Google Releases Security Update for Chrome

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Google has released Chrome version 45.0.2454.85 to address multiple vulnerabilities for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Exploitation of one of these vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to take control of an affected system.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the Chrome Releases page and apply the necessary update.

Mozilla Releases Security Updates for Firefox

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US-CERT released on Thursday, August 27th, 2015 that the Mozilla Foundation has released security updates to address a critical vulnerability in Firefox and Firefox ESR.  Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system.

Available updates include:

  • Firefox 40.0.3
  • Firefox ESR 38.2.1

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the System Advisories for Firefox and Firefox ESR and apply the necessary updates.

Apple patches security flaws with new versions of iOS, OS X

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Apple has packed patches for dozens of security flaws into the new versions of its iOS and OS X operating systems.

The company noted Tuesday in a security advisory that just-released version 8.4 of the iOS mobile operating system contains more than 20 fixes for vulnerabilities that could lead to remote code execution, application termination and the interception of encrypted traffic, among other issues.

Read more about these updates here.

July 2015 - secureCI Monthly Newsletter

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secureCI presents Ouch!

The SANS Monthly Information Security Bulletin at CI

Social Media
In This Issue…
  • Overview
  • Privacy
  • Security

Tanya Baccam is a longtime security consultant. She has been a SANS author and instructor for over a decade, having taught and written SEC502, SEC542, SEC401, MGT414, AUD507 and many other courses. Follow her on Twitter at @tbaccam.

Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, are amazing resources, allowing you to meet, interact and share with people around the world. However, all this power also brings risk for you, your family, friends and employer. In this newsletter, we explain what these dangers are and how to use these sites securely and safely.

A common concern with social media is protecting your personal information. Potential dangers include:

Impacting Your Future: Some organizations search social media sites as part of background checks. Embarrassing or incriminating photos or posts, no matter how old, could prevent you from getting hired or promoted. In addition, many universities conduct similar checks for new student applications. Privacy options may not protect you, as these organizations can ask you to “Like” or join their pages or certain posts may be archived on multiple sites.

Attacks Against You: Cyber attackers can analyze your posts and use them to gain access to your or your organization’s information. For example, they can use information you share to guess the answers to the secret questions that reset your online passwords, create targeted email attacks against you (called spearfishing) or call someone in your organization pretending to be you. In addition, these attacks can spill into the physical world, such as identifying where you work or live.

Accidentally Harming Your Employer: Criminals or competitors can use any sensitive information you post about your organization against your employer. In addition, your posts can potentially cause reputational harm for your organization. Be sure to check your organization’s policies before posting anything about your job. In addition, some of your social media posts may be monitored.

The best protection is to limit what you post. Yes, privacy options can provide some protection. However, they are often confusing and change frequently without your knowledge. What you thought was private can quickly become public for various reasons. In addition, the privacy of your posts is only as secure as the people you share them with. The more friends or contacts you share with, the more likely that information will become public. You should assume anything you post can or will become a public and permanent part of the Internet.

Finally, be aware of what friends are posting about you. If they post something you are not comfortable with, ask them to take it down. If they refuse or ignore you, contact the social media site and ask the site to remove the content for you. At the same time, be respectful of what you post about others.

In addition to privacy concerns, here are some steps to help protect your social media accounts and online activities:

Login: Protect each of your accounts with a strong, unique password and do not share them with anyone else. In addition, many social media sites support stronger authentication, such as two-step verification. Always enable these stronger authentication methods whenever possible. Finally, do not use your social media account to log in to other sites; if it gets hacked, then all of your accounts are vulnerable.

Privacy Settings: If you do use privacy settings, make sure you review and test them regularly. Social media sites often change privacy settings and it is easy to make a mistake. In addition, many apps and services let you tag your location to content that you post (called geotagging). Regularly check these settings if you wish to keep your physical location private.

Encryption: Social media sites use encryption called HTTPS to secure your online connections to the site. Some sites (like Twitter and Google+) enable this by default, while others require you to manually enable HTTPS. Check your social media account settings and enable HTTPS as the default connection whenever possible.

Email: Be suspicious of emails that claim to come from social media sites. These can easily be spoofed attacks sent by cyber criminals. The safest way to reply to such messages is to log in to your social media website directly, perhaps from a saved bookmark, and then read and reply to any messages or notifications from the website.

