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About OxCERT

The University of Oxford Computer Emergency Response Team (OxCERT) is based within the Networks and Telecommunications Group within the University of Oxford's IT Services. The team's main responsibilities include the following

  • Identifying compromised or potentially-compromised systems within the University network, and taking appropriate measures to prevent malicious network traffic from such systems.
  • Liaising with IT staff to ensure that security incidents are dealt with promptly, and to ensure that compromised systems are fully cleaned and patched against known vulnerabilities before being reconnected to the network.
  • Informing IT staff where necessary of critical vulnerabilities and suggesting remedial action.
  • Promoting good security practice throughout the University.
  • Liaising with the global IT security community, in particular as a member of FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams).

A separate page details OxCERT's contact details.

1. History

OxCERT was founded in 1994 from the Oxford University Information Technology Working Group on Security and Privacy, and originally consisted of a group of person from across the University with a diverse range of skills and an interest in IT security matters.

In 1998 the team became a full member of FIRST, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams.

The demands of the team have changed considerably over the years and the nature of the team has evolved. The workload has increased considerably with a huge expansion in the number of systems on the University network and in the sophistication and number of attacks.

The original nature of the team relied very much on the efforts of volunteers around the University. As threats evolved and workloads increased, dedicated resources were increasingly provided centrally. Since 2001 the team has consisted solely of security specialists within Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS). OUCS became part of the University's IT Services in August 2012.

Currently the team consists of four full-time staff working as part of the Networks and Telecommunications Group within IT Services. The team continues to participate actively within the UK academic community, FIRST and other security groups.

Written by IT Services. Latest revision 20 February 2015