OIT News – December 2008

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 14, December 2008
For the up-to-the minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews:
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State University Help Desk:

01: New year, new antivirus software
02: Campus IT staff invited to antivirus demo
03: WolfWise implementation team announces changes
04: LITRE Expo to be held January 13-15
05: OIT to sponsor two Brown Bag Lunch and Learn sessions
06: Dial 7 reminder!
07: SIS update
08: Beware of Agent.btz computer virus
09: Walk-in center announces operating hours for winter break
10: Certification of security access to the Student Information System (SIS)
11: OIT implements security measures to block IE exploit
12: Student Email Task Force seeks campus input

01: New year, new antivirus software
On Monday, January 12th, 2009, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) will begin offering new antivirus software to campus: Trend Micro OfficeScan 8 for Windows and Intego VirusBarrier X5 for Mac OS X.

Trend Micro replaces Symantec as NC State University’s official provider of antivirus client products and distributes Intego’s Mac products as part of a separate external agreement.

All computers, including personally owned computers, connecting to the NC State campus network require antivirus software. No user action is required at this time. Please visit OIT’s Antivirus Resources Web site for future updates.

02: Campus IT staff invited to antivirus demo
Campus IT staff are invited to an Office of Information Technology (OIT) demonstration of two new antivirus products – Trend Micro OfficeScan 8 for Windows and Intego VirusBarrier X5 for Mac OS X – from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 18th in 3712 Bostian Hall. A question-and-answer session will follow the antivirus discussion. To register for this event, visit ClassMate at

03: WolfWise implementation team announces changes
Beginning in January 2009, the WolfWise implementation team will begin holding information sessions about the changes for current GroupWise users, IT staff on campus and Oracle users. Notifications will appear in OIT News, in the Bulletin, and other communication avenues. WolfWise is NC State’s implementation of Novell GroupWise for its single centrally supported calendaring and email solution. Changes to be discussed include:

* Current GroupWise users will be migrated to the new WolfWise system in January. Users will be moved according to their email post office boxes and will be notified two weeks in advance of the pending move, which will occur over a weekend.

* Current GroupWise users’ passwords will be synched to their Unity (Portal) passwords. Additionally, the new WolfWise address book will display the customer’s preferred name as it is listed in the NC State online campus directory. Please check the campus directory at https://ssl.ncsu.edu/directory/updatelisting.php to make sure that your preferred name appears correctly (e.g., Greg instead of Gregory).

* Oracle users’ calendar and Unity email will be migrated to the new WolfWise system. Users will be able to use an IMAP email client (e.g., Thunderbird) for retrieving their mail, or they can switch to the GroupWise client. Oracle users will receive more information on these changes, including how the process will work, as the migration gets closer. Oracle users are currently scheduled to move in mid to late March.

* An email retention task force has been created to come up with a university-wide email retention policy. A recommendation is expected in the May/June time frame. After the recommendation is made, the WolfWise team will implement a system that will meet the retention requirements over the summer. Therefore, the implementation of a new archiving solution will be delayed until that time.

Due to this delay, current GroupWise users will remain on the existing time-based retention policy.

* A new archiving solution will not be implemented when Oracle calendar users and their email are migrated to WolfWise. Instead, all current messages from users’ live mailboxes (with existing folder structures) will be migrated into the WolfWise system and will remain there until an archiving solution is implemented.

If you have any questions or feedback, please send them to the WolfWise implementation team via the feedback form on the WolfWise Web site (no longer available). Additional WolfWise information can be found at http://www.ncsu.edu/wolfwise (no longer available).

04: LITRE Expo to be held January 13-15
You are cordially invited to attend the Learning in a Technology-Rich Environment (LITRE) Expo January 13th-15th, 2009, at D. H. Hill Library. LITRE is an empirical research program aimed at enhancing the extensive learning with technology opportunities available to students and faculty at NC State.

The Expo, which spotlights such opportunities, will feature Harvard University professor Dr. Chris Dede who will deliver the keynote address, “Emerging Interactive Media and Neomillennial Learning Systems: Implication for Higher Education.” The three-day event will also feature a student panel discussion on the future of learning in the age of technology, LITRE multi-year research project presentations, faculty exhibits and hands-on workshops. For details on these event times, please visit the LITRE Expo Web site.

05: OIT to sponsor two Brown Bag Lunch and Learn sessions
The campus community is invited to OIT’s Brown Bag Lunch and Learn sessions, “Choosing a Digital Camera” and “iPhone and G1 Phone Users Forum.”

The “Choosing a Digital Camera” session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, December 18th in 216 Scott Hall. Participants will learn how to select the right digital camera for their individual needs. They will be given a quick overview of flashes, lenses and tripods and will also learn about options for processing, storing and printing their photos.

The “iPhone and G1 Phone Users Forum” will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 13th in 216 Scott Hall. Anyone interested in Apple’s iPhone or the T-Mobile’s G1 phone can benefit from this open discussion among users about applications and features.

