Phishing Attempt: Job Opportunities

Over the past several days, many students have received emails offering job opportunities, and many are related to babysitting, child care, or note-taking. Students should not reply to these emails and should delete them immediately. Always be suspicious of unsolicited emails, especially if those emails ask for personal information.

Some examples of these attempts are included here for reference.

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From: <stephanie@studentspill.org> on behalf of Stephanie Miller <stephanie@studentspill.org>
Reply-To: “stephanie@studentspill.org” <stephanie@studentspill.org>
Date: Monday, January 11, 2016 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Re: invitation

 

Hey Again Andrew – did you get the invitation, the first one? Maybe I missed your reply, but I didn’t see an application.

If you want to earn around $500 per class by taking notes and uploading them to StudySoup, spend 3 mintes and justapply now.

Thank you!

Stephanie

 

Date: January 4, 2016 at 2:51:27 PM EST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Hello

Hello my name is A’aleah an alumni of UA. Got your contact from school Directory, My Boss, Mr Benson is in need of a babysitter for her 4yrs old daughter around the school area,Contact him at: mrjamesbenson@hotmail.com to get more information about the position and tell him you were referred by me.

Phishing Attack: “Library Services”

This week, some students, faculty, and staff may have received the email titled: “Library Services ”

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 OIT service desk (348-5555).

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The Changing Face of Higher Education, Part 2

In my last blog, I shared my observations and experiences with open educational resources including massive open online courses (MOOCs). In this blog, I am sharing my observations, experiences, and interpretation of changes affecting The University of Alabama and the information technology (IT) organization.

Since March, the University has appointed an interim provost and a vice president for each student affairs, advancement, and strategic communications. In June, the Board of Trustees named Dr. Stuart Bell as president. I was honored to represent UA as a member of the Presidential Search Committee. It was obvious; UA System leaders, UA faculty and administrators, and other committee members were very focused on bringing the right candidate forward. Chairwoman, UA board of trustees President Pro tem Karen Brooks, the first woman to serve in the position, asked the search committee to select a charismatic, student-focused leader capable of continuing the growth at UA over the last decade. I believe Dr. Bell is an excellent fit. His qualifications, experience, interest in research, and fund-raising efforts are commendable. He is a gentleman and a scholar with a keen focus and a strong orientation toward the business of higher education.

Chancellor Robert Witt, who served as a vice chairman of the search committee, oversaw the appointments of new presidents for our sister universities at Birmingham, in 2013, and at Huntsville, in 2011. Following the recent changes in leadership at UA and after serving the System for over twelve years, first as president and then chancellor, Witt announced plans to retire in August 2016. His recommended successor, Ray Hayes, was approved by the board of trustees. Hayes, the System’s current executive vice chancellor, will assume his new role September 1, 2016. In the interim, Chancellor Witt ensures a smooth transition. We thank him for preparing the UA System to make the most of the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education.

So, what changes can we expect as we move forward? I expect the University to build upon its accomplishments in undergraduate research and expand its research ambitions. Earlier this year, the vice president for research and economic development selected two, prominent UA professors as associate vice presidents. While maintaining other leadership roles in academia and the research enterprise, they are facilitating development and implementation of a strategic research plan, promoting interdisciplinary projects, and enlarging the University’s collaborative role across the UA System. In another effort to strengthen partnerships across the System and with other organizations, I have been asked to take an additional position as associate vice chancellor for information technology.

IT is more relevant than ever. It is integral to the University’s research engine, delivery of education, and support of its academic mission. To maintain relevance, we need to focus on collaborations with and among our faculty, researchers, and administrators. For research alone, there is a growing need for a new professional discipline—cyber practitioners who have a blend of IT experience and science domain knowledge. In a recent survey, UA faculty and researchers requested additional, high performance and data-intensive computing capabilities, visualization, simulation, other analytical tools, and related IT support.

To facilitate their research, we are building a dedicated science network component. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the University a $464,770 grant for establishing an advanced network capability, distinct from our general-purpose campus network, to specifically support high-bandwidth, data-intensive, scientific applications. We have re-engineered our Technology Research Advisory Committee (TRAC) to better support the University’s Research Advisory Council (RAC). In other governance matters, we are revising our IT governance structure and expanding it to include representatives from across the campus.

Our administrators’ needs are evolving from process automation to use of digital technologies (e.g., mobile, social, and analytics) and physical resources to change what people do—changes that enhance their ability to achieve specific goals. IT professionals will need to enhance their communication and analytic skills and build new competencies to facilitate use of data and analytics for strategic and operating decisions. We will need to help bridge, break, or integrate data silos and make available the information needed to support more effective academic and institutional decision-making.

