Search Search

News Releases

08/18/2017

Mail Services Offers Commemorative Seal of Solar Eclipse

Graphic Resources & Mail Services Is offering a limited-edition postal seal commemorating the August 21st Solar Eclipse. This special envelope includes artwork depicting the Coelostat at the Linde + Robinson Laboratory. The presentation also includes the recently released "heat-sensitive" USPS Solar Eclipse postage stamp and will be postmarked on the day of this unusual celestial event.

The eclipse cachet will be on sale for $3.50 at the campus post office customer service window located in the east lobby of the Keith Spalding Bldg. while supplies last!

08/03/2017

Security Bulletin: Phone Scams

To: The Caltech Campus Community
From: Victor Clay, Chief of Campus Security
Re: Security Bulletin: Phone Scams
Date: August 3, 2017

Caltech Campus Security has been notified of a telephone scam that appears to be targeting students at universities throughout the area:

The caller identifies himself or herself as an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and demands money, sometimes in the form of gift cards, that he or she says is owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The caller further threatens arrest or, when the victim is an international student, deportation if the victim does not comply.

Often, the caller knows the victim's name, address, phone number, home country, and other information. They may be using social media or online directories to gather this information.

In addition, the call may appear to come from a legitimate telephone number. It appears that the scammers are using easily accessible technology to spoof, or mimic, phone numbers from legitimate law enforcement offices.

REMEMBER:

  • None of these government agencies (FBI, IRS, or police) will call you to demand money. They will never require you to purchase gift cards. They will never ask you for money via wire transfer. They will never ask you how much money you have on hand. If you get a call from someone saying they are from one of these agencies, follow the next two steps:
  • Calmly ask what the call is about. Take specific notes about what the caller is saying and requesting.
  • Politely request the agent's information. Write down his or her full name, agency, and any identification number he or she can provide. Also, request his or her direct number so you can call back.
  • Hang up, and call Caltech Campus Security. Provide this information to them.
  • DO NOT give any credit/debit card information over the phone.
  • DO NOT give anyone your banking information.
  • Callers may already have part of your social security number or driver's license number, and request that you provide the rest. USE CAUTION when providing any ID number over the phone or online.
  • If a caller threatens you, tell them that you will hang up and call them back with your attorney. They may try to say that you cannot tell anyone about their call. If they do, they are a scammer. Hang up immediately.

If you are concerned that you may have been targeted by a telephone scammer, call Caltech Campus Security. Dial 4701 from any campus phone or (626) 395-4701 from off campus.

07/06/2017

Don't let ransomware disrupt or destroy your work

Ransomware is a category of malicious software that is becoming increasingly widespread, and has been responsible for some high-profile network outages at sites worldwide in the last few months.  It differs from other kinds of malicious software in that its primary purpose is to render the victim's data files unusable (typically by encrypting them) until a "ransom" in difficult-to-trace virtual currency such as Bitcoin is paid. Organizations all over the world, including hospitals, police departments, and universities, have fallen victim to ransomware attacks. Affected systems to date have included Windows workstations and servers, Macs, linux workstations and servers, unpatched wiki or blog software, Android phones, and any data volumes these devices are able to access (e.g., external hard drives, network drives or file servers).

Protect yourself against ransomware

The best defense against ransomware is prevention, using good security practices that protect computers from malware infections of all kinds, not just ransomware specifically.


Backups:

  • Ensure that you have reliable, ongoing backups of your data, and periodically test restoring files from those backups.
  • Use a backup solution that includes some form of versioning, so that in the event that there is a problem of any kind with the current or most-recently-backed-up copy of a file, a previous version of the file can be recovered.
  • Ensure that your backup volumes are not continuously mounted on the system they protect.  Ransomware will encrypt all data on all mounted volumes, including mapped network drives or file shares.


