of cracking tools available on the Internet that enable novice users to sniff out and crack passwords. Unethical hackers constantly scan the Internet for weak passwords, unsecured servers, and vulnerable software.
Become Familiar with the RisksThe first step to being safe is knowledge. Take the time to become familiar with the dangers that are out there and as well as tips on what you can do to be more secure. Here are some of the more common forms of cyber attack:
Safeguarding Your Devices and Accounts
There are a number of simple things that you can do to be proactive in avoiding cyber attacks. The University has already implemented a number of safeguards to help you in making your devices and accounts secure.
University IT Services now requires all users of the campus network to regularly change their passwords and to use reasonably strong passwords. These include the following:
New faculty and employees will be prompted to change their passwords from the assigned default password on their first login to our network. The default passwords assigned to users are among the more easily cracked passwords, so we are going to ask new employees to immediately change their passwords from the default.
Users’ accounts will be locked after five successive failed login attempts. Cracking software often uses dictionaries of frequently used passwords and keep trying different passwords on each account. Locking accounts after multiple failed login attempts will thwart these kinds of attacks. This may occasionally cause legitimate unsuccessful login attempts to lock an account. If you find you are locked out, contact the Technology Service Desk for assistance.
Outgoing e-mail from the University will be filtered for probable spam. Currently the University only filters inbound e-mail for spam. Outbound spam affects our institutional reputation and can cause delivery failure of legitimate outbound e-mail. University IT Services will closely monitor the outbound spam filters to ensure legitimate e-mail is not inadvertently being filtered. Anyone who manages large e-mail distribution lists should work with University IT Services to ensure their mailings are not inadvertently flagged as spam.