Tag Archives: cybersecurity

NSF-funded project to focus on improving security, privacy of smart homes

By | June 29, 2020

Although there are many benefits to the smart internet of things (IoT), like being able to ask a speaker questions and receive immediate answers, security and privacy for these devices remain a challenge.  To address this, a team of researchers from seven universities will work together on a national research project on the life cycle of security, privacy,… Read More »

That text message might be a scam

You know to be wary of phishing emails and phone scams, but did you know that crooks also send text messages to steal your identity and money? These scams, called “smishing”—the word comes from SMS + phishing—appear to be increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Warning signs Consider any unexpected text message from an unknown number suspect. Smishes may… Read More »

Write emails that don’t look phishy

Given the current infodemic related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is harder than ever to get your important university information through to the people who need it. People are rightfully suspicious of unsolicited email, but that can sometimes cause them to ignore or delete your important, legitimate communications. Focus on helping recipients verify the legitimacy of your U-M… Read More »

Vulnerability scans now monthly, adding internal scans

To better help you secure your unit networks, ITS Information Assurance (IA) is increasing the frequency of its universitywide scans and adding internal network scanning. As of May, universitywide vulnerability scans are now performed monthly instead of quarterly. The monthly scans will be similar to previous quarterly scans. The software begins by performing a TCP and UDP probe… Read More »

Why we adopt then abandon online safety practices

By | April 28, 2020

To find out why people adopt and then sometimes abandon online safety measures, researchers from the School of Information surveyed more than 900 people about their use of 30 commonly recommended practices to guard against security, privacy, and identity theft risks. The team found that security practices like avoiding clicking on unknown links or emails were much more… Read More »

Probing tech’s soft underbelly

By | April 27, 2020

On any given day in Kevin Fu’s laboratory at the College of Engineering research investigators might use an antenna to fool the lab’s sensor into giving a false temperature readings or a laser light beam to inject false voice commands in a voice-controlled assistant from a distance of 300 feet. Unlike many cybersecurity troubleshooters, Fu is not looking… Read More »

New Safe Computing resources promote remote IT security

ITS Information Assurance has rapidly developed a number of new Safe Computing resources to help you practice and promote good IT security and privacy practices in this new normal: New on Safe Computing and in IT Security at U-M. New resources covering videoconferencing security and privacy, coronavirus scams, how to prevent Zoombombing, new videos, new entries in the… Read More »

Fraud alert: Tax season extension, coronavirus stimulus payments

Watch for tax fraud during extended tax season With tax filing deadlines extended from April 15 to July 15, the risk of tax fraud is extended as well. Be alert for fraudulent phone calls and emails from scammers pretending to represent the IRS. See Safe Computing: Beware of Tax Fraud for examples and more information. Watch for scams… Read More »

New video: How to report IT security incidents

It is vital that you report actual or suspected IT security incidents as soon as possible so that work can begin to investigate and resolve them. This applies even when you are working from home. A new ITS Information Assurance (IA) video tells you where to report them (security@umich.edu), and describes how IA responds. For more detail about… Read More »

Work securely while working remotely 

Across the world, working from home has become a necessity. When you are working from home, follow IT security best practices to protect yourself and U-M: Secure your computer, smartphone, and other devices. Secure your connections to protect data you send and receive. Beware of phishing, scams, fraud, and other tricks and traps. Protect sensitive U-M data by… Read More »

Florian Schaub earns Google Award to improve phishing protections

By | March 9, 2020

A newly announced Google Faculty Research award will fund a research project on developing better phishing warnings co-led by School of Information assistant professor Florian Schaub. Phishing attacks trick victims into clicking malicious email links to get them to disclose sensitive information such as personal data and passwords, or install malware. Building on prior work, Schaub says this project… Read More »

Data protection course for use in your unit

How can you help people in your unit become aware of their basic data protection responsibilities? Encourage them to take this new, university-focused online course from ITS Information Assurance: DCE101 U-M Data Protection and Responsible Use (in My LINC). The completely new course provides practical guidance and best practices. It replaces what used to be called “DCE101: Access… Read More »

Halderman honored for public engagement efforts

By | February 6, 2020

J. Alex Halderman, director of the Center for Computer Security and Society in the College of Engineering, will receive the President’s Award for National and State Leadership, which honors individuals who provide sustained, dedicated, and influential leadership and service in major national or state capacities. Halderman, professor of computer science and engineering, focuses his research on computer security… Read More »

U-M receives grant to develop secure, high-capacity research network

Several University of Michigan units have received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure for a project that will enhance the university’s network security and assist the needs of its research community. NetBASILISK — short for Network Border At Scale Integrating and Leveraging Individual Security Components — is a collaborative effort that… Read More »

Not using Bluetooth or AirDrop? Turn them off!

Turn off Bluetooth and other connections when you aren’t using them, and limit access to your devices via Mac/iOS AirDrop. This helps you save your battery charge and protects you from unwanted material. Subway riders in New York City, for example, have reported receiving unsolicited nude images over open AirDrop connections. Members of the U-M community have reported… Read More »

Voters fail mock election, exposing voting machine flaws

By | January 8, 2020

Many voters across the country will cast ballots this year on machines called ballot-marking devices (BMDs), which combine the convenience of touchscreen technology with an auditable paper trail. However, the system relies on voters to identify errors. That could be a problem according to a U-M report published in early January. According to the study, only 6.6% of… Read More »

New IoT devices for the holidays? Mind your privacy & security!

Are you getting or giving new Internet of Things (IoT) devices—things like smart home assistants, smart appliances, gaming systems, and wearable watches and trackers—this holiday season? If so, follow and share these basic privacy and security precautions: Change the default password for the device. Set a unique password for each device. Disable features you don’t use. Change default… Read More »

How Let’s Encrypt doubled the percentage of secure websites

By | November 19, 2019

The percentage of websites protected with HTTPS secure encryption—indicated by the lock icon in the address bar of most browsers—has jumped from just over 40% in 2016 to 80% today. That’s largely due to the efforts of Let’s Encrypt, a nonprofit certificate authority co-founded in 2013 by J. Alex Halderman, a U-M professor of computer science and engineering.… Read More »

SUMIT_2019 recap: AI & cameras, art, and Apple watches

SUMIT_2019 brought together more than 430 people from the university and across southeast Michigan on October 29 to explore diverse topics in privacy and IT security. The presenters shared their work and insights on the socio-technical aspects of AI and cameras, art that explores privacy and security challenged as a result of living in our modern networked world,… Read More »