UCF InfoSec, along with UCF Libraries and UCF IT, would like to remind students of the dangers of downloading pirated software, textbooks, or other materials. Recently, a European research institute lost a week’s worth of COVID-19 research data after a university student inadvertently infected their systems with ransomware while trying to download pirated software. To learn more about the ransomware attack, please see the link below.
Pirated textbooks or software can be appealing to those looking to save money, but it’s important to remember that such resources could be laced with malware. To help students find affordable alternatives to pirated textbooks and software, we asked UCF Libraries and UCF IT to share resources that are available to UCF students.
1. UCF Libraries resources
UCF Libraries, through their Textbook Affordability program, works with campus partners and faculty to minimize the cost of course materials for students. Since 2016, UCF faculty have taught over 950 classes using open or library-sourced materials, in turn reaching over 65,000 students and potentially saving them just over $6,761,705.
The UCF Libraries website contains tips for students to save money on textbooks. For more information, and to see if the library has your course text as a free electronic book, review the Students tab at: guides.ucf.edu/textbook-affordability/students .
Please note that, due to licensing requirements, only current students, staff, and faculty can access the free electronic books and resources through the UCF Libraries. Do not share the downloaded files; instead, share links to the catalog or databases for individuals to access the materials directly.
Sharing resources licensed by UCF can put the university at risk. Distribution of licensed materials accessed with UCF credentials could provide grounds for a breach of contract claim against UCF, which creates a legal liability for our university and potential loss of access to those resources. Similarly, participation in this type of distribution may result in legal and/or disciplinary consequences to the individual sharing content in this way. For more information, please see UCF Policies 2-103 and 4-002: policies.ucf.edu.
2. UCF IT Resources
UCF students have access to the Microsoft 365 suite of apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher, through their Knights email. To learn how to access this free resource, please visit UCF IT Knowledge Base –Installing Office 365 on a Personal PC .
UCF Apps is a software streaming service like a virtual computer lab. Students can access many software titles they need for their studies including ArcGIS, SPSS, LISREL, NVivo, SAS, and more! UCF Apps is found here: apps.ucf.edu/ucf-apps/
UCF Public Computing labs, found in various locations across campus, provide additional software resources like Adobe Creative Cloud for design work and a wide variety of other software titles. Information about public computer lab locations and availability can be found here: it.ucf.edu/techcommons/computer-labs/tech-commons-ii-lab/
Remember to only download software and digital textbooks from reputable sources. Avoid pirated content to reduce the risk of malware infecting your system and make sure your devices are up to date. Taking these steps to keep your system secure will help protect you, UCF, and your fellow Knights.
Learn more about the ransomware attack: https://news.sophos.com/en-us/2021/05/06/mtr-in-real-time-pirates-pave-way-for-ryuk-ransomware/
UCF InfoSec wishes all students a safe, secure summer. We are here to help with any information security concerns you may have. Forward suspicious emails to the Security Incident Response Team at SIRT@ucf.edu and contact InfoSec at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.