IT Services news
In preparation for the offering of MS Office 365 ProPlus to McGill Faculty and Staff later this year, IT Services performed a maintenance of our Microsoft Office Server infrastructure this past weekend, October 31 to November 2. As a result, Faculty and Staff users of Office 2013 on McGill computers will have noticed changes to the look and feel of Office 2013.
As previously announced in the McGill Reporter and on this site, IT Services will be doubling your McGill Password if you have not yet changed it since asked in May. Once your password is doubled, when you log in to any McGill system or computer with your McGill Username and Password (e.g. email, wireless, VPN, myCourses), you will have to type out your password twice.
If you have not already made the switch to McGill’s new, more secure Virtual Private Network (VPN), time is running out. The old VPN, inside.mcgill.ca, will be deactivated on November 12. To avoid losing access to internal McGill systems and resources when off campus, set up a new VPN connection today. Find instructions for setting up a new VPN connection to securevpn.mcgill.ca in the IT Knowledge Base.
Starting in December 2014*, Microsoft will begin offering McGill faculty and staff members FREE access to Office 365 ProPlus. This offering includes the Office 2013 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office apps, and will replace the current Microsoft Work at Home program.
A phishing attempt is circulating purporting to come from RBC Express (Royal Bank of Canada), with the Subject: "Important Notice for all RBC Express Online Users". It seems to be targeted to McGill staff and asks recipients to sign in using their RBC login credentials. Please delete this email immediately! It is a phishing scam. If you have received the message and attempted to log in, please contact Peter Guertin, in McGill Financial Services, ASAP so that he can freeze the account and take the appropriate action.
A notification was accidentally sent out to a number of computers on campus. This notification gives users the option to install the Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit operating system by clicking on Run. It could either appear as a popup, or a notification in the System Tray on the lower right-hand corner of your computer screen. If you did recieve this notification, press Close. If you accidentally hit Run, please contact the IT Service Desk immediately.
There is currently a virus infecting computers via email attachments. In the latest fraud reported at McGill, the subject of the email is You have received a voice mail, and the attachment contains the virus. If you receive any emails containing .ZIP file attachments, DO NOT open them.
Yesterday, a new security vulnerability, affecting Bash, was announced. The Bash shell, commonly accessed through Command Prompt or the Terminal application, is a part of many Linux, Unix, and Mac systems. Since it has been around for more than two decades, older devices are also vulnerable. If used maliciously, Bash allows an attacker to take over an operating system, access confidential information, make changes, etc.. McGill’s IT Services is devoting their full attention to addressing any potential threat this may cause to centrally-managed IT systems.
If you haven’t yet changed your McGill Password, it’s time to get to it. In October, all faculty and staff members who did not change their password when prompted to earlier this year will have their McGill Password doubled.
Each year, the McGill community is targeted by hundreds of phishing emails, many of which can be hard to recognize and identify.
2:50 pm update: Users should no longer experience problems logging in to Banner. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Some users cannot log in to Banner (INB). When attempting to do so, they get the following error message: "The application failed to run. There was an error while executing the application.". IT Services is investigating; we apologize for the inconvenience.
Update - Sept. 10, 10:48 am:The issue reported below is intermittent. If you don't see your Centerstage spaces, please try logging out and back in. Original announcement - Sept. 9, 2014:Some users are unable to access their spaces in the Centerstage Content Management System after signing in. IT Services is working to resolve the issue. Thank you for your patience.
If you didn't change your McGill Password after the Heartbleed vulnerability was announced earlier this year, we strongly encourage you to do so. Take advantage of the increased password length and create a more secure McGill Password without delay! Instead of being restricted to EXACTLY 8 characters in length, you can now create a password that is 8 to 18 characters in length.
Starting on September 9, 2014 Internet Explorer will begin prompting users to install the most recent version of Java when they attempt to access sites that use the Java plugin. This type of prompt is already present in Chrome and Firefox.
The development of TrueCrypt ended in May after Microsoft terminated support of Windows XP. If you currently use TrueCrypt, you should migrate any data encrypted by TrueCrypt to encrypted disks or virtual disk images supported on your platform. Please note that IT Services can only support TrueCrypt and other encryption tools on a best-efforts basis.