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Happy Holidays from Computer Security 2009

The holiday season is a busy season for many, and online scammers are proving to be particularly active. Be aware of phishing, take care with online shopping and update software on electronic gifts.

The amount of scam and “phishing” traffic has increased dramatically over the last few weeks. (Phishing involves sending an e-mail falsely claiming to come from a legitimate enterprise seeking personal information.) Although SLAC’s anti-spam and junk mail measures block most dangerous e-mail on the SLAC network, there are still a few simple steps you can take to keep your personal information and technical resources secure:

 If you shop online, get smart shopping tips first, go to

As you give and receive those electronic devices please remember that the software that comes with the device is usually several versions old and you need to go to the manufacturer's website to download the latest version.  This applies to computers, laptops, routers, wireless access points, printers, backup drives and software, e-photo frames and portable USB drives. When possible scan the device for viruses.

Microsoft now offers Microsoft Security Essentials a real-time and on-demand anti-virus scanner that is free for personal use. It runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions).

Note that in order to use this software, Windows users will first need to pass Microsoft's Genuine Validation (anti-piracy) check, which checks to make sure that you're running a legitimate, licensed copy of Windows.

Please also note that this software is NOT licensed for SLAC/DOE-owned machines.

Here is a list of common software and the latest versions, (if your version isn’t up to the latest available, update it):

Antivirus - Symantec Skype
*Adobe Acrobat 9 ImageMagick 6.5.7-5
Adobe Air 1.5.3 OpenOffice  3.1.1(310m19/build 9420)
Java 1.6 1.6.0_17 Yahoo! Messenger /
Flash 10 Google Desktop Search 5.9.911.3589  
Shockwave 11.5.2r602  AOL Messenger
Mozilla FireFox 3.5.6    
Safari 4 4.0.4 (531.21.10)    
Quicktime 7.6.5 (518.40)
RealPlayer 1.0.2Build:     

* There is an active exploit for Adobe Reader as of 12/15/2009. Adobe says it will issue a patch to Acrobat and Reader in mid-January.  Until that time, and until you install the updated version of Adobe Reader, there is the possibility that PDF files (e.g. owner guides and manuals) can install malicious software in your computer that will not be detected by the antivirus products.


Owner: SLAC Computer Security
Page Created: 10/8/2008
Last Updated: 07/22/2010
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