OIT Recommends Not Installing Mac OS Sierra

OIT recommends not installing the new Mac OS, Sierra. OIT is currently testing the OS for compatibility, and has since found that the OS is not compatible with Cannon printers or McAfee Anti Virus Software.

We recommend that NetAdmins test the operating system within their environment, and wait for further recommendation from OIT before putting the OS into production as any issues that cannot be resolved internally may require an update from Apple.  

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555.

OIT Introduces New Ad/Exchange Account Request Form

The Office of Information Technology has created a new, easily accessible form for OIT supported departments (UA-NET) requesting network access and email services needed for new hires.  It is also available to departments for generic account and faculty/staff sponsored organizations that need an email address @ua.edu.  Once submitted, the information is sent to the IT Service Desk for processing. 

Currently, our HR system does not create accounts prior affiliation with the University,such as employees who change departments, previous employees or students hired as regular employees.  No changes are made in the auto generation of AD/Exchange accounts for new employees or updating directory information. The Office ofInformation Technology is currently working with the Human Resources Department to automate the process for previous UA employees and/or students.

Click here to access the new form.

UA Email Phishing Attempt Titled “UA Email Upgrade”

Earlier today, students, faculty and staff may have received an email titled “UA Email Upgrade.”

This email is an attempt to steal myBama usernames and passwords to possibly infect your system with malicious code. Keep in mind that The University of Alabama does not send out these types of messages. If you have not already, please delete the email. If you did click the link in the email to provide your myBama username and password, please login to your myBama account and change your password.

If you have any questions, please contact the OIT Service Desk at 348-5555.

OIT Recommends Updating Devices/Operating Systems to Latest Patch Releases

Because of increased security threats, and corresponding security patch updates, the Office of Information Technology recommends all University IT Support Teams update devices and operating systems to their most current patch levels to ensure all security measures are in place and all patches are applied.

Individual users are encouraged to conduct the same patches and updates on personal and mobile devices including OS X, iOS and Windows.

The Office of Information Technology supports OS X levels 10.10 and higher, iOS versions 9 and higher, as well as Windows 7 and higher.

If you experience any issue with the newest Mac security update, please pursue the following steps:

If you can boot into the Mac
Click Go > Go to Folder
Type in /private/var/folders
Delete all files in that folder
Empty the trash and reboot to MacOS

If you cannot boot into the Mac
Target the boot affected Mac to a working Mac
Click Go > Go to Folder
Type in /Volumes/<target boot Mac’s HD name>/private/var/folders
Delete all files in that folder
Empty the trash and reboot to main MacOS

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Extortion Email Schemes

The FBI has released a public service announcement regarding extortion attempts via email. From the PSA:

The recipients are told that personal information, such as their name, phone number, address, credit card information, and other personal details, will be released to the recipient’s social media contacts, family, and friends if a ransom is not paid. The recipient is instructed to pay in Bitcoin, a virtual currency that provides a high degree of anonymity to the transactions. The recipients are typically given a short deadline.

With the current exchange rate, 2 to 5 bitcoins is approximately $1,100 to $2,900.

These emails are not much different than ordinary phishing attempts. It’s unlikely that the person on the other end actually has any information. The FBI has provided a few tips to protect yourself from these scams.

  • Do not open e-mail or attachments from unknown individuals.
  • Do not communicate with the subject.
  • Do not store sensitive or embarrassing photos of yourself online or on yourmobile devices.
  • Use strong passwords and do not use the same password for multiplewebsites.
  • Ensure security settings for social media accounts are turned on and set atthe highest level of protection.
  • When providing personally identifiable information, credit cardinformation, or other sensitive information to a website, ensure the transmission is secure by verifying the URL prefix includes https, or the status bar displays a “lock” icon.

If you receive one of these emails, please let us know at security@ua.edu.

Phishing Email: “IT DESK”

Some users may have received an email with the subject “IT DESK” yesterday evening. As always, be on the lookout for any email that may be attempting to steal your information.

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Click for a larger version.

Phishing Attack Titled “RE: PASSWORD MANAGER”

Early this afternoon, some faculty and staff received an email titled: “RE: PASSWORD MANAGER”

This is an attempt to steal usernames and passwords and possibly infect your system with malicious code. Keep in mind that The University of Alabama does not send out these types of messages. If you haven’t already, please delete it.

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk (8-5555).

Click for a larger image.
Click for a larger image.