OIT News – October 2013

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 72, October 2013

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Follow OIT on Twitter @ncsu_oit
For up-to-the-minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State Help Desk

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01: Take Control of Your Digital Life
02: ComTech receives grant to create network autobahn
03: NC State Website Accessibility Challenge begins now
04: New campus voice mail retention policy in effect
05: You can join WebEx pilot
06: Adobe security breach
07: OIT to offer Google Apps, InDesign, Digital Photography, and Photoshop training
08: SAR training scheduled for Dec. 4
09: How can cyber attackers turn your stolen password into dollars?

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01: Take Control of Your Digital Life
Do you know why you should use antivirus, passwords and encryption on your mobile devices?
What security standards are protecting university data?
How safe are you and your data on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
Why would cyber predators want to attack you?

OIT’s Cyber Security Awareness Month program, “Take Control,” aims to create dialogue about key ways to “increase awareness and prevention of online security issues” like those mentioned above and more. October 2013 marks the 10th annual event sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance.

OIT is offering several Cyber Security Awareness Month activities, including security videos and presentations, to show you how to take control of your digital life. Activities include:

Refreshments will be provided at each event, and you will have an opportunity to win great prizes. For more information and to view security videos, visit the Cyber Security Awareness Month website.

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02: ComTech receives grant to create network autobahn
In a very “tight” budget year, OIT Communication Technologies (ComTech) sought external funding to enhance the campus network infrastructure. Its reward — a $499,890 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for its sound proposal to develop a new network autobahn that will deliver high-volume data transfers to NC State researchers.

The network infrastructure and engineering grant will help finance network switches at strategic points in the campus network to eliminate bottlenecks and increase access layer bandwidth to support big data and analytics. This new network architecture will provide immediate benefit to researchers, staff and students across diverse disciplines who are generating, processing and sharing more data than ever before.

Currently, the university offers 10 or 100 Mb/s network connectors in most campus buildings. With the new funding, some researchers will receive 1 Gb/s network connections, and network uplinks to additional campus buildings will be upgraded to 10 Gb/s.

The new network will leverage agile techniques like software-defined networking (SDN) to meet current and future needs of the campus community. SDN administrators can completely control network traffic via a software interface without having to manually touch individual switches. SDN will allow NC State to construct a dynamic “Virtualized Science DMZ” to allow researchers their own slice of the campus network, uninterrupted by other campus network traffic.

This project creates a roadmap that allows the university to extend these agile and high-bandwidth services progressively to a larger variety of campus researchers as data transfer needs grow and evolve. By extending SDN capabilities, in partnership with the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), the university will provide SDN-capable bandwidth to other regional universities and the Internet2 Advanced Layer 2 Research Network, ultimately improving the ability to conduct leading-edge research.

Grant participants include NC State CIO Dr. Marc Hoit, principal investigator, and co-principal investigators Greg Sparks, ComTech director; Will Brockelsby, ComTech lead network architect; and Dr. Rudra Dutta, professor of computer science.

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03: NC State Website Accessibility Challenge begins now
NC State University Office of IT Accessibility is sponsoring a Website Accessibility Challenge as part of World Usability Day, which is Thursday, Nov. 14. World Usability Day brings people together “to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use.”

NC State’s Website Accessibility Challenge begins now, and campus website owners will have until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13 to:

  • address general usability by correcting the most website accessibility errors.
  • add a “skip to main content” link on at least 80 percent of their Web pages. This accessibility feature allows visitors who cannot use a mouse to skip to the main content of a page using only their keyboard.

For more information and to participate, visit NC State Web Accessibility.

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04: New campus voice mail retention policy in effect
Effective Oct. 10, ComTech implemented a new voice mail retention policy that deletes all voice mail messages older than 30 days. New voice mail messages as well as those marked “saved” also will automatically be deleted after 30 days. This retention change is necessary to keep the voice mail system running optimally.

If you need to save a specific voice mail longer than 30 days, you can:

  • Send the voice mail message to your NC State Google email account. To do so, sign up for the Unified Messaging feature by completing the Unified Communications Services Request Form. This will allow you to receive a voice mail as a .WAV file in your email Inbox. Voice mail received via email will be retained in accordance with the NC Public Records Law.

  • Save the voice mail message. You can access your voice mail by logging in to Cisco Personal Communications Assistant with your Unity ID and password. For long-term storage of your voice mail messages, use one of the following:

    • NCSU drive
    • “B” or “S” drive (OIT-managed desktop users only)
    • USB (flash) drive.

For additional information, contact ComTech’s Network Operations Center (NOC) at 919.515.7099. For voice mail services, visit Unified Communication Services.

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05: You can join WebEx pilot
OIT ComTech is extending its WebEx pilot, WolfMeeting, through Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, to allow more campus participation.

