While Santa was busy spreading holiday cheer and most K-Staters were enjoying a welcomed break, evil grinch hackers were busy trying to rob people of their digital happiness:
- Malicious electronic greeting cards were delivered to e-mail Inboxes.
- Digital picture frames infected with malware were purchased (to their credit, Amazon.com contacted buyers of an infected model).
- More spear phishing e-mail scams that try to trick people into revealing their eID password were received at K-State.
- Parts were stolen from a computer on campus (a lab computer was gutted with little remaining other than the case and the monitor).
- A botnet “command and control” system scanned numerous K-State computers looking for vulnerable systems.
- A computer on campus was compromised by a botnet (probably unrelated to the scan mentioned above).
- Trend Micro OfficeScan security software detected and cleaned 171 instances of malware from K-State computers between Dec. 24-31, 2008.
Obviously the perpetrators of these malevolent acts were naughty this year — maybe they were retaliating because they received coal in their stocking! Nonetheless, it shows that technology and its associated risks touch all aspects of our lives, and that hackers don’t stop during holidays. Don’t let your guard down, even when opening gifts at Christmas.