COMPUTING AND TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

Previously Posted Alerts and Announcements

 

SPSS Contract Renewal Update & Downtime (posted 06/30/2014 2:30 PM)

Negotiations between IBM and SUNY for the renewal of the SPSS contract were just finalized this morning (6/30/14). The previous license server (spss.itec.suny.edu) will be unavailable starting tomorrow, July 1, 2014. As a result of the terms of the new contract, SUNY is required to change its license server model. Academic and administrative users can no longer point to a single license manager server. ITEC is awaiting license keys from IBM and is working diligently to enable the license servers to provide continuity of the service. As soon as ITEC has the new license servers in place, Computing & Technology Services will work to point campus workstations to the appropriate server. Until both of these steps are completed, SPSS users may experience downtime. We apologize, understanding that this is short notice and disruptive to our end users. Please understand the contracts team has negotiated the new agreement to best meet the needs of SUNY and resulted in a last-minute procurement.

Network File Server Issues Resolved (posted 06/18/2014 2:15 PM)

The issues experienced earlier with one of our network file servers - bscappm1 - has been resolved soon.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

Faculty/Staff E-mail Issues Resolved (posted 05/22/2014 9:54 AM)

The issues that we experienced earlier this morning with faculty/staff e-mail have been resolved.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

Information related to the Internet Explorer security vulnerability (posted 04/29/14 1:15PM)

Please be aware of a new Internet Explorer vulnerability that effects ALL versions of IE. The Department of Homeland Security is currently advising people to steer clear of IE until the vulnerability has been patched and your computer is updated. Computing & Technology Services will push out this patch as soon as it is available. 

In the meantime, you should be cautious about using IE for anything except internal or our own web services such as Banner, Blackboard or other trusted sites.  Chrome is recommended for accessing other/outside websites.  Since your default browser opens when you click a link in a document or email, you may want to make Chrome your default until a fix is released.  To do this, start Chrome, click on the menu icon in the upper right corner, select “Settings” and click on the option to make Chrome your default browser.

For more information, see: http://www.cnet.com/news/stop-using-ie-until-bug-is-fixed-says-us/?ttag=fbwl

Update: Banner registration issue resolved (posted 04/15/14 8:53AM)

The Banner issue that prevented students from registering for classes early this morning has been resolved. If you experienced this problem, please log out of Banner, log back in and then try again. If you encounter any errors when attempting to register, please report them to the Help Desk at chd@buffalostate.edu.

Note regarding registration restrictions: If you're unable to get into a class due to a restriction of some sort (e.g. major, class, prerequisite), you'll receive an error message (and a copy of the error will be sent to your student email account). To address the restriction, you'll need to forward a copy of this email to your advisor for review, or contact the instructor directly. If the instructor decides to grant the override, you'll need to go back into Banner and add the course.

Information related to the Heartbleed Internet security vulnerability (posted 04/11/14 9:00PM)

ABOUT HEARTBLEED

Heartbleed (CVE-2014-0160) is an OpenSSL bug that has been in place since March of 2012, but was revealed publicly only this week.  The vulnerability exploits a weakness in OpenSSL and allows unauthorized users to read the memory of systems protected by vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software.  This issue should be considered extremely critical due to its impact, long exposure, ease of exploitation, the absence of application logs indicating an exploit attempt and the widespread availability of exploit code.  This vulnerability reveals 64KB of memory per request to a connected client or server.  An attacker can potentially keep reconnecting or can keep requesting an arbitrary number of 64KB chunks of memory content during an active TLS (Transport Layer Security) connection until they have achieved their objectives.

What is affected that Buffalo State hosts or manages?

The servers below were running a vulnerable version of OpenSSL, and have been patched and tested.  Note also that all Linux systems managed by Computing and Technology Services are protected by daily patches from the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Network.  

Machine

OpenSSL ver.

Patched and restarted

tested @ http://filippo.io/Heartbleed

eprint01.buffalostate.edu

1.0.1e-16

patched / restarted

tested OK

bsclib02.buffalostate.edu

1.0.1e-16

patched / restarted

tested OK

libdev.buffalostate.edu

1.0.1e-16

patched / restarted

tested OK

webcts01.buffalostate.edu

1.0.1e-16

patched / restarted

tested OK

sareports.buffalostate.edu

1.0.1e-16

patched / restarted

tested OK

What is affected that SUNY ITEC hosts or manages?

