WHEN           April 7, 2014, ongoing

WHAT     On Monday, April 7, 2014, the OpenSSL Project announced a serious vulnerability in OpenSSL, called Heartbleed, that can expose data on systems running OpenSSL.

                          http://www.openssl.org/news/secadv_20140407.txt
 
OpenSSL is one of the most popular data encryption tools for Web traffic, and as a result, the effects of this vulnerability are wide-ranging.
 
OpenSSL has released a fix for Heartbleed, included in version 1.0.1g. Server administrators using OpenSSL should update their version immediately either through OpenSSL or their applicable vendor.
                    
WHO IS        Server Administrators, General Public
AFFECTED

NEXT STEPS We recommend that Campus Server Administrators:

 
1. Update OpenSSL through OpenSSL or your vendor.

A list of vendors and their current status is available through US-CERT:
                        http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/720951 

 
OpenSSL updates are available through their source page:
                         http://www.openssl.org/source

2.    Generate a new private key for a new SSL certificate.
 
3.    Install a new SSL certificate with the new key.
 
4.    (As applicable) Notify users when service(s) is/are no longer vulnerable.
 
                    We recommend that students, faculty, and staff:
 
1. Do not change any passwords to UMass Central IT services until you receive notice later this week that all IT services have been patched. If you have already changed your password, you will need to change it again after UMass IT confirms that all services have been patched.
 
                                          For any non-UMass IT services: 
 
1. Do not change your passwords or transmit data to secure Web sites or services that you normally use until you have received an official announcement from them regarding a security update.
 
2. After you've confirmed that the site or service has installed a security update, change your passwords.
 
3. For at least the next week, monitor your sensitive online accounts (banking, email) for suspicious activity.
                
RELATED     OpenSSL Security Advisory:
CONTENT     http://www.openssl.org/news/secadv_20140407.txt                      

                    OpenSSL Updates:
                    http://www.openssl.org/source

                    Codenomicon Summary:
                     http://heartbleed.com

                    US-CERT Vulnerability Note:
                    http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/720951

As of April 8, 2014 Microsoft will discontinue all support for its 12-year-old Windows XP operating system, including security updates (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle).   This poses an information security risk.

By June 30, 2014, all computers on campus running Windows XP need to be updated or removed from the campus network.
 
IT has identified 225 computers running Windows XP, but there are likely more.
 
Of greatest concern are the computers that require Windows XP due to hardware compatibility or legacy application dependencies that need to be connected to the internet.  If they do need internet connectivity, departments need to work with IT to develop alternate security measures to mitigate any security risk.
  
The remaining outdated XP computers need to be upgraded to Windows 7 or swapped out with “reclaimed” machines running Windows 7.
   
If you have a computer in your department running Windows XP, please contact the IT Help Center at 978-934-4357.  Or go to http://helpdesk.uml.edu, and login with your UMass Lowell credentials.  Select "IT Issue", then select "Windows XP Upgrade."

Playstation 3 network issue resolved

After significant research and testing, the IT Network group has fixed the issue which caused some older model PlayStation 3 game consoles from seeing the wired and wireless network. All residential students using PS3’s should now be able to connect to the wired and wireless network.
Click here for information on connecting a game console to the wireless network
Click here for information on using a game console in a LAN party


Details (for those who are interested): The affected older model PS3’s use a single set of circuitry for both wired and wireless network connections. It appears that these network interfaces are not following all of the industry standards in terms of wireless signals, specifically the quantity of “management” signals which pass over modern Enterprise-grade wireless networks (such as the one in use at UMass Lowell, although we have found other organizations that have had similar issues). We discovered that the network circuitry (wired and wireless) on these PS3 systems was essentially shutting down as a result of what it interpreted as bad wireless information or too much wireless data. This behavior is highly unusual – no other devices have ever had a problem ‘seeing’ our networks. We disabled a specific management-communication function on our wireless network and this appears to have resolved the issue. Caveat: we may need to re-enable this function at some future time, which may cause the issue again. If this happens, we will communicate the change.


If you have any questions, please contact the University Help Desk or Resident Technical Services (ResTec) in the following manner:

Email:  help@uml.edu
Phone:  978-934-4357

In person:
  Lydon Library, first floor, 8:30a – 5:00p (M-F)
  O’Leary Library, first floor, 10:00a – 4:00p (M-F)
  University Crossing, Mezzanine Level, 8:30a – 5:00p (M-F)

For students in residence halls:  ResTec@uml.edu or 978-934-5027, 4:00p-10:00p, (Su-Th)

Regards,
Steve Hall, Director of Networking Services

You’re a college student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  You just sat through a lecture and know you missed some valuable points.  No worries.  The session was recorded through Echo360, a lecture capturing tool.  In fact, lecture capture at the UMASS Lowell campus continues to expand and has become a mainstream resource for students and faculty.

What started as a resource in one lecture hall to facilitate student achievement in Calculus 1, during the Spring of 2005, has developed into an infrastructure currently installed in over 50% of the classrooms on campus.  This semester, 80 classrooms are equipped with the Echo360 lecture capture appliances, and are used by over 100 faculty in 130+ course offerings. Additionally, 75 faculty have installed Personal Capture (PCAP), a software based recording tool, on their personal computers, to facilitate learning module recordings without the need of classroom technology.

