At the present moment, Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) is slightly embarrassed to be dealing with a leak involving the personal records of 45,000 members of the Cornell community. Just slightly. Sadly, the pattern of how this breach happened is a common one seen in similar leaks. Some employee downloads highly sensitive data to an unsecured […]
The ubiquitous use of social networking often makes students wonder if private information stored on faraway servers passes in front of more eyes than originally intended.
Although privacy — especially on the network —seems to be in easy danger of infringement, Cornell Information Technologies maintains that the University’s central information technology organization strictly protects student privacy.
“It could be argued that among all the constituents in the Cornell community, faculty, staff and students, students enjoy the highest degree of privacy because of the protection of education records under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act,” said Tracy Mitrano, director of I.T. Policy.
Cornell Information Technologies is in the midst of an overhaul of the University e-mail system that will increase storage quotas, speed and amenities for students and faculty. The project, called Ensemble, will enable faculty and staff to use such programs as Microsoft Outlook and Entourage. Students’ e-mails will be provided through third-party vendors.
“We’re talking with Google and Microsoft, but we don’t have contracts yet,” Ricky MacDonald ’71, director of systems and operations for CIT, said of the student e-mail accounts. “Our intention is that all students will be provided with accounts on both services. We would like students to have the option to use either.”
More than 1,000 Windows computers at Cornell fell victim to a widespread “bot” infection, the Cornell Information Technologies Security Office announced Friday evening through a University-wide e-mail alert.
A bot is a piece of malicious software, or “malware,” that can automatically perform various tasks that may range from downloading more malware to stealing passwords to attacking non-Cornell internet websites or servers.
None of the infected computers have shown observable change that can be seen by the user, according to Wyman Miles, manager of security engineering at the CIT security office. He explained that the lack of symptoms was probably a “deliberate attempt by the malware authors to conceal an infection for as long as possible.”
On June 1, Cornell Information Technologies changed Cornell students’ Internet access. Now, every student’s Internet traffic, whether it be through ResNet or Red Rover, is monitored and recorded by NetID. Students are subject to a 10 Gigabyte network usage cap per semester. The old policy did not monitor internet access through RedRover and used a 5 Gigabyte cap.
A known computer “bug” in Cornell’s e-mail servers triggered an unexpected and widespread e-mail outage last week that left many users of the University’s email services unable to send or receive e-mail. It caused irreversible damage to about 3,800 e-mail accounts, according to CIT.
Members of the Cornell community are still facing problems trying to send and receive e-mail as the University continues to combat a widespread, unexpected outage of many of its e-mail servers.
Cornell staff and Sun Microsystems have been working “around the clock” to remedy the situation since the problems first occurred on Sunday at noon, according to Simeon Moss ’73, director of Cornell Press Relations.