ITS advisory on protecting against hackers

May 18, 2020
Information Technology Solutions
May 18, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a Public Service Announcement regarding targeted hacking campaigns. This alert warns that state-sponsored malicious actors are targeting organizations and researchers conducting COVID-19-related research. The UCR ITS Information Security Office has also received reports that high-performance computing (HPC) systems are being attacked. 

State-sponsored malicious actors are typically well-funded, sophisticated, and highly motivated. With this being the case, it’s important to ensure that we all do our best to keep our data safe and our research uninterrupted. 

The ITS Information Security Office is working diligently to address the alert and keep the UC Riverside campus community safe. However, as many of us are working remotely, attackers are taking advantage of less secure networks and targeting users at home

We’re asking you to maintain vigilance as our partners against malicious actors. 

Here are some steps you can take to keep UC Riverside research and data safe: 

  • Take extra care before opening emails or clicking on links that seem suspicious. If it looks odd or too good to be true, it probably is. Email phishing is a very common method hackers use to access protected systems. Read our blog post about how to spot phishing.
  • Be sure to use UCR’s VPN at when working. You can find VPN guidance in our ITS Knowledge Base.
  • Ensure your devices are running the latest software updates. This includes updating your mobile phones, tablets, computers, Wi-Fi routers and any other Internet-attached devices. 
  • Keep ITS in the loop! If you receive a suspicious email, send it as an attachment to (find step-by-step instructions in the Knowledge Base). Sending the original email as an attachment instead of forwarding the email allows our Security office to better investigate the issue and improve our security measures. 

For more tips and information, visit and

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.