Alerts

Service Outage
13 Dec, '13—10:54 am

We are aware of a problem with Brown IT Ticketing System (Remedy) and are working to identify and resolve the issue.  Functionality that may be impacted by this problem includes: use of Remedy for making requests and reporting incidents and problems for information technology applications and services.

If you experience problems other than the ones mentioned above, or problems with another service, please report them to the Help Desk at (401) 863-4357.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Service Degradation
13 Dec, '13—10:53 am

Software Affected: ArcGIS, Mathematica, Matlab, SPSS, Maple, or SPlus
Save your work often if you plan on using any of the above software on Thursday, 12/5 between 6am and 8am.

Security Alert
12 Dec, '13—12:48 pm

ISG has received reports of emails from "Brown IT Alert" warning recipients that their brown.edu account was "accessed from a blacklisted IP located in Arizona", listing the details, then requesting they click on a link to "allow the new IP monitoring alert system (to) automatically block the suspicious IP from further future compromise."  This is not a legitimate request but a phishing attempt and should be treated as such.  Do NOT click on the link. If you have not already deleted it, mark the email as phishing and then delete it.

Note: The address oitalert@brown.edu has been blocked from being able to send to Brown Gmail addresses.

An example follows:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brown IT Alert
Date: Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Subject: URGENT: BROWN incident where your NET ID was compromised
To: <redacted>@brown.edu

Hello,

Our new IP monitoring alert system that checkmates the increased incidents of phishing attacks and database compromise detected that your "brown.edu" account was accessed from a blacklisted IP located in Arizona. The suspicious login details are shown hereunder:

Access Location: Phoenix, Arizona
IP Address: 23.19.88.141
ISP: Nobis Technology Group, LLC
Host Name: 23.19.88.141.rdns.ubiquity.io
Time of compromise : 10:27 AM, Eastern Standard Time (EST) -0500 UTC
Date of compromise: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Did you access your account from this location? If this wasn't you, your computer might have been infected by a malicious malware code unnoticed. To protect your account from any further compromise, kindly follow these two steps immediately:

1. Follow this ITS secure link below to reconfirm your login details and allow the new IP monitoring alert system automatically block the suspicious IP (23.19.88.141) from further future compromise

<redacted>

2. Scan your PC immediately to remove all malware codes and any other malignant viruses With these two steps taken, your account will be secured.

Serving you better,
ITS and Database Security
Brown University

Security Alert
12 Dec, '13—12:48 pm

The following is a phishing attempt. Please do not click the link and delete the email.

From: "Brown University" <sech@brown.edu>
Date: December 6, 2013 5:12:24 AM EST
To: Recipients <sech@brown.edu>
Subject: Brown University Email Alert [Code: 5841]

Dear User,

The following alert has been posted to your webmail account regarding an unauthorised access to your account:

*Brown University Alert*

Your account has been compromised and used to send unsolicited commercial email (spam).

We implore you to follow our secure https://www.brown.edu to confirm your details to avoid account suspended from our system.

Thank you .

Brown University Technical Service

Service Outage
11 Dec, '13—9:32 am

Canvas will be performing a brief (15-minute) urgent preventative maintenance on Wednesday morning, December 11th, between 2am and 3am. During this maintenance, you will not be able to log in to or use Canvas.

Security Alert
4 Dec, '13—2:26 pm

Beware of an email from updatea67@gmail.com with the subject "Update Your brown University edu Account. " This is a phishing email, attempting to get you to click on the link and/or open the attachment. Do not do either. If you have not already deleted it, mark the email as phishing and then delete it.

Clues that the email is bogus include:

  • It was sent from a non-Brown address.
  • The TO field is blank. 
  • Use of the generic "Dear User!!!" 
  • Grammatical and spelling errors (such as "upgraded and maintain.") 
  • It contains a threat that you will lose services if you do not respond quickly.

An example follows:

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Account update <updatea67@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Subject: Update Your brown University edu Account::
To: 

Dear User!!!

