OIT News – April 2009

 

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 18, April 2009

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For the up-to-the minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews:
http://sysnews.ncsu.edu
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State University Help Desk:
http://help.ncsu.edu

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01: GroupWise users to be moved to WolfWise on April 17, Oracle users on May 15
02: New
Microsoft Office site license available to faculty and staff
03:
VCL accepted as Apache Software Foundation Incubator Project
04: TLTR meets April 22: Exploring Moodle as an alternative
05: Upcoming OIT Lunch and Learn sessions: Modern Malware and Creating Groups and Events in Facebook
06: SAR training
cancelled for April
07: Tiny URLs can be big security risks
08: Student registration for summer and fall classes runs smoothly
09:
Password sensitivity checking postponed
10: Symantec antivirus license to expire soon, install new Trend Micro software now!
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01: GroupWise users to be moved to WolfWise on April 17, Oracle users on May 15
The WolfWise implementation team is planning to move current GroupWise users to the new WolfWise system on Friday, April 17 and Oracle users on Friday, May 15, pending successful testing. The GroupWise migration will begin at 10 p.m. this Friday during the normal maintenance window. WolfWise is NC State’s implementation of Novell GroupWise for its single centrally supported calendaring and email solution for faculty and staff.

For current GroupWise users, this move will have the following effects:

  • User authentication will change: The GroupWise password will be synchronized with the Unity (Portal) password. All users will now be prompted for their password whenever they open the client. (Some users might be unaccustomed to this if they use GroupWise “single sign on.”) You may change your password by visiting the Unity Password Change Web page and modifying your Unity/Portal password.
  • Address book information will change: The following fields in the Campus Directory will be used to populate the associated fields within the WolfWise Novell Address Book: preferred first name, preferred last name, working title, primary work phone, work fax, and primary email address. (You should verify your Campus Directory information by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 17 to ensure the correct information is used for the migration.) This information will be synchronized with the Campus Directory automatically Sunday through Thursday at 2:30 a.m. Any errors that have already been synchronized will not be corrected until the next scheduled run!
  • User primary email address will change: The primary email address listed in the Campus Directory will populate the GroupWise “From” and “Reply-To” fields of a message header. Any replies will be sent to that email address so it is important to verify and/or set this address in the Campus Directory prior to migration. These addresses will be synchronized over the migration weekend and will be reset to whatever is listed in the Campus Directory.
  • GroupWise client settings may change: Some client settings may change as a result of the move to the WolfWise system. These may or may not include such items as flags set for message receipts, work hours, name completion search order, view as plain text verses HTML, etc.
  • GroupWise Instant Messenger and M+Guardian (spam quarantine) authentication will change: The GroupWise Instant Messenger and M+Guardian passwords will be synchronized with the Unity (Portal) password. If you need to change this password, you may do so on the Unity Password Change Web page.

Oracle users have a tentative migration move date of Friday, May 15. Again, this migration date is dependent upon successful testing of the new environment. Final testing will begin shortly, and regular updates will be posted on the WolfWise Web site. Information sessions as well as training sessions will be announced for campus Oracle customers and IT staff, as the team gets closer to the migration date. In addition, if you would like to arrange for WolfWise team members to come to a staff meeting or talk to your department or users, please send a request to classreg@ncsu.edu. You may also continue to check the WolfWise Web site for information, user documentation, and training session schedules.

The WolfWise Web site will have weekly updates posted every Monday giving support staff and other interested parties information on the implementation team’s goals for the upcoming week. If you have any questions or feedback, please send them to the WolfWise implementation team via the feedback form on the WolfWise Web site.

Note: The WolfWise web site is no longer available.

02: New Microsoft Office site license available to faculty and staff
With the cooperation of all colleges, the library, OIT, and many others on campus, NC State now has a campus-wide site license for Microsoft Office including Office 2007 Enterprise for Windows and Office 2008 for Macintosh. The site license permits all faculty and staff to install the software on any university-owned computers, including lab machines.

The software is available via download or on media. In order to maintain the integrity of the site license, users will have to request access to the software by visiting the Software Licensing website. Please direct all questions regarding the site license to software@ncsu.edu.

03: VCL accepted as Apache Software Foundation Incubator Projectapril 2009
As part of on-going efforts to expand the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) community and to foster VCL open source development, NC State donated last November its VCL source code to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). 

The ASF is a not-for-profit corporation that provides organizational, legal, and financial support for select open source software projects. The VCL has been accepted by ASF as an Incubator Project, the first step in becoming a full Top-Level ASF project. Those interested in becoming part of the growing VCL open source code development and user community should join the ASF VCL mailing list. For more information, visit Apache VCL.

04: TLTR meets April 22: Exploring Moodle as an alternative
The campus community is invited to attend the Teaching, Learning & Technology Roundtable (TLTR), “How Far Have We Come in Exploring Moodle as an Alternative LMS to Vista?”, to be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22 in the Faculty Senate Chambers in the Erdahl-Cloyd West Wing of D.H. Hill Library.