We will need to become more proactive by aggressively seeking grant funding, increasing cost transparency, forging new collaborations with our sister universities, lowering complexity, improving security, and anticipating the needs of our constituencies. I expect changes in our services and possibly, our organizational structures. At a minimum, expect more flexible structures.

Yes, Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin” as are the faces of many of our leaders, as is the face of IT in Higher Education.

VPN Client Issue

OIT has been notified of a couple of cases of difficulty connecting to the VPN. The cause appears to be a corrupted client, and the issue can be resolved by uninstalling and reinstalling the Cisco AnyConnect software. You can find the download of this client by looking on the Tech tab of myBama.

You can find a copy of the of the error below which reads “The VPN connection failed due to unsuccessful domain name resolution.” If this issue persists after reinstalling AnyConnect, please contact the IT Service Desk at (205) 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

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New Version of PrintLogic

OIT will be updating the PrinterLogic server to the newest version which will resolve a number of issues and add some functionality. End users will need to re-allow the plugin to run in their browser if they see a box asking them to login and refresh the page the next time that they access PrinterLogic to add a new printer. There should be no other changes or input required from the user.

If your users have any issues with PrinterLogic, please contact the IT Service Desk at (205) 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Phishing Email Titled “IT”

Some faculty and staff received a phishing email this morning titled “IT.” The full email is posted below. 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 at (205) 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Phishing Email

NVivo Training Webinar

A number of free webinars for NVivo are being offered by the creators of the software, QSR International. These one-hour live sessions cover how to import and code either text (documents & PDFs) or other types of data (audio/video, images, surveys & social media) on both PC and Mac.

NVivo is designed for analyzing all forms of unstructured data using search, query, and visualization tools.

Click on any of the topics below to go to the registration form.

NVivo for Windows

Getting Started with Text

Getting Started with Other Data

NVivo for Mac

Getting Started with Text

Getting Started with Other Data

Total Network Outage December 19th and 20th

OIT will be replacing the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in the data center due to a manufacturer fault that could cause a sudden UPS failure resulting in a loss of power to the data center. Beginning at 9:00pm on Saturday, December 19th, all internet/network access, services, and applications will be unavailble until Sunday, December 20th at 12:00pm. If you have any questions or concerns about this outage, please contact the IT Service Desk at itsd@ua.edu or (205) 348-5555.


More Information

A number of weeks ago, OIT was contacted by the manufacturer of the of our uninterruptible power supply (UPS) informing us that the UPS could fail at any time due to a manufacturing fault. If the UPS were to fail, all of the equipment in the data center would fail, effectively bringing down the entire network in addition to all applications and services that reside within the data center.

To prevent this from happening, OIT will be replacing this UPS. This will require, effectively, a full network outage. The process will begin on December 19th at 9:00pm when the EDAS team will begin shutting down applications. Everything else will be shut down shortly after, including power coming into the data center.

At this point, a bypass switch will be installed so that future UPS issues will not require a full shutdown of the network. Overnight, UA electricians will be working with the UPS manufacturer to install the new UPS after the bypass switch is complete. The next morning (December 20th), servers, applications, and network services will start being restored. This process will be totally complete by 12pm.

This is a substantial undertaking, and we ask for your assistance on the afternoon of December 20th and the 21st to ensure that everything is working correctly in your area. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the IT Service Desk at (205) 348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Student Employment Phishing Emails

Students should be aware that a number of different phishing emails related to employment are currently being sent out. The emails are attempting to steal information. Please review these emails carefully, and be sure that you are expecting email from someone before responding. In general, the University does not ask for personal information over email, especially things like driver’s license number, social security number, banking numbers, or similarly important information.

Below are some examples of the phishing emails currently being sent out. Click the images for larger versions.

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From: kloe williams <kloewilliams95ATgmailDOTcom>
Date: November 23, 2015 at 2:26:18 PM CST
To: ***
Subject: Re: Need a babysitter?

Hello Alexandra,

How are you doing?  I’m Kloe Williams and my husband name is Edward,
I asked my Cousin to help me seek a Babysitter and housekeepers. We
will be relocating to your neighbourhood from Australia. I got a
contract recently with a company on a private research job. However,
We will need someone  that will  help in running some few errands and
babysitting for 3 days per week and also 4 good Hours per day..What
city and suburbs are you in Alabama? Get back to me as soon as
possible.

Kloe.