All hosted systems at ITEC are protected by ITEC’s Dell SecureWorks iSensor IDS/IPS.  The IDS/IPS contains a signature for Heatbleed attacks called 50174 VID59478 OpenSSL TLS/DTLS Large Heartbeat Response.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS

For users:

It is good practice to change your Web account passwords frequently, and this vulnerability just serves to emphasize this.   Although some media outlets would suggest that you wait until Web companies are have patched/upgraded their servers before changing your password, the fix was made available on Monday (4/7), so it is likely that most of them will have done this by now.  Change your passwords now (including your Buffalo State network password) and make it a habit to change passwords often.

For server administrators (or anyone running a Linux Web server):

This vulnerability is resolved in OpenSSL version 1.0.1g.  According to the OpenSSL advisory, version 1.0.2 will be fixed via 1.0.2-beta2.  An immediate upgrade is recommended.

Products that use OpenSSL libraries, such as SSL termination devices, load balancers, secure web gateways , web application firewalls, and other embedded devices, may also be vulnerable.  Clients should coordinate vulnerability status and mitigation steps with appropriate vendors. 

After patching the vulnerability, revoke any primary key material (e.g., X.509 certificates and private keys) used by a vulnerable TLS service, and issue and distribute new keys.  In addition, consider potential compromise of secondary key material, such as usernames and passwords exchanged with a vulnerable TLS endpoint.  Reset secondary key material such as passwords and encryption keys, and invalidate and reset any exposed session keys and session cookies.

What versions of the OpenSSL are affected?

OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f (inclusive) are vulnerable

OpenSSL 1.0.1g is NOT vulnerable

OpenSSL 1.0.0 branch is NOT vulnerable

OpenSSL 0.9.8 branch is NOT vulnerable

LINKS

http://heartbleed.com/

https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2014-0160

http://sseguranca.blogspot.com/2014/04/heartbleed-ssl-bug.html

http://filippo.io/Heartbleed <-- Test to see if a Web server is vulnerable to Heartbleed

Computing Help Desk: Limited Phone Support February 13 (posted 02/12/14 8:50AM)

The Computing Help Desk will be moving to a new office in E. H. Butler Library on Thursday, February 13. The Help Desk will have limited phone support while Verizon moves phone lines to the new location. If you need assistance but are not able to get through, please leave a voice mail message or e-mail your request or problem to the Help Desk at chd@buffalostate.edu. Someone will follow up with you as soon as possible. Please share this information with your colleagues and students. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Internet Service Update (posted 02/03/14 9:54 AM)

Our Internet service provider is continuing work on the replacement of a section of fiber that provides our primary connection to the Internet.  We have worked with them to reroute some of the campus connections in order to maintain connectivity during the repair, which is expected to take a few days. 

We may continue to experience Internet slowness/connectivity issues until the repair has been completed, after which a period of scheduled down time will be required to cut over to the new fiber.  We will provide an update with the scheduled down time as soon as that information is available.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Temporary service outage - access to hosted systems restored (posted 01/22/14 1:52 PM)

Access to our hosted systems (Banner, Blackboard, library catalog, Degree Works) has been restored. 

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Temporary service outage - hosted systems (posted 01/22/14 1:22 PM)

A number of our hosted systems (Banner, Blackboard, library catalog, Degree Works) are currently experiencing connectivity issues due to a network problem at the host site.  We will update you when we have more information.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Student personal network folders are back online (posted 01/10/14 4:05 PM)

The problem that we experienced with one of our file servers, which affected access to student personal network folders, has been resolved. We apologize any inconvenience this may have caused.

Student personal network folders currently offline (posted 01/09/14 3:45 PM)

We are currently experiencing problems with one of our file servers.  Student personal network folders are currently offline while Computing & Technology Services works to resolve the issue. We will notify you as soon as these  student personal shares ("Z drives") are back online.  We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.

Emergency Blackboard Learn Maintenance Update (posted 12/10/13 1:48 PM)

At this time, Blackboard Learn is available.  Our hosting provider continues to investigate the issue and may need to complete further maintenance. We are aware of the urgency during this time to maintain a stable environment.   

We are recommending that students communicate with their instructors about any missed deadline that occurred during the Blackboard Learn maintenance earlier today.  Faculty may want to consider providing additional time for students to complete their course requirements where Blackboard Learn is required.

We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing for students and instructors and will continue to communicate with the campus about this Blackboard Learn maintenance.

