These are the events that have helped to shape technology as we know it and they all have occurred in July.

July 1: The first Sony Walkman went on sale in Japan. This revolutionized the listening habits across the world.

July 3: The creation of the first computer network. UCLA created a network of the computers that linked together no matter the operating system or make of the computer. This was the first step in creating what became known as the internet.

July 9: Donkey Kong was released in 1981. This was the start of Donkey Kong and Mario, two of the most recognizable video game characters of all time.

July 10: The first International Communications Satellite was launched into space. This was a collaboration between US, Britain, and France to bring in a new world of communication.

July 14: Mariner 4 became the first spacecraft to perform a successful fly-by of Mars in 1965.

July 16: Apollo 11 is launched and becomes the first space mission to land men on the Moon.

July 17: The first photograph of a star was taken at Harvard Observatory in 1850.

July 18: Intel was founded on this day in 1968 in Santa Clara, California.

July 20: Viking 1 landed on Mars in 1976.

July 28: Dell Workstation 400 was introduced for mostly engineering purposes. The average cost was between $3000 and $8000.

 

Do you do your holiday shopping online? There are a few easy ways to protect yourself online whether you are purchasing items for yourself or for the University with your P-Card. Follow the tips below for a safe experience:
1. Shop with reputable merchants. Only purchase from online vendors that you are familiar with, or do some research first. If you are not familiar with an online store, use caution. Just because the website looks professional, it doesn’t mean the vendor is trustworthy or has proper security controls in place. Check an independent source that allows customers to rate their shopping experience with a vendor such as Reseller Ratings. You can also refer to the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints listed. You should also be aware that in some cases, you may be purchasing from an individual rather than business, and your legal recourse may be different in the event of a dispute.

2. Check the merchant’s customer information and return policies. Before ordering, be sure to read the terms of sale, return policies and fees, shipping methods and prices, and guarantees. Make note of vendor’s policies for storing and distributing your personal contact information. If you do not want to be included on mailing lists or have your contact information made available to third parties (spam lists), look for an option on the web site to indicate your preference. Do not provide vendors with sensitive personal information, such as your social security number or bank account numbers. Basic shipping and credit card information is all that should be required to make a purchase.

3. Be sure the transaction is secure. When you are in the checkout process, the web site should be using encryption called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL ensures secure transmission of your credit card information across the internet. You can tell if the web site is using SSL by looking for “https://” (rather than “http://”) at the beginning of the web site’s address in the browser. Another sign is the presence of a padlock symbol in the address bar of the browser. In Internet Explorer, the padlock symbol will appear on secure pages in the address bar, located to the right side of the web address. You can click on the lock symbol to verify the security of the site.

4. Never send credit card numbers via e-mail. Although it is generally safe to enter your credit card number on a secure web site, it is not safe to send it through e-mail. E-mail is sent through the internet in clear text (non-encrypted) format, so it’s possible for someone other than the vendor to see it. Sending a credit card number through e-mail is the equivalent of writing it on a postcard rather than mailing it in an envelope.

5. Keep a record of your transaction. Before you leave the transaction page of the web site, print a copy of the screen and keep it for your records. Check your credit card statements to verify you were charged the proper amount. Also, keep any e-mail confirmations about your order for later reference.

6. Use Identity Finder to protect your data. All FIS-supported computers have a program called Identity Finder installed. It will search your files, e-mails, databases, websites, and web browser data for Social Security numbers, Credit Card numbers, Bank Accounts, Passwords, etc. so you can then take steps to remove the sensitive data from your files. This program is also available for home use by contacting FIS.

7. Keep a record of your transaction. Before you leave the transaction page of the web site, print a copy of the screen and keep it for your records. Check your credit card statements to verify you were charged the proper amount. Also, keep any e-mail confirmations about your order for later reference.

8. Take action if there is a problem. If you do have a problem with an online vendor, first attempt to work it out with them directly. Don’t just rely on e-mail; call them as well. If you cannot resolve the problem to your satisfaction, you should contact your bank and ask them to stop the payment. If that’s not possible, you can use an online service such as SquareTrade to resolve your dispute. You can also file a complaint to the state Attorney General’s Office, who will investigate the case. You should also post your experience on a site like Reseller Ratings so other customers can be warned. While you may also wish to contact the Better Business Bureau, note that they have no authority over the vendor. They will simply accept your complaint and allow the vendor to respond.

