Skip to main content

Delivering technology services and information resources to the University

Northwestern IT

Cyber Security Awareness at Northwestern

Secure Northwestern

Watch the Video

Get tips to keep your new devices secure and up-to-date

New Year, Don't Fear

Find Tips

Enabling research from discovery to publication

Research Computing Services

Learn More

Search the Knowledge Base for answers to common questions

Knowledge Base

Search Now

Educational innovation across Northwestern

Digital Learning

Explore the Opportunities

Northwestern IT Service Alerts

All University IT Services are operational.

News

Northwestern Monitoring Meltdown and Spectre Security Flaws

UPDATE

January 5,  2018: Northwestern IT is working with our IT vendors, University school and department IT partners, and our peer institutions as we continue to assess and monitor this rapidly evolving event. Presently, there are no reports of this vulnerability being exploited worldwide, and Northwestern IT is testing vendor patches as they become available.

We will continue working closely with our IT partners on the application of patches once they have been thoroughly tested. Application of patches is planned to begin early next week. Updates regarding remediation events will be provided as more information becomes available.

***************************************************************************************

Northwestern Information Technology (IT) is monitoring two major security flaws, named Meltdown and Spectre, which were made public this week. Both relate to a critical vulnerability in computer processor hardware.

This vulnerability affects all personal computers, mobile devices, and, potentially, data stored in the cloud. An attacker could access system memory, which contains information including passwords, usernames, private keys, and encrypted data.

Since learning of the vulnerability, Northwestern IT immediately began assessing the exposure of campus systems and has not detected any exploits.

Impact on the End User

The advice for remediation is the same for all users, system administrators, and those in managed environments: It is extremely important to apply the latest patches as soon as they are available. This includes operating systems, browsers, and applications, and manufacturer firmware.

At this time, patches are available for Windows and Linux servers, and for major browsers. Client/desktop updates to Windows, MacOS, and iOS devices have not yet been released.

Northwestern IT is currently reviewing network and enterprise computing infrastructure to determine the extent of the exposure and prioritizing the patching. Distributed Support Services customers will also be patched as updates become available.

Additional information, including details regarding patching of systems that may interrupt service delivery, will be distributed as it becomes available.

More News

Students • Faculty & Staff • Researchers

Tech Resources at Your Fingertips. Ready. Set. Go.

Students, faculty, and staff: Review these quick start guides to learn how to take full advantage of Northwestern's tech resources

Alt

Students

Welcome to Northwestern! As a student you have access to a multitude of tools for managing your information like grades and tuition, plus resources you can use for academics, research, and more.
Student Resources
Image of Rifka Cook, associate Professor of Instruction, Spanish and Portuguese teaching class

Faculty & Staff

Northwestern IT offers essential services and tools needed for teaching, research, and administration including Canvas, Box, SharePoint, conferencing, telephone services, and lecture capture.
Faculty and Staff Resources
Alt

Researchers

As a member of the Northwestern community, you have access to a multitude of technology tools to collaborate with colleagues, conduct research, teach, and manage your daily life at Northwestern.
Researcher Resources
Alt

IT Community

Northwestern IT professionals can find work-related tools and resources, join or create communities of practice and interest, collaborate with colleagues, and get helpful information.

IT Community Resources
Back to top
Get Help