WolfMeeting is a full-featured video conferencing WebEx application that allows users with a desktop, laptop, iPad, or iPhone to collaborate, present and share content with anyone, anywhere via the Web. Those who are interested can join the pilot by completing ComTech’s WebEx Pilot Request Form.

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06: Adobe security breach
Early this month, Adobe Inc. announced a security breach that exposed the account information of approximately 2.9 million customers. This information includes:

  • customer names
  • encrypted credit or debit card numbers
  • expiration dates
  • customer order information

As precautionary measures, Adobe is:

  • resetting “relevant customer passwords” to prevent unauthorized access to Adobe ID accounts
  • recommending that customers with a Creative Cloud account (or other Adobe account) reset their passwords
  • recommending that customers change their passwords on any website where they may have used the same user ID and password

OIT Software Licensing Management reminds you to install security updates for your Adobe software (and other software) on a regular schedule. For additional information, see:

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07: OIT to offer Google Apps, InDesign, Digital Photography, and Photoshop training
Upcoming workshops include:

  • “Google Apps: Calendar” will be offered on Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center and Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon in  ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Library. If you’re comfortable with the basics of Google Calendar and are ready to use more of its features, this hands-on workshop is for you. This workshop will focus on appointment slots, event attachments, maps and directions, sharing and embedding calendars, labs, quick add, search options, mobile notifications, and more. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Introduction to InDesign: Part 1” will be offered on Monday, Oct. 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of Avent Ferry Technology Center. This is the first of a four-part series that will provide you a basic overview of Adobe InDesign and the opportunity to create posters, flyers, brochures, and other publications. By the end of this course, you will learn how to create wireframes, incorporate layers and images, edit publications, export your document for print and Web, use NC State branding, and understand best practices for print design. Part 1 of this course will introduce users to the Adobe Interface, print design best practices and the NC State Brand Book. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Digital Photography: Introduction” will be offered on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 212 of Administrative Services II. Come to this workshop to learn how your digital camera works and how to determine when you’ll need to use manual settings versus picture modes. You will learn about f stops, aperture, ISO, depth of field, zoom, and other concepts so you’ll become more comfortable with composing photos. You’ll also learn about editing, storing and sharing your photos. You will need to bring your own digital camera and memory card to this workshop. (Camera doesn’t need to be a DSLR/removable lens camera.) To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Beyond the Basics: Gmail” will be offered on Thursday, October 24 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. If you’re comfortable with the basics of Gmail and are ready to learn more advanced features, this hands-on workshop is for you. You will learn more about labels, filters, canned responses, and more. If you would prefer using your own laptop or other mobile device, feel free to bring it. It is not necessary to use the PCs installed in the training rooms. There is ample WiFi service in the classrooms. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Introduction to InDesign: Part 2” will be offered on Monday, Oct. 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop is the second of a four-part series that will provide you a basic overview of Adobe InDesign and the opportunity to create posters, flyers, brochures, and other publications. By the end of this course, you will learn how to create wireframes, incorporate layers and images, edit publications, export your document for print and Web, use NC State branding, and understand best practices for print design. Part 2 of this course will cover creating wireframes, setting up your document requirements and working with layers. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Introduction to Google Hangouts – Laptop/Desktop Application” will be offered on Wednesday, Oct. 30 from noon to 1 p.m. in 216 Scott Hall. Join this fun and interactive workshop to learn about Google Hangouts, a free Web conferencing tool that allows you to communicate with others on campus or around the globe via video, audio and text messaging. Learn how to use the Hangouts platform to share your screen and documents, add a personalized banner and download apps that offer additional helpful features. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Introduction to Google Sites” will be offered on Thursday, Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this class, you will learn how to create a website using Google Sites, how to control access and how to embed Docs, video, images, and links. You’ll also learn some customization and basic Web design principles. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Introduction to InDesign: Part 3” will be offered on Monday, Nov. 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop is the third of a four-part series that will provide you a basic overview of Adobe InDesign and the opportunity to create posters, flyers, brochures, and other publications. By the end of this course, you will learn how to create wireframes, incorporate layers and images, edit publications, export your document for print and Web, use NC State branding, and understand best practices for print design. Part 3 of this course will focus on using images, text wrap and editing outside of InDesign. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Photoshop: Introduction, Part 1” will be offered on Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this four-part series, you will learn about the Photoshop software as well as print and photography design concepts. By the end of this workshop series, you should feel comfortable finding the Photoshop tools you need to open, edit, transform, retouch, and export images. Part 1 will also cover an introduction to the Creative Suite workspace and Adobe workflow, file types and how to save for print or Web. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Choosing a Digital Camera” will be offered on Thursday, Nov. 7 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 101 of Administrative Services II Building. Choosing a digital camera is no easy task. There are numerous models with numerous features at a plethora of prices. Come learn about the many considerations in digital photography through a clear and concise lens. Topics will include:
    • The different types of digital cameras available and why you might prefer one type over another
    • How to select the right digital camera for your personal or work use
    • How to avoid spending more on your camera than you need to
    • An overview of flashes, lenses and tripods
    • Options for processing, storing and printing your photos
    • The correlation between sensor sizes, megapixels and image quality, including the “megapixel myth”

