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Information in archived ITSS news was current at publication time but may not reflect the present state of technology or ITSS.

News Briefs: 2006

Windows WMF vulnerability
1.5.06: An exploit for all versions of Windows allows the attacker to perform any action on your computer by simply viewing an infected image. Microsoft is expected to release a patch on Jan 10. In the meantime, Windows users are urged to disable image viewing in their email programs and to not visit web sites that they have never been to or that would be considered untrustworthy. Microsoft also recommends unregistering the related DLL. Details are here: Microsoft Security Advisory (912840) and SANS ICS - WMF FAQ.
eGradebook switched to spring semester
1.5.06: The switch over to Spring semester in eGradebook has been completed and gradebooks for Spring courses should be available for creation starting today (01/05/2006). Users will still have access to past semesters through the navigation at the bottom of the eGradebook main page. For more information, see: Help System.
UMCal server, clients upgraded
2.1.06: The UMCal server was upgraded on January 15. New clients and tools have also been released, but older versions continue to function with the new server software. Several new features are available in the new clients and synchronization tools. Get more information about the upgrade and new software at: UMCal 10g Upgrade.
What are botnets?
2.2.06: Many computers on campus (mostly in the residence halls) continue to be compromised with botnets. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) recently published a Cyber Security Tip to explain more about this threat. See the January 25, 2006 US-CERT security tip: Understanding Hidden Rootkits and Botnets.
ITSS Spring Workshops
2.2.06: Spring Semester 2006 is underway! ITSS is pleased to offer the campus community workshops for Dreamweaver and WebCT. For details or to register, go to: Workshops.
Firefox vulnerabilities
2.7.06: Eight critical vulnerabilities in Firefox were released to the public on Feb 2, and the first exploit was released yesterday. Please make sure that you're running the latest version of firefox ( These problems also exist in Thunderbird, SeaMonkey and the Mozilla Suite. For details, see: Mozilla Products Multiple Memory Corruption and Security Bypass Issues.
TechFest Call for Proposals
2.24.06: TechFest 2006 is right around the corner (Friday, March 31). The deadline for the Call for Proposals is Friday, March 10. Please go to: TechFest to fill out the online "Call for Proposal."
Viz Lab Presents - MPAC 154
2.27.06:The following sessions have been set for spring:
Frank Simmons, ITSS
Desktop Security: How to Keep your Computer Healthy
Thursday, March 2, 12:00-1:00
Ted Pederson, Saiyam Kohli, Computer Sciences
Visualizing Relations Between Concepts in WordNet
Friday, March 3, 12:00-1:00
TechFest 2006
3.23.06: Since 1998 we've come together each year at TechFest to learn how technology has enhanced or changed the way we teach, learn and share information here at UMD. TechFest 2006 is scheduled for Friday, March 31, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Kirby Student Center Ballroom. For more information, see: TechFest.
IE vulnerability
3.24.06: Microsoft plans to release a pre-patch advisory with workarounds for a "highly critical" vulnerability that could put millions of Internet Explorer users at the mercy of malicious hackers. For details, see: Microsoft Security Advisory (917077).
New Internet/Enterprise password requirements
4.12.06: The Office of Information Technology (OIT) recently made changes in the requirements for both Internet (X.500) and Enterprise passwords. For details, see: Changes to password requirements.
Latest Microsoft update causes problems with Office
4.19.06: Some customers on campus have reported problems with Microsoft Office after installing the recent MS Security Update (MS06-15). This is a known problem and Microsoft has released a fix for it. For details, see: "Problems in Windows Explorer or the Windows shell after you install security update MS06-015." I
TurningPoint "clicker" exchange
4.24.06: There have been a limited number of hardware problems with the TurningPoint clickers and receivers used in classrooms this year, but we anticipate that the failure rate would increase with this equipment next fall. To avoid this, ITSS will be exchanging all clickers and receivers for new equipment at the end of this semester. For details, see: "Replacing all TurningPoint clickers and receivers" or contact Jason Davis (jdavis, x8782).
UMCal (Oracle) connection problems
