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Middlebury Security Alert for iOS Users

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Middlebury ITS Information Security is currently investigating indications that members of the Middlebury community are using iOS apps infected with the recently discovered XCodeGhost malware.

XCodeGhost-infected apps can potentially steal private information and even launch phony authentication dialogues that can be used to attempt to steal usernames and passwords. Despite this capability, no information has yet come to light indicating that the infected apps were used for malicious purposes, such as harvesting personally identifiable information or stealing passwords

The majority of the XCodeGhost-infected apps were authored by Chinese developers who were tricked into downloading fake Apple development libraries. Therefore, the greatest impact of the XCodeGhost appears to be in China.  Some apps have been identified, however, that have world-wide use, including WeChat, Baidu, and others.

If you have an iOS device, our recommendation is that you remove from the device any apps known to be compromised with XCodeGhost. Download and reinstall the app from the Apple App Store once a fixed version has been made available.

A list of known bad apps can be found here: http://www.apple.com/cn/xcodeghost/#english

Additional details on XCodeGhost can be found here: https://labs.opendns.com/2015/09/21/xcodeghost-materializes/

Questions regarding this security alert may be directed to infosec@middlebury.edu.

Wilson Media Lab – Summer Stats

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We’ve finished tabulating the usage counts for the Wilson Media Lab which can be found in the Piktochart below or here. Some interesting differences from last year’s summer session include:

  • An increase in requests for help from 11% in 2014 to 33% of users in 2015.
  • We are also seeing an increase in graphics and video usage and a decrease in text usage

If you haven’t visited the newly redesigned Wilson Media Lab we encourage you to do so!

The Canvas Pilot

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Our current Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, was adopted back in 2011. Four years later we are reflecting on whether Moodle is still the best LMS to serve the growing needs of Middlebury. This fall we are doing a pilot to evaluate Canvas and determine whether we want to continue with Moodle or move to Canvas. You can learn more about Canvas and Middlebury’s evaluation by following this site – http://sites.middlebury.edu/canvas/

Since it has launched over 1,200 colleges, universities and school districts have adopted Canvas, including many of our peer and neighboring institutions, including Amherst,  Williams, Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. It uses modern technology and service management, has a user-centric design, and the features that are common to an LMS are easier to find and use.

Some of the appealing features that are worth exploring are:

What about Moodle?

Middlebury adopted Moodle as its LMS in 2011 after a year-long evaluation (http://sites.middlebury.edu/segue/2011/06/14/moodle-middlebury/). At that time it was decided that we would use Moodle for a minimum of 5 years. At the end of the 5 years we would ask ourselves: Is Moodle still the right LMS for Middlebury? The 5 years will end in August of 2016.

The Canvas evaluation should not be considered as a sign that Middlebury intends to stop using, supporting, or expanding the platform. This is simply an opportunity to consider other options and review our use of Moodle.

Internet Explorer 11 update instructions

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Good afternoon,


These instructions are required for Hyperion EPM 11 reporting workspace users.


The block on installing Internet Explorer 11 will be removed in the evening on Friday, September 11th.  The automatic check for updates to Windows runs every morning.


The next time you log into your Windows PC after Friday, September 11th you will be prompted to restart.  


  1. Please restart your computer.
  2. Once the computer has restarted, manually check for Windows updates by performing the following steps.
  3. Go to Start -> Control Panel. Type Windows Update in the ‘Search Control Panel’ box (located in the upper right hand corner).

  1.  Click Windows Update


  1. On the Windows Update screen, click Check for updates.  Wait for Windows update check to finish.


You will see a page similar to this (the actual number of updates may be different).  Important updates will be selected for you already. The Internet Explorer 11 updates will be important updates.


  1. Click Install Updates.  


  1. Restart your computer if prompted after the installation completes.


  1. Repeat steps 2 through 7 until no more Important Updates are found.  You may need to check for Windows updates multiple times.


Systems Maintenance this Sat & Sun, Sep 12th-13th, 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, Sep 13th, 2015 from 6 am – 10 am we have the following activities scheduled:

  • We will be upgrading the hardware for our DNS and DHCP servers. While there is always risk involved during systems maintenance, there is no expected service outage as we leverage system redundancy during the upgrade process.

ITS, in collaboration with functional staff from across the college, has tested Internet Explorer 11 against our primary business systems, including, but not limited to, Banner INB, Banner Web, Nolij Web – Document Management System, Hyperion reporting and the college’s main website.

Internet Explorer 11 will be available for installation beginning Saturday, September 12th. Detailed installation instructions will be required for Hyperion reporting workspace users – these instructions will be available Friday, September 11th and sent to all faculty and staff via e-mail.

We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.

Improved Filtering of SPAM and Phishing Email

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

ITS has begun enabling new, proactive anti-spam and anti-phishing email filters intended to improve the filtering of unsolicited and unwanted messages, by leveraging external reputation-based lists of email servers that have been flagged for sending spam and/or malicious email.

We’ve had the new filters in “Tag” mode since October 2014, so we’re confident that they are accurate and we’ll be closely monitoring incoming mail queues during days after the change. Still, there is a possibility that someone trying to sending you email will have their message blocked, if their email servers have been flagged for sending spam and/or malicious email. The sender, in such cases, will receive an email advising them that their message could not be delivered.

If you encounter such as scenario, (i.e. a legitimate sender is trying to email you, but the message is being blocked by Middlebury’s email servers), or you have noticed legitimate messages recently having been incorrectly tagged as [SPAM?], please contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@middlebury.edu and we will help you identify and resolve the issue.

General questions about this change may be directed to infosec@middlebury.edu.

Interested in learning more about Banner? Join the Ellucian eCommunities.

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Are you interested in learning more about Banner?  Have questions about best practices?  Want to connect with colleagues at other Banner schools to learn how they have addressed challenging problems?  Consider joining the Ellucian eCommunities.

Some of you may remember the older Sun Guard Higher Education ListServ and Banner Commons that used to allow Banner schools and users to communicate, collaborate, and stay connected.  These have largely been replaced and augmented by the new Ellucian eCommunities system which is now integrated with the Ellucian Support Center.

The Ellucian Hub can be used to get to all Ellucian resources.   If you’ve used their “Action Line”, you have a Hub account.  If not, you will need to have an account created.

Main URL to access the Hub:  https://ecommunities.okta.com

To sign up for Hub account:  https://clientapps.ellucian.com/signup

For help if Hub password has been forgotten: https://ellucian.okta.com/reset-password

To access eCommunities directly without going to the Hub: https://ecommunities.ellucian.com

From there, you should see a page with a list of “Getting Started” videos which you can watch to learn about the eCommunities system.

NOTE:   The information from Banner Commons was not able to be moved directly over to eCommunities.  If you had been using Banner Commons, you’ll need to do the “Edit Profile” step in eCommunities like you had previously done in Banner Commons.  Data about your name, e-mail address, title and company name come from the Ellucian Support Center so it’s important for you to have a Hub account there.

You’ll also need to set e-mail preferences and select the “Places” you’d like to follow.  You can click on “All Places” near the top of the page to see all the groups/streams and then click on the “gear” icon to the right of those you’re interested in to “Follow”.  If you “Follow in Daily Digest”, you will get an e-mail message with links to each posting once each morning.

If you have problems with this, please e-mail ecommunities@ellucian.com.