Emergency Blackboard Learn Maintenance (posted 12/10/13 9:35 AM)

Our Blackboard Learn hosting provider has identified an issue with the Blackboard Learn File Server and will need to take immediate corrective action.  This will result in an outage for our Blackboard Learn sites as they restart the File Server and all individual Blackboard Learn sites.  We are not expecting this to be an extended downtime. 

Another update will be provided once the maintenance is complete. 

Malware Advisory regarding CryptoLocker Ransomware (posted 11/26/13 9:45 AM)

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center has provided an advisory regarding a new ransomware campaign that goes by the name of CryptoLocker. Ransomware is malware (e.g. viruses, trojans) that restricts access to infected computers and forces the victim to pay a ransom in order to regain full access.

In the case of CryptoLocker, once a computer is infected, the victim's files are then encrypted rendering them unusable (unless the ransom is paid within a specified window of time). The only way to recover the encrypted files without paying the demanded ransom is by restoring the files from a clean backup copy. Under no circumstances will Buffalo State authorize the payment of ransom.

This malware is spread via malicious phishing e-mails, delivered with subject lines that are seemingly legitimate but are NOT. These e-mails have been delivered with various lures, with subject lines that include keywords like “payroll” or “package tracking,” and they usually appear to be from legitimate sources (e.g., UPS, FedEx, PayPal).

It is recommended that you take the following precautions to prevent your campus computer from becoming infected with CryptoLocker (or other malware):

Remain extremely vigilant when opening e-mails, e-mail attachments, and clicking on hyperlinks contained within e-mails.

  • If an e-mail appears suspicious, or you have received an unexpected attachment, do not open it.
  • Verify the identity of the sender of any attachment, whether via a check of the sender's e-mail address or formal communication with the sender.
  • Regularly back up your important files to a network or external drive.
  • Regularly scan your computer for viruses. To learn how visit: http://libanswers.buffalostate.edu/a.php?qid=593637

If you believe your campus-owned computer has become infected with CryptoLocker, or other malware, please report it to the Help Desk immediately by phone (878-4357) or e-mail (chd@buffalostate.edu).

Internet Explorer Upgrade Scheduled for October 9 (posted 10/05/12 1:50 PM)

Computing and Technology Services will upgrade Internet Explorer to IE9 on all Windows 7 office devices at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 9. The upgrade is being done at this time to facilitate access to the Middle States self-study site.  All online campus systems - including ANGEL, Banner and Degree Navigator - have been tested and are compatible with this new version.

Devices that are not on the network at the time the updates are delivered (laptops, for example) will be updated and rebooted the next time users log in to the network. Lab devices will be handled separately, once lab coordinators have been contacted about the schedule. 

For additional information about Internet Explorer's new interface and features, please visit the Microsoft site below:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/help/ie-9

If you have any questions regarding this upgrade, or encounter any issues after the upgrade, please contact the Computing Help Desk (878-4357).

Update on campus wide Entourage issues (posted 01/18/2012 9:15 AM)

The issue sending/receiving e-mail from the Entourage client has been resolved. If you encounter any further problems with Entourage please report them to the Help Desk. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Update on campus wide Entourage issues (posted 01/17/2012 1:15 PM)

We are currently experiencing a campus wide problem with Entourage - the Mac e-mail client. A number of Entourage users have contacted the Help Desk since Friday and have reported that they are unable to send or receive email. They have also reported getting the error below when attempting to send mail. This problem is not affecting Outlook/PC users.

"HTTP Error. The Resource is not found. Explanation: Mail could not be sent, the message is saved in your drafts. Error -18596."
 
We are looking into this issue and hope to have it resolved as soon as possible. In the meantime, Entourage users can access email via the Buffalo State homepage by logging in to Outlook Web Access. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Update on Hotmail delivery issues (posted 10/11/2011 10:15 AM)

The issues that we've been experiencing sending to Hotmail addresses over the past couple of weeks have been resolved. You'll need to resend any messages that failed to reach your Hotmail receipients. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Campus E-mail Issues Resolved (posted 08/27/2011 10:25 AM)

The issue affecting staff e-mail services yesterday has been resolved, and we will continue to monitor the problem. Any messages composed during the outage that went into your Outbox, should get sent upon launching your e-mail application (e.g. Outlook, Entourage). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Computing Help Desk at chd@buffalostate.edu or 878-4357. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Campus E-mail Issues (posted 08/26/2011 3:15 PM)

Exchange services are currently unavailable for Buffalo State STAFF accounts. Faculty and student accounts are not affected. If you are staff, Outlook may open in "offline/disconnected" mode, or you may receive the error below when attempting to open Outlook:

Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. Microsoft Exchange is not available. Either there are network problems or the Exchange computer is down for maintenance.

