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Friday, September 29, 2017

Dark Web Making Itself at Home on Campus

The dark web, a place inhabited by people looking for ways to profit from selling malware, poses a real threat to higher education. The Digital Citizens Alliance recently found nearly 14 million email addresses and passwords for faculty, staff, students, and alumni from U.S. colleges and university, 79% of them added to the dark web last year.

“Because [higher-education institutions] have large-capacity Internet connection links that served all the students and large-capacity servers that are designed for many users, they are almost always on and attackers never have to worry if a part of their infrastructure will be available for use,” Will Glass, a senior analyst for the cybersecurity firm FireEye, wrote in the Alliance study.

The first line of defense is better passwords. The report noted that too many young people use the same password for multiple services, making it easier for hackers. Colleges and universities are also installing security systems that automatically block users from downloading unapproved applications.

“We are constantly working to make sure that we incorporate layers of security, all working together to help protect the university’s data and assets,” said Timothy Cureton, IT security coordinator at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. “At the same time, this approach still allows us to have that openness that we’ve always had and want to continue to have.”

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