Things you should know and do following Spectre and Meltdown bugs

You may be aware of the current security issue which is affecting computers across the world as described in the national news.

Information is central to the University's key activities of teaching and research, so we need to do all we can to protect our data and the methods we use to access it.

See this BBC news article providing background to the Spectre and Meltdown bugs:

What is the University doing about Spectre and Meltdown bugs?

University computers are being updated automatically or in person by an IT professional, if you have a manually assured University PC. See these news items for more information:

In addition, teams within IT Services have been working, following advice from Microsoft and other suppliers, to resolve the security issues caused by the Meltdown and Spectre bugs on University systems.

How can I protect my devices and the information I  access?

  • Be vigilant of phishing emails you may receive, which could compromise your account or data you have accessed on your personal computers or mobile devices.  Do not click on links within emails unless you are certain they are genuine.Do not open attachments from unknown sources which may instead carry viruses or other means to compromise your security.
  • You should be aware of fake websites that are pretending to fix Meltdown and Spectre bugs. Instead these websites are spreading viruses and malware which could infect your computer. You should only use fixes provided by the vendor or manufacturer of your computer or device (see tips below).
  • If you are responsible for the management of your University computer and need support with updates, please speak to your College IT Professional or IT Services.

Tips for making your personal devices secure

If you are handling any university information on a personally owned device, you must make sure the device is secure and protected. You should always ensure you:

  • have up to date antivirus software installed on your computer
  • install updates from Microsoft, Apple, Linux distribution maintainer or your mobile phone provider (e.g. updates for Android)
  • only install updates from the vendor or manufacturer of your device
  • Avoid other tools or websites which claim to do this. Contact or use the supplier or manufacturer’s website for further information

If your personally owned device is using an operating system that is no longer supported by the vendor (e.g. Windows XP, Vista), then it will not be able to be protected and you must not use it for handling university information.

Need IT help?

If you have a specific concern, you can contact the IT Service Desk on 0116 252 2253.

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