Apple Releases Security Updates to Stop Spyware

iOS 14.8Just a day before Apple’s September event, Apple has released the iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, macOS 11.6, and WatchOS 7.6.2 security updates. While the updates list what might be just basic improvements to CoreGraphics and WebKit, it actually stops the devices from “Processing a maliciously crafted PDF may lead to arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” according to the security note. This code execution is what allows spyware to run on your devices.

The spyware, named Pegasus, from Israel’s NSO Group is able to infect Apple devices without victims’ knowledge. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture Ivan Krstić urged customers to run the latest software updates for the fixes to take effect, by installing iOS 14.8, MacOS 11.6, and WatchOS 7.6.2.

Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity watchdog organization at the University of Toronto, discovered an iPhone had been infected with the advanced form of spyware from NSO. One of the senior researchers, John Scott-Railton, also urged Apple customers to run their software updates immediately, “Do you own an Apple product? Update it today.”

You can find out more in Apple Issues Emergency Security Updates to Close a Spyware Flaw at the New York Times.

Web Team Supports Site Refreshes

Using the launch of the redesigned SMU homepage as a catalyst, OIT is moving forward with the largest update to the SMU web experience in years. The Web Team is working with multiple areas to launch new sites and features in the coming months.

SMU Meadows (2021)Starting with the Meadows School of the Arts, the Web Team is collaborating with the marketers to provide a fresh set of templates and features needed by Meadows to permit them to create their site in the new brand. As one of the initial users of the new SMU web brand in Sitecore years ago, their web presence was limited by the features available at that time. The team is striving to provide Continue reading Web Team Supports Site Refreshes

MOS3K Contest Starts September

MOS3K ContestSince 2017, OIT has been offering Microsoft Office Specialist, or MOS, certifications to members of the SMU community. This year we are on our way to our 3,000th certification and we want to celebrate that achievement. On September 1, 2021, we are launching our MOS3K contest!

With the award of the 3,000th Microsoft Office Specialist certification, we will be awarding a MOS3K prize pack to the student that successfully passed that exam.

The MOS3K Study Prize Pack includes:

Continue reading MOS3K Contest Starts September

Future Changes in Duo Service

DuoDuo provides two-factor authentication for most SMU accounts. Verifying your identity with a second factor, like a mobile device, helps prevent others from using your SMU account to log in, even if they know your password.

Duo authentication can be accomplished through the Duo Mobile app, via a hardware token, using a telephone, or with SMS. However, security concerns with the telephone and SMS features are known to present a real risk to the security of your account. Therefore, SMU will be eliminating the landline and SMS options over the next several months. Continue reading Future Changes in Duo Service

Cox Student Ranks 3rd in State for Microsoft Office Championship Qualifier

Megan WaldronDuring spring 2021, Megan Waldron enrolled in ITOM 2308 (Information Systems Management). She was one of 155 students tasked to complete the Excel Associate and Excel Expert certifications.

Before the exam, Megan registered to enter her exam score as part of the Texas state qualifier for the Microsoft Office U.S National Championship. To her surprise, Megan made a perfect score completing the 50-minute exam in just 31 minutes and ranked 3rd in Texas for her time and score.
Continue reading Cox Student Ranks 3rd in State for Microsoft Office Championship Qualifier