Campus anti-intrusion system fends off Adobe Flash vulnerability, other cyber-attacks

In January, as part of its ongoing efforts to protect the campus from cyber-security attacks, Information and Educational Technology added an intrusion prevention system (IPS) to the campus computing network. An IPS prevents malicious traffic from reaching its intended destination.

The campus IPS uses filters that check billions of pieces of network traffic per second for characteristics that are typical of attacks aimed at campus Web sites, servers, computers and other devices that connect to the network. Some filters check for attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in applications.

The attacks it prevents include the Adobe Flash vulnerability, which was discovered this week to have been embedded in approximately 20,000 Web pages around the Internet. The compromised sites direct unsuspecting people to servers hosting malicious Flash files that can be used to attack Web sites, servers and computers.

The IPS has blocked hundreds of thousands of pieces of malicious traffic per week since January, quietly protecting the campus. However, like any security measure, the IPS cannot prevent all attacks, so the campus encourages everyone to continue to install security updates, run anti-virus programs, and protect personal identity information. For more, see security.ucdavis.edu/cybersafetybasics.cfm.