Malicious Links/Scams: Be cautious of suspicious links or potential scams posted on social media sites. Bad guys use social media to spread their own attacks. Just because a message is posted by a friend does not mean that message is really from them; their account may have been compromised. If a family member or friend has posted an odd message you cannot verify (i.e., they have been robbed and need you to send money), call them on their mobile phone or contact them by some other means to confirm the message is truly from them.

Mobile Apps: Most social media sites provide mobile apps to access your online accounts. Make sure you download these mobile apps from a trusted site and that your smartphone is protected with a strong password. If your smartphone is unlocked when you lose it, anyone can access your social media sites through your smartphone and start posting as you.

Social networking sites are a powerful and fun way to communicate with the world. If you follow the tips outlined here, you should be able to enjoy a much safer online experience. For more information on how to use social networking sites safely or report unauthorized activity, be sure to review the security pages of the sites you are using.



Two-Step Verification:

Subscribe to the monthly OUCH! security awareness newsletter, access the OUCH! archives, and learn more about SANS security awareness solutions by visiting OUCH! is distributed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.

Do you Know What Day Today Is?

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There are all sorts of days to celebrate during the year such as Mother's Day and Father's Day, and even some more off-the-wall days such as National Fried Chicken Day, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and a personal favorite, National Pancake Day.  But today is an extra special day that should be added to everyone's calendars.  Today is International Password Day!

International Password Day gives us all the opportunity to stop and reflect on what makes a good password, and how we can best protect our work and personal data by using strong password concepts.

To help you along, there's even a website dedicated too helping you figure out what makes a good password, how to deal with keeping track of the never ending list of passwords, mobile device passwords, and even some funny stories about password catastrophes!

Please take the time in joining your information security team in making every day a strong password day!

Don't be a victim of identity tax theft! The IRS is helping to protect false tax claims.

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One of the hot identity theft scams is submission of false tax returns in order to receive unearned or earned refunds. The IRS has a process to try and detect these false returns. If they suspect a false return they will mail a letter to the address the taxpayer listed in their previous year return. The IRS letter directs the taxpayer to visit an IRS site to verify the tax return submitted. Legitimate letters should direct taxpayers to More details are contained in this link:

The IRS also has a great website page detailing active tax scams:

If taxpayers suspect they are a victim of tax fraud/identity theft, they should contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or via the web at:

Taxpayers can forward scam emails to

Adobe Flash Player Exploit Found - What you can do protect your systems.

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Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2015-0310 exists in the wild, which is being used in attacks against older versions of Flash Player. Additionally, Adobe is investigating reports that a separate exploit for Flash Player and earlier also exists in the wild. For the latest information, please refer to the PSIRT blog here.  You may find more information about the Adobe Security Bulletin here.

Here are instructions on how to disable Adobe Flash in current browsers. If Flash is disabled, it can be temporarily re-enabled if needed. Follow the steps for all browsers used. If you use multiple browsers it may be simpler to uninstall Adobe Flash:


  1. On the Firefox tool bar go to Tools 
  2. Select Add-ons 
  3. In the Plugins tab, set Shockwave Flash to Never Activate 
  1. On the Safari tool bar go to Safari > Preferences… 
  2. In the Security tab, ensure Allow Plug-ins is checked 
  3. Click on the Manage Website Settings… button 
  4. Select Adobe Flash Player 
  5. In the dropdown, select When visiting other websites: Block 
  6. Click on the Done button 
  7. Close the Preferences dialog box 
  1. Type chrome:plugins in the address bar to open the Plug-ins page 
  2. On the Plug-ins page that appears, find Adobe Flash Player 
  3. Click the Disable ​link under its name 


  1. Go to the Firefox menu button 
  2. Select Add-ons 
  3. In the Plugins tab, set Shockwave Flash to Never Activate 
Internet Explorer
  1. Click the Tools button, and then click Manage add-ons 
  2. Under Show, click All add-ons, and then select Shockwave Flash Object 
  3. Click Disable, and then click Close 

  1. Type chrome:plugins in the address bar to open the Plug-ins page 
  2. On the Plug-ins page that appears, find Adobe Flash Player 
  3. Click the Disable ​link under its name