Category Archives: lisblog

Security Note – OpenSSL ‘Heartbleed’ Vulnerability

As you may have read in mainstream news media outlets, a vulnerability was recently discovered in certain versions of OpenSSL which could allow a remote attacker access to sensitive data on certain types of servers.

LIS has already patched relevant local systems and is working with vendors to ensure that any relevant externally-hosted systems are similarly patched. There is no evidence to suggest that Middlebury account credentials have been compromised.

More information about the vulnerability is available on the LIS Information Security web site’s ‘Threat Bulletin’ area: http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/475111/original/middlebury_threat_bulletin_openssl_heartbleed.pdf

If you have specific questions, please feel free to email infosec@middlebury.edu.

Microsoft to end technical support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003

Microsoft will end support for the Windows XP operating system and Microsoft Office 2003 software on April 8.  Microsoft will no longer release security updates or provide technical support for either product after this date.

Both Windows XP and Office 2003 will continue to function, but computers running either product will become increasingly vulnerable to malware and other forms of cyber-attack.

Due to the risk these vulnerabilities create, the Information Security group considers it necessary that Middlebury College students, faculty and staff have an upgrade to better protect personal and College data.

If you are not sure whether you are using Windows XP, Microsoft has created an easy-to-use website you can use to help at http://amirunningxp.com.

If you have a College-owned device that is running Windows XP, please contact the helpdesk at helpdesk@middlebury.edu, or create a ticket at  https://webhelpdesk.middlebury.edu/ to discuss the best course of action. The Technology Helpdesk has already begun the process of migrating all College-owned computers to Windows 7.

Students, faculty, and staff with personal computers running Windows XP will need to upgrade their computer operating system to be able to connect to the Middlebury network or VPN at some point in the future, so please take action as soon as possible.

For questions or assistance, contact the Helpdesk at X2200 or visit https://webhelpdesk.middlebury.edu/ to create an online ticket.

Internet Explorer 9 “update”

It turns out that updating from a very old web browser to a somewhat less old (yet still outdated) web browser is not necessarily as simple as it might be.  For more on this, read on* – but the short version of importance to know is:

Almost all public machines recently received an update from Internet Explorer version 8 to version 9.  Shortcuts, favorites, plugins and the like have been unaffected in all of our testing beforehand.  If you encounter problems or have questions, please pass them on.

 

*Last year INB was approved to run on Internet Explorer 9, and the group policy that blocks IE9 was removed.  As we noticed that computers still were not receiving IE 9 as an update, we found we had a registry entry to modify to undo the group policy block that had been applied.  As of that time, anyone running Microsoft Update should receive the IE9 update.

Our computer labs do not run the regular Microsoft Updates, though, since most users do not have administrative privileges on those computers.  Dell KACE applies critical Microsoft Updates on a regular basis – but IE9 is no longer in that update list (as it has been replaced by IE10 & IE11).  So, a manual installation has also been set up for this purpose.

March 2014 LIS Update

spring-flowers

We’ve posted the March 2014 Update from LIS.

As has become our custom, we write this update three times a year to provide ourselves and  rest of the community with a review of recent accomplishments, and more importantly, a roadmap for what to expect in the next three to six months. In addition, we make a nod to what we see as future issues and challenges further down the road.

Highlights since the last LIS Update include:

  • We continued to co-sponsor with CTLR the Academic Roundtable to encourage cross-campus conversation on important topics having to do with pedagogy, scholarly inquiry, and student learning.

  • We also continued our planning for the digital liberal arts initiative.

  • We continued to build out new library subject guides

  • In Special Collections, we supported students and faculty during Winter Term including A People’s History of Middlebury and Field House Museum, Adventure Writing, Space and Place in the Graphic Novel, and Matt Longman’s seminar on higher education.

  • We started to archive Ward Prize-winning student essay in our online archive

  • We made more progress in building out our new videoconferencing infrastructure and upgraded a number of classroom.

  • We continued to encourage our community to use Web Help Desk to request service from us.

  • We created a new guide to training options that include both on-line, off-site, and on campus options.