              To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Create and Collaborate with Google Docs/Drive” will be offered on Friday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this hands-on workshop, you learn everything you need to know to get started using Google Docs/Drive at NC State. You will learn how to use Docs/Drive in a collaborative environment, including editing a file simultaneously with other people, securing a document through file sharing permissions and creating files for use by a group of colleagues or friends. For this workshop, you will need an active NC State University Unity account with access to Google Apps at NC State. If you would prefer using your own laptop or other mobile device, feel free to bring it. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Introduction to InDesign: Part 4” will be offered on Monday, Nov. 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop is the last of a four-part series that will provide you a basic overview of Adobe InDesign and the opportunity to create posters, flyers, brochures, and other publications. By the end of this course, you will learn how to create wireframes, incorporate layers and images, edit publications, export your document for print and Web, use NC State branding, and understand best practices for print design. Part 4 of this course will focus on flight checking your document, typography and exporting for print and Web. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Photoshop: Introduction, Part 2: Selection” will be offered on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This is the second workshop in a four-part series that will introduce you to the robust capabilities of Adobe Photoshop. In this series, you will learn about the Photoshop software as well as print and photography design concepts. By the end of this workshop series, you should feel comfortable finding the Photoshop tools you need to open, edit, transform, retouch, and export images. Part 2 will cover how to choose the right tools to segregate elements in your images and to refine those selections. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Google Apps: Gmail Training” will be offered on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop is an overview of Google Apps @ NC State and will cover more in-depth features of Gmail, including additional helpful resources. To register, visit Classmate.

  • “Introduction to Google Hangouts – Tablet/Mobile Device Application” will be offered on Thursday, Nov. 14 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 112 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Join this fun and interactive workshop to learn about Google Hangouts, a free Web conferencing tool that allows you to communicate with others on campus or around the globe via video, audio and text messaging. Learn how to use the Hangouts platform to share your screen and documents, add a personalized banner and download apps that offer additional helpful features. To register, visit Classmate.

Check the Classmate training calendar for other available workshops. If you’re interested in custom software training for your department, unit or classroom, please complete the Custom Training form. If you have any questions about OIT training, please contact Katie McInerney, OIT training coordinator, at 513-4091 or via email at classreg@ncsu.edu.

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08: SAR training scheduled for Dec. 4
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. There will be no SAR training in November. Please visit Classmate to sign up for training.

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09: How can cyber attackers turn your stolen password into dollars?
Cyber attackers have creative ways to monetize the passwords they steal via phishing. In reports from at least a half dozen U.S. universities, staff discovered their direct deposit information had been changed to redirect their monthly paychecks into attackers’ banking accounts.   

Each of the victims had responded to a phishing attack, and attackers used the victims’ stolen credentials to access the university’s employee portal. Familiar with each university’s portal, the attackers logged in during the last week of the month to change the bank account numbers where paychecks were deposited. They also created a filter to delete the automatic alerts that the portal would email to employees to inform them their direct deposit information had been changed. In interviews with the victims, it was determined that:

  • Most responses occurred away from the office.
  • Most responses occurred after work hours.
  • Most responders were using mobile devices.

Frequently, compromised email accounts are used to send others phishing messages or spam, which almost always results in returned messages and complaints to the compromised account. These responses alert the account owner that something is wrong. However, in the cases above, the accounts were not used for anything else. This made it highly unlikely the victims would find out their accounts had been compromised until they noticed their paycheck deposit didn’t occur.

If you respond to a phishing attack:

  • change your password immediately
  • check your direct deposit information in the MyPack Portal
  • look for any Gmail filters that may have been added to your email account while it was compromised

Remember that NC State IT personnel will never send you an email asking for your Unity account password.

Email attacks and compromised passwords also drive a number of criminal activities such as spamming and harvesting of your contacts, Google docs, personal information such as your home address and photographs, bank account or employment information, and online purchases. This information is valuable to attackers and is often used for secondary, more targeted attacks such as identity theft. For more information on cyber attacks, the business behind email attacks and how you can avoid them, attend the “10 Spooky Attacks Targeting You” presentation on Thursday, Oct. 31. To sign up, visit the Cyber Security Awareness Month website.

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