 

Secure your home computer to help protect yourself, your family, and our organization!

secure-your-home-network

Get ahead this fall and follow this Digital Spring Cleaning Checklist!!

digital-spring-cleaning-checklist

Take this quiz, Workplace Security Risk Calculator,  to find out if you activities while at work are risky and what you can be doing on the front lines to protect our organization!

top5scamsrnd3

Welcome to FIS’s 5 days of Cyber Security! October is national cyber security month. This is an initiative to help keep our online community safer and all citizens more informed. Over the next 5 days, we will highlight everything from types of scams to a checklist to complete cyber spring cleaning. Follow along with all of our information, videos, and quizzes! We are going to start with basic tips and advice to be safe online. Be sure to watch the YouTube video to gather 3 easy tips to stay safe on the go.


basictipsandadvice_page_1

One of the most common methods that cybercriminals use to gain sensitive information is known as ‘phishing’. Phishing occurs when you receive a message requesting personal information (social security number, email address, birthday, etc.) that appears to come from a reputable source (your bank, business, etc.). Phishing attacks come in different types (spear phishing, whaling, clone phishing, etc.), but the general premise remains the same.

While most phishers are primarily looking to steal your personal information, phishing is also a method used by hackers to install malware onto your computer.

Phishing attacks have become very sophisticated, but they are still vulnerable to a watchful eye and a little common sense. Since your personal data and security are at stake, it is extremely important to know how to identify phishing, and to know what steps to take if you think you are the target of a phishing attack.

How to Identify a Phishing Attack

Inconsistent Email Address

Here’s a typical example of what a phishing email might look like. Take a close look at the sender’s information and email address. In the above example, note that the sender is S-tandard Bank. Also, the email domain “alert-std.co.za” does not match the format at the bottom of the message, “standardbank.co.za.”

phishing1

False Sense of Urgency

Note that the email from “Amazon,” states “***DON’T WAIT! The Link Above Expires on 12/28!” Scammers try to create a false sense of urgency to get you to react quickly and emotionally. Always take a couple extra seconds to really examine what you are reading before clicking any links.

Note again how the email address does not end in “amazon.com.”

phishing2

Questionable Information Requests

Phishing attacks will frequently ask for information that they either don’t need or should already have. As a rule, reputable businesses will never ask for your account name, account number, password, Social Security number, etc. There was a recent phishing scam that appeared to come from the IRS, asking for account information from the victim’s financial institutions. If there’s anyone that doesn’t send emails like this, it’s the IRS.

If You Suspect Phishing

There are a number of steps that you can take if you suspect that a message you have received is a phishing attack.

  1. Verify the identity of the sender. For example, if you receive an email that looks like it’s from PNC Bank, call or email their customer support team to confirm. It’s important not to reply to the email itself, as any links in the message will not point back to a legitimate business entity. If it looks like a friend or coworker sent the message, follow up with them in a separate email (again, do not reply to the original message).
  2. Change any relevant passwords. Changing your password is almost never a bad idea, and having unique passwords for each site/service that you use is a best practice.
  3. Go back to the official source. Try to always directly type the web address of the site you want to access in your browser, instead of clicking on links from emails or social media networks. As mentioned, avoid links in the original message, as they will most likely redirect to a fraudulent site.
  4. Trust your instincts and err on the side of caution. If an email or website doesn’t look or “feel” right, there’s probably a reason.

If you think that your work email has been targeted by a phishing attack, please contact FIS via our Support Portal, or call us at 4-FIS1. If your personal email address has been targeted, please report it to any of the following agencies:

For More Information

For additional background and tips, check out the articles in the FIS Knowledge Base, or read any of the following:

The FBI and Apple are currently locked in a legal battle surrounding the iPhone left behind by one of the San Bernardino mass shooting suspects, Syed Farook. Stay informed with FIS on the timeline, details, and stakes in the world of cybersecurity in this pivotal case.


Browse the Article

Introduction
What Is a Backdoor?
What is the All Writs Act of 1789?
Who Else Has Weighed in on the Issue?
What Might This Mean for Smartphone Users?
Update: iPhone Unlocked without Assistance from Apple


Introduction

The case from which the below letters stem, the San Bernardino shooting in December of 2015, has led Apple and the FBI into an intense legal battle concerning the FBI’s demand that Apple build a “backdoor” into Syed Farook’s iPhone, which was upheld by a federal judge. The phone, according to the FBI, could contain information related to the San Bernardino attack and Farook’s wife, Tafsheen Malik’s pledge to ISIS on Facebook.

On February 16th, Apple CEO Tim Cook posted the following letter on the Apple website stating,

“The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand. This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake. … While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”

Click on the letter below to read more.

On February 21st, FBI Director James Comey posted the following letter on The Lawfare Blog, a blog dedicated to “…that nebulous zone in which actions taken or contemplated to protect the nation interact with the nation’s laws and legal institutions.” The Lawfare Blog is published by the Lawfare Instritue in cooperation with the Brookings Institute.

James Comey writes,

We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That’s it. We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land.”

Click on the letter below to read more.

 


What Is a Backdoor?