Key goals for the next three to six months include:

 

  • As part of the broader faculty governance conversations taking place on campus, we in turn are thinking about a wide range of governance questions. How do we ensure appropriate consultation with our students, faculty, and staff to ensure that our planning and prioritization is aligned with the needs of the community that we serve?

  • We are hiring! We are currently running searches for a director of academic technology, a senior systems administrator, a head of collections, a media services specialist, and a network security analyst.

  • We are discussing the technical and policy implications of converting our google apps from a pilot to a full-supported production system.

  • We will also be discussing the process for evaluating new options for our email/calendaring system, and updating our analysis of the privacy and security implications of moving certain services to the cloud.

  • We are busy planning for the move of the CSNS and Security work groups to Exchange Street, the move of the Enterprise Applications area to Painter House, and the re-use of space within the Davis Family Library to support the digital liberal arts initiative.

  • We are planning an upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange.

  • We’ll be rolling out a Network Access Control system that will allow us to more carefully control which devices can join our network.

  • We’ll be reconfiguring the wireless network to make it simpler and more secure. As part of that, we’ll be putting in place a guest registration system to allow for those who only need to use it on a temporary basis.

  • We will be working closely with many offices across campus to develop a multi-year plan for Nolij, the document imaging system that allows for offices to automate many of their paper-based processes.

  • We’ll be upgrading Drupal, the software that powers our website to the latest version.

  • We’re also working with the Office of Communications on rolling out a new design for the homepage and some of the key pages that are linked to from the home page.

  • We will have an external security review of our systems as part of a consortial effort to improve our security stance.

  • We will continue our efforts to study trends in the ways our public computer labs are used to help us plan for the future of providing computing resources to our students.

  • We will start a pilot project where you can check out a bicycle from the circulation desk.

  • We’re writing a Request for Proposal as part of our investigation into a new campus phone system.

While we pursue all of this, we will of course keep doing all of our regular stuff: prepping for Language Schools, upgrading classroom and lab technology, adding more wireless access points, updating various systems, teaching information literacy courses, buying and cataloging library materials, and distributing new computers.

One goal that we are very keen to pursue is to invent a fool-proof, indestructible stapler that no one can steal.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions on any of this, please feel free to contact me (Mike Roy, mdroy@middlebury.edu) or do so on-line at http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/2014/03/27/march-lis-update/  .

– mike

100th Flanders Collection Cylinder Milestone!

The Northeast Document Conservation Center reports  that they’ve recorded one hundred of the two hundred and fifty cylinders in the Flanders Ballad Collection.  Quite a milestone!  See the recording system at work and listen to the hundredth cylinder in the NEDCC blog post here!  Take a look at some of the previous posts to learn more about this new sound scanning technology.

Irene Blog

NExpress downtime again tonight (Tuesday, 3/18/14)

The NExpress library system will be down after 10 pm EDT tonight for maintenance. The system will be unavailable for searching, requesting, and borrowing for approximately 3 hours. This is ONLY NExpress and does not affect regular library searching via Summon or MIDCAT, nor regular borrowing of materials at the circulation desk.

The 150s now First Come, First Served for Students

For the spring semester, the library study rooms on the lower level (the 150 rooms) will be now available for students on a first come, first served basis. If the room is empty, feel free to just start using it. These are for group study, though, so an individual using the room may be asked to leave if a group needs the room.

These spaces are often used for meetings and interviews by various departments from across campus. Reservations can still be made for these events.  To do so, please contact Doreen Bernier (dbernier@middlebury.edu or x5595).  Schedules will be posted on the door to each room.

New sign-in page for Middlebury Google Apps coming soon

Google has announced that all Google Apps services are getting a new sign-in page. This change will be rolled out to the Middlebury Google Apps instance by March 1st, 2014.

The new sign-in page requires users to sign in with their full email address, like this…

gapps_signin_new

The new sign-in page is intended to provide a streamlined and cohesive sign-in experience for all users, an account chooser that makes it easy to switch between Google accounts, and security enhancements, including advanced bot detection and improved account hijacking protection.

If you have any questions about this change, please comment below or email gadmin@middlebury.edu.

Regards,
The Middlebury Google Admin Team
(Chris)