Information Technology Services (ITS) are currently upgrading and
maintaining all e-mail accounts.This will provide you the ability to
store a greatly increased amount of

e-mail correspondence in your e-mail account. Your account has been
identified as one of the accounts which are to be upgraded and
maintain.

Please click the link below and follow the instruction. If you are
unable to click the link copy and paste in on your browser:

Sign in to brown.edu !

webmail brown.edu !User  ID ..............
Password............................................

The new minimum quota level for e-mail accounts will be set to 1000mb.
Warning!!!  Account owner that refuses to upgrade and maintain his or
her account before 24 hours of receiving this warning may lose his or
her account permanently.

Computing Services Help Desk
more information about the service.
Sign.
Helpdesk

Security Alert
4 Dec, '13—2:26 pm

CIS will be conducting a large-scale test of our Disaster Recovery infrastructure on Saturday 11/23 between 5 am and 10 am. During this time, some of our services will be operating from our backup datacenter.

During this test, myAccount and iTunesU will be unavailable, and other services may be unstable.

Security Alert
4 Dec, '13—10:43 am

Beware of an email from secure @ brown.edu sending an "Important Message About Your Brown University Account." This is a phishing email, attempting to get you to click on the link and/or open the attachment. Do not do either. If you have not already deleted it, mark the email as phishing and then delete it.

Clues that the email is bogus include:  use of the generic "Recipients" in the TO field, an empty address line ("Dear ,"), when mousing over the link its address is other than shown, missing punctuation and a suspicious attachment. An example follows:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brown University Account
Date: Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Subject: Important Message About Your Brown University Account
To: Recipients 

Dear,

We regret to inform you that recently we are unable to verify your webmail account with us

We therefore implore you to confirm your webmail details by clicking our secure site link below

https: // www . brown . edu

To avoid permanent webmail account suspension

Thank you.

Brown University

Security Alert
4 Dec, '13—10:43 am

You may have read of a major breach of account at Adobe Systems, which has been called a “very sophisticated hack” resulting in a compromise of over 38 million accounts.  Adobe provides many commonly used applications (including Acrobat, Flash, etc.), and so it may come as no surprise that some Brown users are going to have Adobe accounts that are affected.  We are aware of least 2,200 accounts that were from a Brown address. If you were affected, you should have been contacted by Adobe directly.

The list of exposed email addresses and encrypted passwords was anonymously posted online, presumably by those who hacked the Adobe site.  As a result, multiple hackers are reportedly actively working to decrypt the passwords.  Decrypting a 6-character password can take as little as 3 to 5 minutes, even if it is a "complex" password with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.  Longer passwords take more time to crack but with enough computational power and time, any password shorter than 15 or so characters is probably at risk.

We strongly urge everyone to you to change your Adobe password as soon as possible, whether you have been contacted or not.  In addition, if you used the same password for other accounts (e.g. your Brown or Google password, or your bank account password) you should change those immediately as well.  Reports have surfaced detailing that passwords are already being unencrypted.  Please note that you should never use your Brown password on an external website, and it is never a good practice to use the same password in all of your locations.

Security Alert
4 Dec, '13—10:42 am

This global spam message contains a malicious virus in the attachment.  Code named “Crypto Locker”, it is already considered to be an historically devastating virus because it holds your computer hostage until you pay a fee.  This latest effort is part of a growing area of computer crime known as “ransom ware”.  If the virus is allowed to run on the computer, it encrypts all of the files, attached USB and backup drives, as well as files on department files shares that may be open. A notice appears indicating what has happened, and demanding payment of various amounts between $100-$500 in order to get the key to unlock the data.  Even when paid, it has been reported that the key does not always work.  Evidence indicates that the encryption can not be undone.

The emails arrive in legitimate-looking formats from companies such as Fedex, UPS, and DHL, and contain a zip attachment in the file under the disguise of a PDF.  Please be on a heightened state of awareness for any such messages that may make it to your inbox, and report them as phishing to Google.  We remind you that you should always be aware and cautious of opening any attachments that you receive.  In addition to these two baseline defenses, having a backup of your files in case of such an attack is the only sure way that you do not experience a complete loss. Your DCC or ITSC can discuss backup options available to you.