NC State began investigating Moodle with a small pilot in spring 2008 after receiving an affirmation to investigate open source learning management systems (LMSs) from faculty and staff attending two open sessions on the state of campus LMSs in fall 2007.

At this roundtable, staff involved in the Moodle pilot will briefly show a Moodle class, share key findings and assessment results to date, discuss next steps for Moodle @ NC State, and solicit feedback and input from TLTR roundtable participants. To learn more about the TLTR, visit http://www.ncsu.edu/tltr.

05: Upcoming OIT Lunch and Learn sessions: Modern Malware and Creating Groups and Events in Facebook
The OIT is sponsoring two Brown Bag Lunch and Learn sessions.

NC State technical support staff are invited to attend “Dealing with Modern Malware,” from 12:15 to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28 in 216 Scott Hall. Malware is malicious software that interferes with a computer’s normal operation and includes programs like the storm worm, the Conficker and Waledac viruses, IRCBots, and rootkits. During this session, Tim Gurganus of OIT Security Standards and Compliance will share some methods, guidelines, and warnings about what to do when computers are infected with malware. He’ll also give a demonstration of some tools and commands to use to determine if a computer is still infected or is clean. To register for this session, visit ClassMate.   

“Creating Groups and Events in Facebook” will be held from 12:15 to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5 in 216 Scott Hall. OIT Training Coordinator Twanda Baker will look at two very popular Facebook online collaborative tools: Groups and Events. Facebook Groups provide a space for members who share common interests to post discussion issues, pictures, and videos. Facebook Events is a social planning tool for creating, sending, and managing online invitations to Facebook and non-Facebook members. This class will not cover the basics of getting started on Facebook. To register for this session, visit ClassMate.

06: SAR training cancelled for April
Due to the relocation of the OIT Training Lab, Security Access Request (SAR) training will not be held this month. To view upcoming SAR training for campus requestors and approvers, please visit the
Training Web site

07: Tiny URLs can be big security risks
If you had to choose between a short or long URL, you’d probably opt for the shorter one. After all, it’s easier to remember and takes less time to send via email or instant message, or post to a Web site or a blog. Web services such as TinyURL and Bit.ly are making it easier for users to create shorter URLs or aliases that redirect to longer URLs. Phishers, however, are finding these services useful too!

Phishers are exploiting URL-shortening utilities to conceal the identity of links to malware sites. For example, using the TinyURL tool, you can enter a long URL such as
hub.uix?/mID=133797575&mConfKey=nas6&/emailAddr=john_doe@ncsu.edu/ncsu-wolfpack.html and create a shorter URL or alias like . The intent, according to the TinyURL Web site, is to avoid long URLs not working after being cut, pasted, and truncated between email systems. The shortened URL, however, adds a level of indirection and also hides the actual location of the URL. Shorter URLs make the phishing and URLs less suspicious than using the exact URL, which could be unrelated to the site the spam message appears to come from. The same is true with Trojans that use the same approach to send shortened URLs in instant messages to buddy lists. 

Beware of any email or instant message that you are not expecting or that comes from an email address or someone that they do not recognize. Do not click on any link (in an email, instant message, blog, tweet, etc.) – whether short or long – if you are unsure of the URL authenticity in the link. 

OIT Security and Compliance advises campus Internet users to use a Firefox add-in called LongURL mobile expander that will expand shortened URLs to reveal the full URL for visual validation. Users of any browser can also expand a shortened URL at LongURL before using the link.

08: Student registration for summer and fall classes runs smoothly
The Student Implementation System (SIS) Team reports that students are successfully using the new SIS to register for summer and fall 2009 classes. Walk-in traffic and phone volume were no higher than usual.

The team also reports that grade rosters for spring 2009 will open in SIS on April 21, and the SIS online graduation clearance process for summer and fall 2009 is currently available. Students can use this process to apply for graduation.

09: Password sensitivity checking postponed
Due to difficulties experienced during implementation, OIT has postponed plans to begin on April 12 to check for upper and lower case password sensitivity for all university online applications. A new implementation date will be determined after further testing. However, it’s always a good idea to use mixed case, numbers, and special characters along with other techniques to help maximize the strength of your password.

For more information about strong passwords, including setting up three questions for user identification and authentication (UIA), which can be used by the University Help Desk to reset your password, visit the Password Change Tool Web page.

10: Symantec antivirus license to expire soon, install new Trend Micro software now! 

The license for all NC State-provided Symantec Antivirus software will expire June 22, and all Symantec antivirus products will cease updating. You can upgrade now to the new NC State providedTrend Micro OfficeScan 8 for Windows and Intego VirusBarrier X5 for Mac OS X. These new products offer better virus protection and more reliable updates, and they are available to the campus community free of charge. 

Antivirus protection is required of all NC State students, faculty, and staff connecting to the campus network. For more information about the new antivirus software or to download the software, please visit the NC State Antivirus Resources Web site. If you have any questions, please contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 515-HELP (4357).

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Information about OIT News:
OIT News is an electronic news bulletin published monthly
Office of Information Technology
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North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7109
https://oit.ncsu.edu  

 

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