Please Note If you have your mobile phone configured to check your Buffalo State account, you will likely receive an error when it attempts to sync with the Exchange server.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

New antivirus software for Windows (posted 04/13/2011 11:00 AM) 

Computing and Technology Services will be transitioning to a new antivirus product, Microsoft Forefront, beginning on April 17 and continuing over the next few weeks. Forefront will be deployed to all college-owned Windows PCs and will replace McAfee, our current Windows antivirus solution. The change will happen during the overnight hours.
 
College-owned Windows laptops MUST be connected to the campus network to receive the upgrade and ensure continued anti-virus protection. If you have a college-owned Windows laptop, connect it using a wired campus connection sometime between April 17 and April 30. The update will begin shortly after login. If you need assistance, please contact the Computing Help Desk at chd@buffalostate.edu or 878-4357.

Important Note for McAfee Home Users:

Because we are discontinuing our McAfee licenses for Windows, home users who installed the college-licensed version of McAfee must uninstall McAfee and install a different antivirus application on your home PC (see http://buffalostate.edu/cts/x884.xml). Microsoft Security Essentials, a version of Forefront, is free for home use and can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/default.aspx.  
 
College-owned Macs will not be affected by this change and will continue to run McAfee.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the Computing Help Desk at chd@buffalostate.edu or 878-4357.

Adobe Reader and Skype upgrade phishing scams (posted 04/13/2011 11:00 AM)

A number of people have reported receiving SPAM messages similar to the sample message below, prompting you to download and install updates for Adobe Reader or Skype. The messages claim to be from the "Adobe Systems Incorporated" or "Skype Support," respectively. Please be aware that these are fraudulent messages, and clicking any of the links in them will likely infect your computer with malware.

If you receive a message like this, you are advised to delete the message immediately. Never respond to or click on links in these messages! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Help Desk.

SAMPLE SKYPE MESSAGE:

From: Skype Support [mailto:Skype@news.mondino.de]
Subject: Download New VOIP Addons For More Skype Free Talks?

SKYPE VoIP ADDONS UPDATES

This is to notify that new updates have been released for Skype. Following are major new features:
 
- Talk more for free via Voice Over IP (VoIP).
- Lower cost when connecting to landlines (much cheaper than Calling Card).
- Record your conversation (better than telephone quality).
- Instant messaging& file-sharing, video calls.
- Now available on PSP !

SAMPLE ADOBE MESSAGE:

From: Adobe Systerm Incorporated [mailto:adobe@news.mondino.de]
Subject: Get more done, much faster, with new update Acrobat PDF Reader. Upgrade Available Now

GETTING MORE DONE AT WORK NOW COMES IN A CONVENIENT BOX

See how Adobe Acrobat Reader is a step above anything you've experienced before, so you can be even more productive.

Upgrade Adobe Acrobat Reader

Just how much faster can you work with Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader software? Fast enough to stay on top of last-minute changes, connect with key decision makers, and share updates with co-workers.

You'll discover how easy it is to reuse content by exporting PDF files to Microsoft Word or Excel formats. And how quickly you can automate multi-step tasks with new, guided Actions. No wonder PC Magazine says, "There's a lot to like in Acrobat X PDF Reader."

Download Now To Try Us Out

ANGEL unavailable May 15 thru May 23 (posted 03/21/2011 9:30 AM)

In order to provide improved support and significant cost savings, the campus will migrate ANGEL to SUNY ITEC’s hosting service. This migration will take one week and will occur from Sunday, May 15, at 11:59 p.m. through Monday, May 23.

During this time, ANGEL will be completely unavailable. No one will be able to login to ANGEL. Faculty and students will not be able to enter grades, view grades, retrieve grades, or download grades. There will be no access to drop boxes or submitted papers/projects/exams. Students will not be able to submit papers/projects/exams to drop boxes or to take assessments/exams/course evaluation surveys through ANGEL during this time.

Faculty who use ANGEL can prepare now by reviewing syllabi, taking note of dates that require students to use ANGEL between May 15 and May 23.

Student paper/assignment submission: Tell students to submit papers to you directly via Buffalo State e-mail.