To register for these sessions, visit http://webapps.ncsu.edu/classmate.

06: Dial 7 reminder!
The NC State campus community recently began dialing “7” instead of “9” to access all outside phone lines. As of December 8th, if you dial “9” to reach an outside line, you will hear a recording reminding you to dial “7”. Please also remember to change your one-touch dialing/speed dialing numbers to dial “7” to reach outside lines. For phone help, call 515-7099, Option 5.

07: SIS update
Registration and Records is continuing to staff traveling Student Information Systems (SIS) Info Booths. The purpose of these info booths is to meet students one-on-one and explain the new features they’ll encounter in MyPack Portal when SIS Release 3 – Student Records goes live in February. Registration and Records has set up five info booths since November, and there are nine more planned for January and February.

Customer Acceptance Testing (CAT) for Release 3-Student Records is nearly complete. Students, faculty and campus administrators have assisted with testing.

Campus scheduling officers have finished scheduling summer 2009 classes using SIS and will begin working on the fall 2009 schedule in SIS very soon.

SIS training for campus users is scheduled to begin in mid January. For more information, please visit the SIS Web site at http://www.ncsu.edu/sis.

08: Beware of Agent.btz computer virus
Campus computer users have yet another reason to be cautious – Agent.btz, malware that infects only Windows computers via USB devices. Computer experts have reported that Agent.btz can allow an attacker to take control of a computer remotely and remove files and other data. This virus originally began propagating itself from an infectious flash drive, but many USB devices that use “autorun” can transmit the virus.

When any external device containing the Agent.btz virus is mounted to a computer, the host computer is automatically infected with the virus. When another uninfected external device is mounted to the infected host computer, the virus modifies the autorun.inf file of the external device so that the virus automatically runs. Autorun is used by several kinds of USB devices. Some examples you might not think about are MP3 players, iPods, GPS systems that update via Internet download, digital and video cameras and LCD picture frames.

To prevent Agent.btz from launching, temporarily disable autorun by pressing the left shift key while inserting an external device. This will allow you to check the files on the newly mounted external device with Windows Explorer without becoming infected. A recently modified autorun.inf file in the root directory of the external device and the presence of .EXE or .DLL files added at the same time on the device are indicators that an autorun infector is present. If so, remove the device immediately.

Agent.btz also downloads fresh Trojan versions from Internet sites. The download sites, each only active for a day, are encoded in the virus and change depending on the date. This makes it difficult for antivirus companies to obtain, detect and remove the malware applications because both the virus program and the sites it uses keep changing.

If you believe that Agent.btz has infected your computer or external device, please contact the NC State Help Desk at 515-4357 or at help@ncsu.edu.

09: Walk-in center announces operating hours for winter break
The OIT Technology and Media Support Walk-in Center in the West Dunn Building will be open the following hours during winter break: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 17th; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, December 18th; and 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, December 19th.

The walk-in center will be closed from Monday, December 22nd though Friday, January 2nd. It will reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 5th. Customers who have left computers at the walk-in center will have to pick them up before 5 p.m. on Friday, December 19th, or they will have to wait until January 5th, when the walk-in center reopens.

10:Certification of security access to the Student Information System (SIS)
The OIT-Security and Compliance unit will be notifying campus deans/vice chancellors this week of the need to review and certify their staff’s access to the Student Information System (SIS). The University Data Management Procedures require each dean/vice chancellor to review semi-annually (usually in April and October) his/her staff’s security access to university computer systems and that their security profiles be certified on an annual basis. The February upgrade of the Student Information System (SIS) will require a careful review and certification of SIS access by January 30th. Certification letters will be emailed to the deans/vice chancellors this week with information on how to check their staff’s security access through the student Web Security Report. Please note you will be certifying SIS access roles that were based upon the user’s access in the legacy student mainframe system. Any changes or deletions that need to be made should be entered through the System Access Request (SAR) application. Certifications must be received by January 30th to ensure all changes are in place before the Records portion of SIS goes into production on February 9th.

11: OIT implements security measures to block IE exploit
The Office of Information Technology has implemented security measures to limit campus exposure to the so-called “XML” exploit, which takes advantage of a newly discovered vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE). This vulnerability allows remote code execution that can leave the local computer in a state where an attacker can obtain the same user rights as the local computer user. The security breach affects IE 5, 6 and 7 as well as the beta version of IE 8 on all supported versions of Microsoft Windows including XP, Vista and Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

OIT has blocked campus access to known infected Web sites and anticipates deploying very soon a Microsoft patch to its supported desktop users.Other colleges and units should contact their local support staff for more information.

To download the patch for your home use, visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com. If you have any questions, please contact the NC State Help Desk at 515-4357 or at help@ncsu.edu. For more information about the exploit, please see the Microsoft Security Advisory.

12: Student Email Task Force seeks campus input
As the Student Email Task Force reviews and evaluates options for providing enhanced student email services, they strongly encourage the campus community to offer suggestions and feedback on future services. Please visit the task force Web site to provide input and learn more about this initiative at

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