The Protect IU Blog
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) soon to be blocked at IU's network border
Upon the recommendation of the University Information Security Office (UISO), UITS will soon be blocking the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) at the network border. Specifically, this refers to inbound connections to TCP port 3389.
For background information, read our bulletin on a Vulnerability in Microsoft Remote Desktop, published earlier this spring.
IU decided against a network-wide block of RDP when this was reported -- because while a vulnerability was confirmed, there were no reported exploits in the wild. At the time, it was decided that IU would block RDP if and when a reasonable threat presented itself.
The network block will go into effect on Thursday, June 21, 2012.
The UISO has enough general information to believe that an exploit will present itself relatively soon. Based on this, we want to give individuals who rely on Remote Desktop enough time to plan accordingly. The alternative is to wait until an exploit is confirmed, but that would mean a block would go into effect immediately with no prior warning.
What does this mean for me if I use Remote Desktop?
This simply means that IU's network firewall will block incoming Remote Desktop connections. In order to use Remote Desktop from off-campus, you'll need to initiate a VPN connection.
Remote Desktop will continue to work normally while on the IU network, including IU Secure.
Alternatives to VPN?
You may access the Remote Desktop application in IUanyWARE (located in the "Utilities" section).
What about mobile devices?
Several options exist for initiating a VPN connection from mobile devices, such as the Junos Pulse app for iOS devices.
Junos Pulse is available for a variety of platforms, such as iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry. Read more about Junos Pulse, or visit your carrier's or device manufacturer's web sites.
Additional Links & Updates
- Vulnerability in Remote Desktop Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2685939)
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-036 - Critical | Microsoft Security TechCenter | June 13, 2012