Faculty grading: Before Sunday, May 15, print out a copy of your ANGEL grade book and export a copy to Excel so you have access to grades outside of ANGEL.

Faculty accessing assignments stored in ANGEL: Before Sunday, May 15, export all drop box submissions and save to a flash drive or your computer.

During the week of May 9, in-person ANGEL assistance for exporting grades and student submissions will be available. For the location, dates, and times for ANGEL assistance, and for other temporary solutions, see http://www.buffalostate.edu/offices/ir/Instructional_Design.

Update on Off-Campus E-mail Issues (posted 03/03/2011 10:25 PM)

Some faculty/staff have reported problems sending e-mail to off-campus addresses, including Road Runner and Comcast. Some sites require certain authorization (via DNS MX records) before accepting e-mail from our Exchange server. We are working with Albany to correct this problem and hope to have these issues resolved soon. We expect any e-mail currently delayed to those sites should be delivered at that time. Thank you for your patience.

Update on Campus E-mail Issues (posted 03/02/2011 11:00 AM)

As of about 10:40 AM today (03/02/11), it appears that the issue sending e-mail from faculty/staff accounts to student e-mail accounts has been resolved. Also, any messages that were sent out but NOT delivered during the problem time - approximately 5:00 AM on 03/01/11 until now - should now get delivered.

Campus E-mail Issues (posted 03/02/2011 10:30 AM)

In the last 24 hours or so, the campus has experienced a couple of issues related to campus e-mail:

Issue 1: Exchange to Student E-mail Issue

Some faculty/staff have reported problems sending e-mail to student email addresses (e.g. username@mail.buffalostate.edu). We are invesigating the issue and hope to have it resolved soon.

Issue 2: Entourage Issues

Some Mac users have reported problems sending/receiving e-mail using Entourage. If you are a Mac user who uses Entourage, and you are having trouble sending/receiving email, please visit the this page and confirm that your account is configured properly: http://www.buffalostate.edu/cts/x872.xml. Once you have updated your account settings to match those on this page, you should be able to send/receive e-mail again.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope to have these issues corrected soon. Thank you for your patience.

Wireless Network Maintenance (posted 10/22/2010 9:30 AM)

To accommodate the increased use of the campus wireless network, Computing & Technology Services will be performing wireless network maintenance across campus during the week of October 25. Users may experience brief interruptions in wireless service at various times throughout the week, and clients should automatically reconnect to the wireless network once it's back online. Please report any extended wireless connection problems to the Help Desk (chd@buffalostate.edu or 878-4357).

Banner maintenance complete (posted 10/13/2010 11:45 AM)

Banner maintenance has been completed, and Banner is now available to faculty, staff and students. Please report any problems to the Help Desk (chd@buffalostate.edu or 878-4357).

Scheduled Internet Service Provider Maintenance (posted 10/6/2010 1:30 PM)

On Sunday, October 10, 2010 our internet service provider will be performing maintenance to their network from 12:00 AM to 1:00 AM. During this time, you may experience brief interruptions in connections to Internet-based campus services such as ANGEL and email.

Entourage E-mail Issues Resolved (posted 10/5/2010 10:30 AM)

The issues affecting Entourage users yesterday have been resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact the Help Desk with any questions (chd@buffalostate.edu or 878-4357).

Final Update on Faculty/Staff E-mail (posted 8/24/2010 12:17)

CTS has completed the upgrade to the faculty/staff email system.  All mailboxes have been moved and quotas have been increased.  For Outlook Web Access users, the transition page at http://email.buffalostate.edu will be eliminated in a day or two, and that link will take you directly to the OWA login.
 
For Macs using Entourage 2008, your account settings will have to be modified to work in the new Exchange environment.  Please see the documentation on updating your settings at http://www.buffalostate.edu/cts/x872.xml.
 
Reminder for iPhone and smart phone users: you may have to modify your phone configuration to specify owa.buffalostate.edu as the mail server and select the secure connection option.
 
If you have any questions about the upgrade, please contact the Help Desk (chd@buffalostate.edu or 878-4357).

Faculty and Staff E-mail using Smart Phones (posted 8/16/2010 2:30 PM)

The correct server name for Smart Phones (Blackberry, iPhone and Android) has changed to owa.buffalostate.edu . Depending on the phone, you may need to delete the account entirely and add it again. You should select secure SSL if given that option when you set up your e-mail account. Please contact the Help Desk with any questions (chd@buffalostate.edu or 878-4357).