Good Security Practices:

The same good practices protect against a wide variety of security problems

  • Choose strong passwords for all accounts on your computers.  This is particularly critical if you allow remote access to your computer, or ever allow it in the future.
  • Keep your operating system and applications up to date on security patches, and pay particular attention to any applications or services that are accessible from the Internet, and browser plugins such as Flash, Java and Silverlight.  For campus workstations, consider taking advantage of the IMSS Managed Computing program, which has an excellent security track record.  If you are running a server, do not overlook updates for content management systems such as Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, etc.
  • If you must allow remote access to your computer, restrict it at the network level so that the service is not accessible from just anywhere on the public internet.
  • Use an unprivileged (non-admin) account for routine computing, reserving privileged account use for brief situations where elevated permissions are needed (such as for software installation).  IMSS Managed Computing systems are configured this way.
  • Employ a software restriction policy, also called "application whitelisting" where possible.  Microsoft Windows workstation supports application whitelisting as of Windows 7.  IMSS Managed Computing systems are configured this way as well.
  • Configure your computer to display file extensions rather than hiding them as is the default.
  • Windows users: consider setting Notepad as the default application for .js (javascript) files, to open them harmlessly rather than executing them.  This won't affect javascript in the browser.
  • Exercise caution when installing new applications.  Where did the installer come from?  Are you sure it does what it claims to do?  Are you sure it was unaltered from the time it was released by the vendor?  To date, ransomware infections on Macs and linux workstations primarily have come in the form of legitimate-seeming software that was tampered with to include malicious code, which was then inadvertently installed by the user.
  • Be careful when opening links and attachments received via email.  Do you know with certainty who sent the attachment and what it contains?  If the attachment is unexpected but may be legitimate, verify with the sender first before opening it.  When in doubt, contact the IMSS Help Desk or Information Security either via our ticket system or by email (security at caltech.edu or help at caltech.edu).
  • Install antivirus software and keep it up to date.  Note that this measure, while still useful, is not in itself a complete solution, as malicious software such as ransomware is constantly changing in an effort to stay a step ahead of antivirus vendors.  IMSS has site licenses for antivirus software, covering personal-use systems for Caltech personnel in addition to Caltech-owned systems.

If Ransomware Infection Has Occurred

If you believe your computer has been infected with ransomware, STOP USING IT right away.  Power it down, and keep it powered down until you can get assistance.  Continuing to use your computer, or even leaving it on while it is infected greatly reduces the chance of recovering your files.  We do not recommend you pay the ransom.
 

References:

 

06/21/2017

Metro Bike Share is coming to Caltech

Metro Bike Share is coming to Caltech.

What is it?

Metro Bike Share is a new transportation system that is currently operated in Downtown Los Angeles with 61 stations and over 700 bicycles available for check out for easy, and convenient point to point trips.

Two Metro Bike Share Stations are coming to campus. Caltech East, located on San Pasqual and Holliston, and Caltech West located on Wilson and San Pasqual. Installation will be June 27 and 28th. Metro Bike Share is a great way to get to and from Metro Bus and Rail. Bike sharing is a fun option for exploring areas of the city that are too far to walk to, but too close for driving, train, or bus.

Two ways to pay, in person or online. Rent it. Ride it. Return it to any station. Download the Metro Bike Share mobile app for iPhone and Android devices, which provides real-time availability and locations of stations and bikes.

Pricing

Monthly Pass $20.00/month

Flex Pass $40.00/year

Walk up $3.50/30 minutes (this option will be available August 1st)

More Info

For pass sales, station map, or more info go to Metro.Net/Bikeshare. To join the mailing list email Support@bikeshare.metro.net or call/text (844) 857-BIKE (844-857-2453, or Kristina.Valenzuela@caltech.edu.

06/15/2017

Break Through campaign update

 June 15, 2017


Dear Friends and Colleagues,
 

Break Through: The Caltech Campaign was publicly launched in April 2016. To mark its first anniversary, I am pleased to share a story highlighting our progress on this ambitious fundraising initiative. I invite you to learn more about the programs and people across campus who have been touched by the campaign, and how campaign gifts are empowering our scholars to change the world. I am sure you will recognize some familiar faces. You can read the story here.
 