Kim Zetter at Wired penned the article Hacker Lexicon: What Is a Backdoor? in December 2014. The quote that follows is a summary of the article that was posted within it:

TL;DR:

A backdoor in software or a computer system is generally an undocumented portal that allows an administrator to enter the system to troubleshoot or do upkeep. But it also refers to a secret portal that hackers and intelligence agencies use to gain illicit access.

In the case of the iPhone, the FBI is requesting that Apple build software that disables the feature that wipes all data from the iPhone after too many incorrect password attempts. In this case, the backdoor that the FBI is requesting falls under the latter half of Zetter’s definition: “A secret portal that hackers and intelligence agencies use to gain illicit access.”

Apple is arguing that in making such a backdoor would compromise the security of all of Apple’s devices, if not more. Tim Cook, Apple CEO states:

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

Conversely, James Comey, Director of the FBI, states:

We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That’s it. We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land.

Thus, one could summarize the FBI vs. Apple legal battle as such: Apple feels the FBI’s request compromises their commitment to encryption and could create a gap in security wide enough to be applicable across devices and accessible to hackers with malicious intent, compromising the personal data (such as photos, financial data, and passwords) of their customers. The FBI states that their intention is to enter one phone, Syed Farook’s, with the hopes of reaching a conclusion regarding the presence of information on the phone that could shed light on the attack and potentially lead to more terrorists, and specifically, members of the group ISIS.


What is the All Writs Act of 1789?

The All Writs Acts of 1789, which was invoked by the federal judge upholding the FBI’s request that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone, is summarized according to Laura Sydell of NPR thusly:

That law, the All Writs Act, is all of two sentences in length. It gives judges the authority to issue any order necessary — within the law — to further litigation before the court. The relative clause says:

“The Supreme Court and all courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.”

A “writ” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “an order or mandatory process in writing issued in the name of the sovereign or of a court or judicial officer commanding the person to whom it is directed to perform or refrain from performing an act specified therein .” Its origin is Middle English, from Old English, with its first known use dating to before the 12th century.

The All Writs Act has been previously used in legal cases involving phones in 1977, in a case involving the FBI and the New York Telephone Company. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the FBI, requiring the New York Telephone Company to install a “pen register,” a device that records calls to and from specific phone numbers, in this case, two numbers that were suspected in an illegal gambling case.


Who Else Has Weighed in on The Issue?

Bill Gates

In an interview with Financial Times, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, has stated,

“This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They’re not asking for some general thing, they’re asking for a particular case…Apple has access to the information, they’re just refusing to provide the access, and the courts will tell them whether to provide the access or not.”

However, in a later interview with Bloomberg, Gates stated that he was “disappointed” with headline that stated he sided with the FBI in the case but that he does “…believe that with the right safeguards there are cases where the government, on our behalf — like stopping terrorism, which could get worse in the future — that that is valuable” and that “These issues will be decided in Congress.”

Microsoft

Microsoft as a company began their involvement in the FBI vs. Apple legal battle by offering only mild support to Apple, stating on February 18th:

Reform Government Surveillance companies believe it is extremely important to deter terrorists and criminals and to help law enforcement by processing legal orders for information in order to keep us all safe. But technology companies should not be required to build backdoors to the technologies that keep their users’ information secure. RGS companies remain committed to providing law enforcement with the help it needs while protecting the security of their customers and their customers’ information.”

As of February 25th, however, according to Chris Welch at The Verge:

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith has announced, “We at Microsoft support Apple and will be filing an amicus brief next week.” An amicus brief is a “friend of the court” filing that allows parties not directly involved in the case to weigh in.

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued this formal statement regarding the FBI and Apple’s current case:

“We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe. When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”

Edward Snowden

Former NSA contractor and current director at Freedom of the Press tweeted:

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey


What Might This Mean for Smartphone Users?

Some parties, such as Edward Snowden, given his statement above and others on Twitter, suggest that the real goal of the FBI is to expand surveillance on phones and online correspondence, using the rhetoric of stopping terrorism and terrorists to achieve this goal.

Additionally, the use of the All Writs Acts is under scrutiny for its age, with opponents questioning whether a law in created in 1789 can apply to the iPhone and cybersecurity. Pundits also suggest that if the FBI succeeds in requiring Apple to construct the backdoor at the federal or Supreme Court level, then other world powers’ governments could do the same, at the advantage or expense of citizens.

Finally, while it can be argued that common people do not have much control in the actual legal proceedings between the FBI and Apple, it can be argued that Apple stands to lose thousands of customers if the FBI succeeds in their case against Apple. In a democratic system such as the United States, the people do have some level of social power in the form of free speech and the rights to assemble and support or protest either Apple or the FBI. It is important to consider government dialogue as well as multinational business goals when considering whether or not to support a specific side of the argument: Apple and their supporters or the FBI and their supporters. At the same, it’s important to stay mindful of your rights and responsibilities as a consumer and citizen of the American political and technological worlds.


