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CSUSB Cybersecurity Center director Vincent Nestler discusses ‘Zoom-bombing’
San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Southern California News Group
April 15, 2020

Loopholes in the most popular videoconferencing software, Zoom, have allowed trolls to insert pornographic videos into city council meetings, profanity and racism into high school classes and more. “Zoom’s issues really didn’t start coming out until everybody started flocking to them,” said Vincent Nestler, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Cybersecurity Center.

The company has since taken steps to secure online meetings for its users.

And, the newspaper reported, On March 16, Cal State San Bernardino announced it would be conducting winter quarter finals and spring classes online via Zoom. Biology Department Chairman Mike Chao created documents of best practices for students and staff, including one called “How to Mitigate Zoom-Bombing.”

“Things have been going reasonably well, other than the occasional Zoom-bombing situation,” said Chao, who praised the university’s information technology department for making the transition as painless as possible.

Problems with Zoom may have been inevitable, according to Nestler. Tech companies often prioritize ease of use over security at first to get more users on board, he said.

“Often, they’re like ‘We have to get this out and working, and we will figure out security later,’” he said. “If they put stuff out, with lots of security and it’s too hard to use, nobody will use it. … With Zoom, you click on a link and boom, you’re on. With Skype, you have to get an app, you have to log onto an account, and so on. Each one of those steps increase the security.”

That ease of use worked for Zoom. The app already had a large pool of users when campuses closed and people were ordered to work from home in March. And it took off like a rocket from there. Since March 2, first-time installations of Zoom’s mobile app have gone up 728%, according to market intelligence firm SensorTower.

But with everyone suddenly using Zoom, its security flaws made it an attractive target.

“If it’s a small company, hackers generally don’t go after it; it’s not worth their time,” Nestler said.

Read the complete article at “How your Zoom meeting can avoid ‘Zoom-bombs’ of porn and profanity.”

APA member interview: Kaitlyn Creasy, CSUSB assistant professor of philosophy
Blog of the APA
April 10, 2020

Kaitlyn Creasy is an assistant professor of philosophy at California State University, San Bernardino, and was featured in a question-and-answer post on the American Philosophical Association’s blog. She works primarily on 19th century European philosophy, especially the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, but also has interests in moral psychology and environmental philosophy.

Read the complete article at “APA member interview: Kaitlyn Creasy.”

IE to participate for the first time in the City Nature Challenge, April 24-27
High Desert Daily
April 14, 2020

As citizen science – scientific work done by the general public often working with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions – increases in popularity, the fifth annual, worldwide City Nature Challenge is coming to San Bernardino and Riverside counties, organized by CSUSB assistant professor of biology, Bree Putman.

Even as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the local City Nature Challenge to be scaled back – CSUSB has temporarily suspended all non-essential on-campus operations and cancelled or postponed events – the City Nature Challenge will still be held, albeit online and closely following California State University, local, state and federal public health directives and guidelines to ensure social distancing and limited contact for public safety, said Putman.

“The City Nature Challenge will embrace the collaborative aspect of sharing observations online with a digital community as participants document their local biodiversity to the best of their ability within public health parameters regarding COVID-19,” she said.

Read the complete article at “IE to Participate for the First Time in the City Nature Challenge, April 24-27.”

CSUSB faculty member and class get a shout-out on ABC World News Now
ABC World News Now
April 15, 2020

Newscaster Kenneth Morton, who was a guest speaker at a recent CSUSB communication studies class taught by Larry Hygh, gave him and his class a mention on the morning show.

Mildred Henry, CSUSB professor emerita, writes on ‘Much to do about something: Kudos to charters’
Inland Empire Community News
April 14, 2020

Mildred D. Henry, CSUSB professor emerita, education, wrote in an op-ed column: “Much print has been devoted to adverse relationships between school districts and charter schools.  However, good positive partnerships that benefit thousands of children have also been formed.”

Read the complete article at “Much to do about something: Kudos to charters.”

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