Over the past nine years, growth of the system was achieved by including faculty in the process of expansion.  Departmental meetings were attended by IT staff to highlight the benefits of the technology for both students and faculty.  As more hardware was deployed on campus, yearly student surveys were conducted to determine student usage, satisfaction, and how use of the resource affected their performance in recorded courses.  Survey results indicated high student usage, satisfaction, and the desire for expansion.  The Executive Team at UMASS Lowell expanded funding for the project and growth has continued each year.  “College Deans were excited about the system,” says Michael Lucas, Director of Instructional Technology Services at UML.  “They acted as project champions during the funding request process to the Executive Team.”

Grant funding was secured from the lecture capture provider, Echo360, and a seed grant project was created to help faculty use recording tools in their course delivery.  Grant topics included ‘flipped classrooms’, assessment of student performance, student usage characteristics, and developing blended offerings.  12 grant winners from UMASS Lowell shared their experience during an Echo360 grant recipient luncheon at the conclusion of the funding period.  “Faculty were once hesitant in adopting lecture capture,” says Randy Tyndall, Instructional Technologist.  “Now they are actively contacting our office to schedule their course recordings and many have begun creating their own laptop recordings for a flipped classroom approach.”

Senior UML students now have had the opportunity to use this resource for their entire college career and are comfortable with the system.  Usage numbers continue to grow as more faculty use this as a staple in their course delivery.  For the past four academic years, usage numbers have increased by at least 10% per year.  Fall 2013 statistics indicate an increase of nearly 45% from Fall 2012 (45,000 views in Fall 2012 compared to 67,000 in Fall 2013).

The UMASS President’s office, along with each of the UMASS campuses, has collaborated on a system-wide licensing agreement with Echo360.  This new agreement allows for discounted pricing for each campus, lower hardware costs, and a unified capture platform across the system.  Future steps may include a centralized storage and distribution infrastructure, which will increase potential savings.

By the Numbers – 2013 Academic Year at a Glance

103,000 student views

220 full course recordings

140 faculty

4000 views per week

570 views per day

Peak usage: Between 9pm and Midnight

10,500 student views between the hours of Midnight and 6am

Check out Echo360

To explore the Echo360 lecture experience, visit the UMass Lowell Lecture Capture web page.  Also feel free to contact Michael Lucas for additional information.

Issues with vLabs

UMass Lowell Information Technology has identified an issue in the vLabs virtual computer lab environment where a client may disconnect and the session will be terminated without warning. In consultation with both VMware and Microsoft, we are currently working on a solution and will be rolling out a fix to remedy the issue over the next 24 to 48 hours. In the meantime, it is advisable to frequently save your work to a USB flash drive when using vLabs.

Thank you for your patience as we work to remedy the issue and stabilize the environment. If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact the UMass Lowell Help Center at help@uml.edu 

UMass Residential Students:

As of January 2014, the “uml-game-consoles” network supports network-based multi-player gaming (commonly referred to as a “LAN party”), both against other UMass Lowell participants and with participants outside the University.

NOTE: This capability is only provided on the “uml-game-consoles” wireless network – game consoles connected to the wired network may not function properly when used in a LAN party.

For more information, please see the information on game consoles here: http://www.uml.edu/wireless 

Type: CryptoLocker Ransomware

Description: CryptoLocker is a new variant of ransomware that restricts access to infected computers and demands the victim provide a payment to the attackers in order to decrypt and recover their files. CryptoLocker appears to have been spreading through fake emails designed to mimic the look of legitimate businesses and through phony FedEx and UPS tracking notices.  The malware has the ability to find and encrypt files located within shared network drives, USB drives, external hard drives, network file shares and even some cloud storage drives.  If one computer on a network becomes infected, mapped network drives could also become infected.

What the University is Doing: The UMass Lowell Spamcatcher appliance and Intrusion Prevention System are detecting and blocking most malicious emails and links to download ransomeware.

Recommend Action: Do not open click on any links or any attachments contained in a message which you did not expect to receive. Doing so puts your computer, you and the university at risk of infection or data loss. IT recommends that all users delete any suspicious emails immediately.

What to do if your computer is infected: Immediately disconnect the infected system from the wireless or wired network. This may prevent the malware from further encrypting any more files on the network.

Contact the UMass Lowell Help Center at 978-934-HELP for further assistance. 

Questions: If you have any questions or concerns please call the Help Desk at 978-934-HELP or contact your department’s IT Administrator.
WHEN October 7, 2013
WHAT Adobe recently confirmed that nearly three million customers had their private information stolen during a "sophisticated" cyber attack on its network. The attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs, encrypted passwords, as well as customer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, and other information related to customer orders. In a separate incident, Adobe is also investigating illegal access to the source code for some of its popular products, including Adobe Acrobat and ColdFusion.  

In response to the first attack, Adobe is currently notifying affected users on the steps they need to take to protect their personal information, including immediately resetting their Adobe password and monitoring their credit report. Adobe users can expect email notifications with more information on how to reset their passwords (if their login data was involved) and/or notification letters with details on how to protect themselves against identity theft (if their credit or debit card information was involved). 

Note: Adobe software currently in use will continue to work.

WHO General public, students, faculty, staff, IT professionals, Adobe users

NEXT STEPS We recommend that Adobe users follow the instructions provided in the Adobe notifications. As a precaution, we also recommend that members of the University community:
Beware of phishing scams providing ‘alternatives’ for resetting their Adobe passwords. If you have an Adobe ID account, please change your password only through the Adobe Web site. Do not enter your information on any third-party site. 
Only download Adobe software from trusted sources, such as the Adobe Web site or the campus IT Web site.
Keep their Adobe software up-to-date and apply all available updates as soon as they are released.

RELATED CONTENT

Customer Security Announcement
http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/customer-alert.html