Update: iPhone Unlocked without Assistance from Apple

In a statement from the Justice Department on Monday, March 28th, the FBI has dropped their case against Apple seeking to unlock the final remaining iPhone in the San Bernardino mass-shooting. The decision to drop the case seems to be linked with U.S. law enforcement’s claim that the iPhone has been unlocked without assistance from Apple, but with help from an undisclosed company outside of the FBI.

If the iPhone has been unlocked, some are now worried about the overall security of the iPhone and are interested in learning the process used to unlock the iPhone in question. Apple’s lawyers have expressed public interest in this information with the intent of strengthening the overall security of the iPhone. However, the government could choose to classify the information, barring Apple and others from accessing it.

No information regarding the contents of the iPhone has been released. Meanwhile, the possibility of not finding relevant information is still a potential.

Both Apple and the FBI have stated that they will continue working towards their goals, Apple regarding securing users’ data from interpersonal and governmental attacks, and the FBI regarding their ability to “obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety” with or without “cooperation from relevant parties.”

Source: U.S. Says It Has Unlocked iPhone Without Apple

For smartphone users, storage limits can be quickly and easily reached, especially the longer you own a specific device. To control this, consider making some of these tips, as profiled by Mashable, part of your smartphone routine.

Determine Your Storage Capacity

A helpful first step in reclaiming your smartphone’s storage space is assessing your phone’s storage and what kind of files and data are occupying the most space on your device:

iOS through iPhone:

To view where you’re using most of your storage, go to the Settings app, then choose General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. You’ll see how much you’ve used, how much space is available and what apps is taking up the most space. Remember, your operating system and updates will take up space as well.

After you have identified the types files and data that are occupying the most space on your device, you can begin to clear space on your smartphone.

iphonesettings1 (2)

iOS through iTunes:

Open iTunes on your personal computer and connect your device. Select your device and hover your cursor over a content type, such as Audio or Photos, to view the amount of space it takes up in relation to how much space is on your device overall. After you have identified the types files and data that are occupying the most space on your device, you can begin to clear space on your smartphone.

iOS Storage

Android through your Mobile Phone:

Go to Settings > General > Storage to have your phone calculate the amount of space used by Apps, Downloads, and Audio in relation to overall space on your device.

After you have identified the types files and data that are occupying the most space on your device, you can begin to clear space on your smartphone.

Android Storage

Time to Clean Up

Delete Old or Unused Apps: Do you still have last year’s viral game or app downloaded on your phone? Has it gone untouched for months? If so, it’s time to clean out your applications. Similarly, if you have multiple apps that have the same function, such as photo editing apps, pare them down to one to two depending on your needs.

To delete an app on iPhone, long press on an app’s icon until all your apps start to shake. Then, tap the X in the corner of any app you want to delete. If there isn’t an X, that means it’s a native app and you can’t delete it. In this mode, you can also move your apps around. To exit this mode, press the home button and your apps will stop shaking.

To delete an app on Android, go to the app drawer and long press an app’s icon and drag it to the “uninstall” message that appears after the long press. (If this app has a shortcut on the home screen, dragging it to “remove” will only remove it from the home screen instead of uninstalling it from the device. Similarly to iPhone, if the “uninstall” option does not appear, the app is native to your device and cannot be uninstalled from your phone.

Delete duplicate photos, videos, screenshots, or downloads.

Move videos, photos, and screenshots to more permanent spaces such as your personal computer or a cloud service for those with files taking up the majority of space on their device.

  • Moving your files to a personal computer or cloud service has the added benefit of effectively backing up files formerly only found on your phone.
  • iCloud, Box, Flickr, Microsoft One Drive, Google, and Amazon are cloud options that could meet this need. Consider security, ease of use and price when choosing a cloud option on which to back up your files.

Change Your Usage Habits

Consider the types files and data that occupied the most space on your device:

If music was an issue, consider switching from downloading and storing music locally on your device to using a streaming service or joining a music subscription service. Some such services include Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and SoundCloud.

While these apps and services can alleviate storage issues, they may not offer offline streaming of tracks and if they do, it may impact your device’s storage.

If photos and video were an issue, ensure that 4K video recording, if possible on your device, is not a default setting. 4K video files are much larger than HD and full HD video files and are unviewable unless shown on a 4K TV or computer monitor.

If you are an Android user, consider using a mircoSD card to move files from internal storage to the microSD card.

Removable memory cards allow users to expand internal storage and offload files. If your Android phone does not include a file manager to move files form internal to microSD card storage (and vice versa), Mashable recommends the free file managers ES File Manager or File Manger.

iPhone, however, is not eligible for this storage tip as they do not have microSD card slots.


Archives