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CITS Security Advisory Alert: Global cyber security threat: WannaCry

Last Friday 12th May, a global cyber-attack was launched that has to date infected hundreds of thousands of computers.

CITS has been working with its' security partners and intelligence sharing networks to identify and apply targeted, proactive measures to prevent and mitigate the WannaCry malware cyber-attack. To date, there is no indication that Curtin's information and systems have been compromised.

The attack initially starts by tricking a user to open an email containing specially crafted malware (malicious software) known as WannaCry. This is more dangerous than previously seen malware as it also spreads across the network to infect other machines without any intervention.

Additionally, at this stage, the malware attack has only infected Microsoft operating systems including XP, Windows 7, 8, and 10. Whilst there are no reports of this attack infecting Apple operating systems (OSX) users, this does not necessarily mean Mac users will not be impacted should they open malicious emails and/or attachments.

How will this affect you?
You may receive an email containing links and attachments from persons or organisations you do not know. At this stage, there are no reported cases of what an email containing WannaCry malware looks like. However, if you do open the WannaCry malware (presumably a malicious PDF, Word document or another file), you will notice your device will eventually become locked, and your screen will display a "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!" message.

CITS Recommendations

  • Be vigilant with every email you receive, as any email may be from a scammer pretending to be from an organisation you trust. CITS Security has previously published an advisory for email. CITS strongly recommends all students read the advisory, which is available here.

  • Regularly reboot your device to ensure security patches are applied and operate correctly.

  • Ask yourself: "am I expecting this email from this person or organisation?" If you are uncertain, always contact the sender by phone to determine if they did actually email youbefore you click on any links or open any attachments.

  • Do not download mysterious files or installing suspicious software, executable files (exe, bat, JS, VBS)

  • Curtin email is protected with an additional layer of security. If you receive an email to this system, do not forward work-related email to other personal email systems as the security protection will be removed.

  • Ensure all your device's security measures, including anti-malware/anti-virus software and firewalls are running and are up-to-date.

  • If you receive a spam or suspicious email, send it to (this helps CITS to protect the rest of Curtin from that potential attack); then delete it.

  • If you have a Windows XP Curtin device, please report this immediately to the CITS.

If you do notice that your files become locked (inaccessible or unreadable), or a pop-up asks for ransom, or any other suspicious activity occurs, immediately disconnect your computer/device from the network by:

  • disconnecting any network cables from your computer and/or disabling your wireless adapter; and

  • contact CITS.

CITS Security Advisory Alert. Social Media Account Compromise

CITS Information Security has been notified about an online data breach, which is affecting over 590 million user accounts (emails and passwords) worldwide.

This Alert Notification is directed primarily at Curtin Students and Alumni that use their Curtin email address to access their social media service (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) accounts.

Data received from the Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT) indicates that over 1200 Curtin staff and student email accounts (including the passwords used to access their social media accounts) have been captured in the attack.

CITS is working to identify the Students whose Curtin credentials may be compromised, to act immediately and assist them protect personal and sensitive information.

How will this affect you?
If your Curtin email account information (including your password) is disclosed, it is at risk of being used by, and or sold on the Internet to malicious parties.

Malicious parties in possession of current user account details may use this information to commit criminal activity, access your email accounts or other general services such as social media sites, internet banking, email, etc. without your permission or knowledge.

We are unable to verify if the passwords leaked in the data breach are also used to access Curtin systems. Consequently, CITS will contact impacted current students and staff advising them that their Curtin passwords have been reset as a precaution to mitigate the risk to Curtin information and systems.

CITS Recommendations
CITS recommends all members of the Curtin Community who use their Curtin email account to access social media or other external sites undertake the following preventative activities to help protect yourself from future user account breaches:

  • Check if your email account has been compromised at haveibeenpwned.

  • Avoid using your Curtin email addresses for non-work relate purposes;

  • Don’t use the same password for your online accounts;

  • Change your accounts passwords often, especially where you have provided sensitive or personal information; and

  • Strengthen or change your Curtin email account password immediately in accordance with the Curtin Password Security Policy and Procedures and Curtin ICT Password Standard.

Further Information
The Australian Government has developed websites such as StaySmartOnline and ScamWatch to keep Citizens up to date with information on how to protect yourself online.
Check common and known ransom attack and threats on Ransomwaretracker
If you have questions, please contact the CITS Service Centre using the following methods:
If there are technical terms that you would like to find out more about, try and/or

Services Joining the Curtin Connect team in June.

Student Wellbeing Advisory Service is joining the Curtin Connect team in June! If you're looking for Student Wellbeing or Housing Services simply head to the new Curtin Connect building.

You can also still contact the services via email and phone as normal. We will continue to be able assist all students who drop in, call or email after our relocation to Curtin Connect in June.

The Housing Service is also moving to Curtin Connect and will continue to be able to assist all students who drop in, call or email after our relocation to Curtin Connect.

Call 61 8 9266 4430
Free call: 1800 244 043

New to Curtin UniMentor

Interested in being a New to Curtin UniMentor for semester 2, 2017?
Step up and be a leader!
Enhance your leadership skills.
Improve your employability.

  • Connect new students to your course and School

  • Support them to transition to uni life and

  • Inspire them to succeed!

Become a New to Curtin UniMentor!

Take part in Curtin Ignition and kick start your business!

Curtin Ignition is an intensive, one week entrepreneurial education program for aspiring entrepreneurs, academics and corporate innovators to trial and then prepare business ideas for the commercial environment.
It runs from August 13 - 18 and scholarships are available for Curtin students.

Curtin Ignition is for founders of an early stage business and anyone with an idea for a new product or service. You will also need a passion for developing that idea into a real business proposition.

During Curtin Ignition you will;

  • Learn how to explain your business opportunity in commercial terms,

  • Learn how to identify good opportunities in a short period with minimal investment,

  • Clarify your idea & have it tested within a high calibre and safe environment,

  • Make a significant network of contacts,

  • Gain confidence and a clear path forward.

Scholarships are available and full criteria can be found here

If you are ready to apply, please do so at

Alternatively, if you would like further information please join us at one of the following Information Sessions. Please click on the dates to RSVP, you will receive location details upon registration.               

16th May 9.30 - 10.30am - Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship, Tech Park

18th May 12.30 - 1.30pm - CBS Boardroom

31st May 11.30 - 12.30 - The Rise, Maylands

1st June 12.00 - 1.00pm - Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship, Tech Park

15th June 4.00 - 5.00pm - Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship, Tech Park

30th June 9.30 - 10.30am - Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship, Tech Park

4th July 9.30 - 10.30am - Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship, Tech Park