5.15.06: We are receiving reports of "server unreachable" messages this morning resulting from some versions of the client replacing with a specific server name, sometimes in the client configuration visible in the connection manager, other times in an underyling configuration file (depends on step 5 in the directions below).
These steps have corrected the problem in the reported cases:
  1. Open the Oracle Calendar/UMCal client
  2. At the Sign-in screen, click "Other"
  3. Select the UMCal entry in the connection list
  4. Click "Edit"
  5. Make sure the "Server" field contains ""
  6. Click "Lookup"
  7. Click "Configure" (no change to the radio button; should be at "Configure at login from user name")
  8. Click "OK"
  9. Click "OK"
eGradebook term change
5.16.06: ITSS will be changing the term from Spring to Summer around 7:45 today (5/16) so those having summer classes can beginning creating and setting up their gradebooks. Those needing to finish their Spring grades can still access Spring gradebooks by clicking on the "Spring 2006" link at the bottom of the eGradebook web page.
OSX vulnerability
6.29.06: Apple has released OS/X 10.4.7. This patchset includes fixes for several security problems. Please patch your systems now. For details, see: SANS: Handler Diary.
iTunes vulnerability
6.30.06: Apple has released an update to iTunes to patch a buffer overflow. This brings iTunes up to version 6.0.5. For details, see: SANS: iTunes vulnerability.
BlackBerry® — Why Not?
7.10.06: If you have been considering purchasing a BlackBerry handheld device for use with University systems, here are two reasons to consider a different device:
- E-mail: our system does not support the "push" technology, and third-party mail forwarding services may violate the University's policy on "Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources" by storing your password remotely.
Ten Questions for Laura Carlson
7.17.06: The Web Standards Group (WSG) recently interviewed ITSS staff member Laura Carlson for her work on the "Web Design Reference" web site. The WSG is for web designers and developers who are interested in web standards (HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, XSLT etc.) and best practices (accessible sites using valid and semantically correct code). Read "Ten Questions for Laura Carlson."
New voice mail system
7.24:06: ITSS is working with Qwest Communications to replace our aging voice mail system with a new unified messaging system this summer. The new system will go live early the morning of August 30. It will offer many new features, including:
  • Access to voice messages and mail box administration via the web.
  • Text-to-speech capabilities for retrieving e-mails from a phone.
  • Speech recognition of mail box commands.
For details and updated status reports, see: CallPilot Unified Messaging.
Voice mail training
8.14.06: The new Call Pilot Unified Messaging voice mail system will go live early the morning of August 28. This system requires a new password and uses new commands to access, send and delete voice mail messages.
All UMD faculty and staff must complete the online "Basic CallPilot Unified Messaging" training in order to use the new system. If you do not complete the online training, you will be unable to access your voice mail after August 30. For details, see: "CallPilot Unified Messaging."
Voice mail cutover date changed to Aug 30
8.15.06: At the request of the UEA, ITSS will move the cutover date for the new Call Pilot Messaging system to early in the morning of August 30. This will give faculty returning to work on August 28 two days to complete training before the new system goes live. For details, see: "CallPilot Unified Messaging."
eGradebook term switched
8.22.06: The Fall 2006 courses have been entered into eGradebook and it is now set for Fall 2006 gradebook creation.
UMCal problems
9.5.06: UMCal is currently under heavy load and is holding at or near the current connection limit. Existing sessions remain while new sessions may be unavailable (reports as node unavailable or service unavailable). The system will be taken down from midnight to 12:30 a.m. tonight for a restart with an increased connection limit.If you are not actively using UMCal, please logout if possible.
UMCal upgrade
9.9.06:UMCal will be unavailable on Wednesday, Sept. 13 from midnight to 2:30 a.m. UMCal hardware will be upgraded during this time. A hidden host name will be changed as a part of the upgrade. This will impact users of version 9.0.4.x desktop clients. Please see "UMCal Hardware Uprgrade/Hidden Host Change" for more information.

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