Thursday, October 29, 2015

Google Apps: Go Beyond the Basics in November 2015!

Join ITS in November for hands-on Google Apps workshops. A different collaboration tool will be featured in each of the 3 weekly hands-on workshops.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Macalester Hosts UMBUG Conference October 22 & 23, 2015

The Upper Midwest Banner Users' Group's  (UMBUG) fall conference will be held on campus Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23, 2015. We will welcome approximately 135 conference attendees. They will park in the Leonard Center lot both days, and participate in programming in Olin-Rice and the Campus Center.

UMBUG was founded in 2007 by Macalester, and six other Minnesota private colleges. Membership now includes 15 institutions in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is open to schools using the Ellucian Banner software and committed to collaboration.  Learn more at umbug.org.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Google Drive Access Problem Resolved

As of 4:10pm 10/9/15, Google reports that Google Drive service has already been restored for some users, and that they expect a resolution for all users in the near future.  This outage appears to have affected users world-wide, but Google has no information yet as to what caused the problem. If you continue to have difficulty accessing your Google drive documents, please try another browser, or contact the Help Desk at 651-696-6525. 

Original report:
As of 2:00 PM 10/9/15, many Macalester people are reporting problems in accessing Google Drive. Google confirms that this is a problem for all Google users worldwide, and that it affects all aspects of Drive - Docs, Sheets and Slides.  ITS staff are monitoring the situation, and we will send more information as it becomes available.

Network Maintenance Day, Saturday, October 24, 2015

ITS staff will conduct a regular system maintenance period on Saturday October 24, 2015, from 6:00 AM until 12:00 noon.  We will be performing upgrades, testing connections, patching and doing other tasks to keep our critical campus information systems running efficiently.

Please expect that most networked services - including Banner, 1600grand, DegreeWorks, Moodle and PaperCut-based printing - will be down, completely or intermittently, during the maintenance period.  However, Internet access and Google Apps will NOT be affected, and should remain available while we perform the maintenance.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ramón Rentas at rentas@macalester.edu or 651-696-6633.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Protect Yourself Against Spear Phishing

Here's a real spear phishing example

What is Spear Phishing?

 

Phishing emails are emails that try to fool you into clicking links or sharing confidential information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Spear phishing goes one step further: the scammer contacts you directly by name, often via chat, instant message or over the phone. Spear phishing attacks frequently use icons and faked URLs that appear to be legitimate. Scammers pretend to be customer service reps or technicians, warning you about potential threats to your computer or bank accounts. Their goal is to make you act quickly, before you have a chance to critically evaluate the information you see.

Stop. Take a breath. Think. You have plenty of time, no matter how urgent the scammer makes it seem. And you have experts on your side who can help you: the ITS Help Desk.

Remember the three Cs: 

 

Consider what you're being asked to do. 

No bank or legitimate business will ask you to give confidential information in a chat session, in email or via instant message. No legitimate computer or software vendor will contact you with dire security warnings and then ask for your password - let alone ask you to enable their access to your computer.

Critically evaluate what you read, see and hear. 

Even if the icons and text look OK (say, the font is the same as Apple's, or you see a Microsoft logo), what information are you being given? Technical jargon about 'error codes' and 'UDP ports' is meant to confuse you. Harsh, repeated warnings about 'permanent damage' and 'serious hacking' are intended to scare you and make you act without thinking. Poor grammar, misspellings and vague details should raise red flags. See example above. If someone is speaking to you over the phone or audio, do you hear lots of background noise? Does the speaker's language or phrasing seem odd to you? Does the speaker get angry when you ask for details or confirmation? Chances are good you're being speared.

Call for an expert opinion and assistance. 

That's 651-696-6525, or email helpdesk@macalester.edu. The ITS Help Desk staff stand ready to help you determine the validity (or otherwise) of warnings and confusing messages. If you are victimized by a spear phishing scam, don't hesitate to call us. We can help you contain the potential damage, change your passwords and rid your computer of malware. If you have questions about phishing or spear phishing, please check with us.

Protect Yourself Against Spear Phishing

Here's a real spear phishing example

What is Spear Phishing?

Phishing emails are emails that try to fool you into clicking links or sharing confidential information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Spear phishing goes one step further: the scammer contacts you directly by name, often via chat, instant message or over the phone. Spear phishing attacks frequently use icons and faked URLs that appear to be legitimate. Scammers pretend to be customer service reps or technicians, warning you about potential threats to your computer or bank accounts. Their goal is to make you act quickly, before you have a chance to critically evaluate the information you see.

Stop. Take a breath. Think. You have plenty of time, no matter how urgent the scammer makes it seem. And you have experts on your side who can help you: the ITS Help Desk.

Remember the three Cs: 

 

Consider what you're being asked to do.

No bank or legitimate business will ask you to give confidential information in a chat session, in email or via instant message. No legitimate computer or software vendor will contact you with dire security warnings and then ask for your password - let alone ask you to enable their access to your computer.

Critically evaluate what you read, see and hear.

Even if the icons and text look OK (say, the font is the same as Apple's, or you see a Microsoft logo), what information are you being given? Technical jargon about 'error codes' and 'UDP ports' is meant to confuse you. Harsh, repeated warnings about 'permanent damage' and 'serious hacking' are intended to scare you and make you act without thinking. Poor grammar, misspellings and vague details should raise red flags. See example above. If someone is speaking to you over the phone or audio, do you hear lots of background noise? Does the speaker's language or phrasing seem odd to you? Does the speaker get angry when you ask for details or confirmation? Chances are good you're being speared.

Call for an expert opinion and assistance.

That's 651-696-6525, or email helpdesk@macalester.edu. The ITS Help Desk staff stand ready to help you determine the validity (or otherwise) of warnings and confusing messages. If you are victimized by a spear phishing scam, don't hesitate to call us. We can help you contain the potential damage, change your passwords and rid your computer of malware. If you have questions about phishing or spear phishing, please check with us.