I am also pleased to report this additional news: The Break Through campaign 
has raised over $1.43 billion to date, officially surpassing the total raised during Caltech's last campaign. Such an extraordinary accomplishment, so early on in our effort, signals how deeply the Institute's mission is resonating with alumni and friends, old and new. In fact, of those who have made gifts to the campaign, nearly 30 percent are first-time donors. This is a promising step toward broadening the base of donors who support Caltech.

Thank you for the important role you play in our Break Through campaign. Please feel free to pass this good news on, and do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the campaign.
 
Sincerely,



Brian K. Lee
Vice President for Development and Institute Relations


06/08/2017

Totem 2017 has arrived!

Totem, Caltech's literary and visual arts magazine, is now available. Totem will be at a table outside of Chandler/old Red Door tomorrow, Fri. June 9, with copies of the magazine from 12-1 pm.

If you cannot make it at this time, we would be happy to arrange another time for you to receive one. Feel free to email us (totem@caltech.edu) if you would like a copy delivered to you or mailed to your MSC. The magazine will be on our website shortly (totem.caltech.edu). Thanks!

05/04/2017

New Service from IMSS: Mail Protection Gateway

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,  

IMSS is implementing an email security service called the Mail Protection Gateway (MPG), provided by Cisco Email Security. With its increased accuracy, this service helps protect against advanced email threats and reduce unsolicited email (spam). The MPG will be an additional tool to help fight against spammers and hackers.      

What you need to know  

Schedule: Effective May 23rd at 5:30 PM, all @caltech.edu email addresses will begin using this service.    

MPG Quarantine Overview  

  • Receive a weekly summary on Monday mornings with information about new items in your quarantine  

  • Suspected spam is quarantined for up to 45 days   

  • Direct access to view your quarantined items at any time at https://quarantine.caltech.edu (bookmark for easy reference)  

Please keep in mind that the MPG Quarantine is not the same as the spam folder in your email application. Your email application (Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail, etc.) may classify email as spam independently of this service, therefore you should continue to check your local spam folder.     

Also note that messages containing .zip attachments will no longer be restricted unless malicious content is detected.    

If you have questions or require assistance, please contact the Help Desk at x3500, help@caltech.edu, or at https://help.caltech.edu (request type IMSS > Email & Calendar > Mail Protection Gateway).   

Thank you,     

IMSS MPG Project Team  

 

05/04/2017

Caltech Annual Bike to Work Day 2017

On Thursday May 18, 2017 Caltech Security/Commuter Services invite you to celebrate bicycling as a clean, fun, and healthy way to get to work. Ride your bike to campus on Bike to Work Day for a free breakfast while supplies last.

Thursday May 18, 2017

9:00 am-11:00 am

Sustainability Park located on Wilson Ave.

Free breakfast while supplies last

May is Bike Month, and your Southern California's transportation agencies are rolling out special events all month long. Upcoming activities include free fares on transit for bicyclists, group rides, prizes, rallies and dozens of "pit stops" where cyclists can stop along the commute for refreshments and more.

For additional events going on around Caltech see links below:

Los Angeles

Metrolink http://www.metrolinktrains.com

Metro:https://www.metro.net/riding/bikes/

Orange

http://www.octa.net/Bike/Overview/

Riverside/San Bernardino

http://gohumansocal.org

http://www.omnitrans.org/

https://www.ie511.org/iecommuter/

Ventura

https://www.goventura.org/

For additional information contact Kristina Valenzuela, Alternative Transportation Administrator,  Kristina.Valenzuela@caltech.edu.

03/31/2017

Totem Submissions Due April 7

Totem, Caltech's literary and visual arts magazine, is receiving submissions now for the 2017 issue.

Submissions to Totem 2017 are due 11:59 pm on April 7 to totem@caltech.edu. Anyone affiliated with Caltech is welcome to participate. Information that should be included with submissions:

  • name (or anonymous)
  • title
  • medium

Works accepted include photographs, poetry, prose, etc. Photographs should be at least 300 dpi. 

For more information, please see totem.caltech.edu or www.facebook.com/CaltechTotem.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at totem@caltech.edu.

View all

Subscribe
     to our RSS feed Subscribe via RSS